Tony served on a submarine which sank 14 Japanese ships during the Second World War. He kept the Mark 28 torpedo in his backyard for 30 years, on Acushnet Avenue. He bought the dead torpedo because he was a submariner and nobody had anything like that, so he wanted one.
Although it is painful for him to step away from his piece of memorabilia, Tony, who will turn 90 years old in May, wants people who go visiting the museum to learn about this tiny bit of history. “It’s a little nostalgic and I’m not going to live forever,” said Tony, who thinks his name will live forever after he’s gone.
As most people don’t exactly know what a ‘world war’ is, he wants them to learn about the torpedo, which is now being repaired, because it is ‘educational’.
The work on the torpedo is being done for free by Dennis B. Hudon, president of N.C. Hudon, Inc. Crane and Rigging of New Bedford, who is going to fix the holes in it, sandblast it, locate and remove the dents and waterproof it. The repairs shouldn’t take more than three or four weeks, the South Coast Today reports.
Hudon’s father, Bernard “Perky” Hudon, served in the Army during the Second World War and this is the reason why he says he likes the museum so much and he really appreciates of the people that come down to visit. He says it is his pleasure and his own way of paying back and showing respect. He also said he can’t wait to see Tony’s face when his toy will be ready to be displayed in the museum.
According to Bob Bromley, vice president and curator of the Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Military Museum, officials have already decided the place of the torpedo in the museum. It will be displayed by the flagpole in the new wing and “It will be a key feature when you walk in,” he said.
Tony’s friends were really happy to hear about his plans to donate the torpedo. Bromley said that it will tell two stories; one of its own experiences during the Second World War and another which will tell the story of Tony, who served on a submarine.
Tony left New Bedford when he was 18 years old and went to join the Navy about a year later. For three years he served on the USS Sea Lion II and 15 months on the front. His submarines sank 14 Japanese ships.