World of Warships is trying to raise funds to save a World War II submarine from the scrapyard.
It's the USS Batfish, a Balao-class submarine that was active during World War II. The Batfish was famous for sinking 3 Japanese Navy submarines over a period of three days in February 1945. That made it the most successful sub-killing sub in history.
The Batfish was decommissioned in 1958 but served as a training and research vessel for another decade. Then it was towed to Muskogee, Oklahoma where it served as a museum piece in Muskogee War Memorial Park.
Unfortunately, it was an outdoor exhibit, and the recent floods that hit Oklahoma hit the Batfish particularly hard. It basically destroyed the Batfish’s display platform, caused a whole bunch of damage to the hull, and extensive damage to the sub's interior. Now it’s all gotta be fixed, but museums aren’t exactly the most well-funded institutions in America.
Thus it falls to video games to save the day. Wargaming, the developers of World of Warships, are hosting a fundraising drive to help save the USS Batfish. A $10 donation will get you a collection of 8 in-game flags and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done your part to save a piece of American history.
As of the time of this article, 10,954 patches remain, so they've got a long way to go before they reach their funding goal of $150,000. Repairing a submarine is not cheap and requires sandblasting, painting, construction of a new platform, repairs to the interior, and relocating the entire sub to a spot that hasn't been degraded by floodwaters.
If you're not into World of Warships but you'd still like to help out, there's a GoFundMe page dedicated to the Batfish's preservation.
“Working to preserve these ships and their history is part of our mission to ensure future generations can fully understand and remember those who served,” said Ray Hazlip, Regional Publishing Producer at Wargaming “Our community has shown us how passionate they are about preserving naval history as two years ago they raised approximately $300,000 to restore the USS Texas.”
Will they raise the same amount to save the Batfish? Only time will tell.