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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Web site dedicated to bringing tug home

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

The USS Hoga, the little tug that is tugging at the heartstrings and wallets of World War II buffs, now has a place on the Web, thanks to the tech know-how of a high school student.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the tug and its 11-man crew were credited with helping to push the heavily damaged USS Nevada to shallow water, preventing it from sinking and blocking the harbor's entrance.

It now sits mothballed at the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Suisan Bay, Calif.

The aim of the Friends of the Hoga, a nonprofit group active for some 15 years, has been to move the tug here and convert it into a floating museum alongside the Arizona Memorial.

Only about $5,000 in small donations has been raised toward the estimated $1 million needed for the project, said Friends president Frank McHale, although now there is hope that a federal grant could come through.

Meanwhile, there needed to be a repository of information available to supporters nationwide, so McHale approached Kalani High School teacher Ryan Kusuda.

The tech teacher found junior Jacob Schrum, who built a Web site — www20.brinkster.com/tughoga — that starts with a cool video intro (you need the free Flash plug-in to view that).

Jacob said he also created the site using "active server pages" technology, making it easier for McHale to update and for new members to sign up: It's a user-friendly and Friends-friendly site.

Correction: Jacob Schrum built the www20.brinkster.com/tughoga Web site. A previous version of this story gave an incorrect first name.