Allamakee County Veterans Museum to host program on U.S. Navy Tugboats in WWII

The Allamakee County Veterans Museum will be offering its next public program at its museum located at 105 Allamakee Street, Waukon this Thursday, May 18, beginning at 1 p.m. There is no charge for admission and no membership requirements to attend the program presentation.

The late Dr. Frank Norden left his optometrist practice in Waukon in 1942 to join the U.S. Navy. Initially, he was assigned to medical duty, but he volunteered to go to sea and was assigned to a tugboat, the USS Sakaweston YTB-289, and he was later appointed its captain. He returned to Waukon in 1946 after discharge from naval service and resumed his optometrist practice.

His daughters, Kristen and Margaret, will share their recollections of his naval service. The program will also include a video tour of a typical WWII era military tugboat.

Dr. Norden built a scale model of his tugboat (pictured above) and operated it remotely in Mississippi River back waters and in a pond. The Norden sisters are donating his scale model of that tugboat to the Veterans Museum for permanent display.

Norden’s tugboat is a ship from the Sasaba Class of tugboats. She is a sister ship of the USS Allamakee - YTB-410, which is the centerpiece of a special exhibit in the Allamakee Veterans Museum.