In South Toms River, N.J., the homestate to two submarine inventors, veterans are at work to add a fitting monument to an existing memorial sub torpedo. American Legion Post 517 member Robert Cloupe said two local United States Submarines Veterans, Inc. bases will add a black granite monument that lists each of the 65 American submarines lost.
The submarines lost through World War II will be etched on the front, those post-WWII on the back. Dolphins will crown the front of the statue as well. Below, two men entwined in the state and subs' history will be honored: John Holland, considered the father of Naval submarines, and Simon Lake, a submarine inventor who graduated from Toms River High School.
The back will also include a list of the names of submarine service and submarine rescue divers who are Medal of Honor recipients, which Cloupe said is a unique attribute.
The project honors WWII submarine veteran Harry Lang. It was his vision to see such a monument in New Jersey, Cloupe said, and he got the torpedo placed. Lack of funding kept the project from being finished before Lang passed away in 2014.
"After he passed away, I said let's get this thing done because I'm getting older. We're all getting older. ... This will be to honor him. He was a good friend of mine, and I want to make sure this gets done," Cloupe said.
Cloupe said he hopes to see the $8,000 memorial dedicated on Veterans Day 2015. For more information, to buy a granite stone in honor of a veteran or to make a donation, please contact (609) 693-1600.