Memorial Miniature Golf and Musuem: Hole 5 – Atlantic Blockade Presented by Sponsored by the My Mini Golf Scorecard Pro App

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Buda, Texas

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum: Hole 5 – Atlantic Blockade

Par 3

Hole 5 is sponsored by:

Taurus Auto Detailing

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest, and arguably most crucial battle of WWII for the Western Allies. From the first day of the war to the last, German U-Boats patrolled the seas from England to Japan searching for their merchant ship prey. When the United States joined the fray, her Navy was woefully unprepared to protect valuable supplies and troops on their way to aid the Allies. Knowing this lack of American preparation, the German Kriegsmarine (Navy) launched Operation Drumbeat in early 1942 and sent long-range U-Boats to patrol just off the American coast. Over 600 Allied ships were sunk during this period known as the “happy time” by U-Boat crewmen, and it appeared the Allies were losing the Battle against the U-Boats. However, thanks to gradual advances in sonar and radar technology, as well as the implementation of the Convoy System, the Allies began to lose fewer ships and sink the first of many German submarines.

The colomunation of the battle occurred in May 1943, termed “Black May” by the same submariners who once enjoyed the “happy time.”

In May 1943, over 70 German U-Boats were sunk or damaged while the Allies lost only 58 ships. Thanks to the Allies gaining both technological and numerical superiority at sea, after black May, the U-Boat threat of starving off supplies disappeared for good. With the threat of German U-Boats heavily diminished, the Allies could begin to embark on the first of their seaborne invasions of Nazi controlled territory…(continued on hole 6)

Key Word: Convoy – Convoys were used in order to protect merchant ships crossing hostile waters during WWII. The concept originated during WWI, and was used extensively by the British and Americans. These convoys consist of groups of ships that are often protected by destroyer escort vessels, and at times aircraft in order to minimize losses and deter U-Boats.  

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum

Rear Admiral John R. Waterman, United States Navy

John Randolph Waterman, born in New Orleans, LA in 1905, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1927 and initially worked for the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th, 1941, he was promoted and assigned to command the submarine U.S.S. Barb of Squadron 50. John McCain Jr. (Senator McCain’s father) was also a sub commander in the squadron.

Waterman’s first assignment was to the North Atlantic as part of a submarine force to counter German U-boats that were sinking Allied supply vessels, as requested by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1942. The U.S.S. Barb was a Gato-class submarine, 312 feet long with a top speed of 21 knots and a range of 11,000 nautical miles, a step up from the infamous German U-boat model VIIC.

Churchill’s initial request of countering German U-boats was scrubbed and Waterman was sent to sneak in five special operations Army rangers near the African coastline. Their mission was to set up a signal and radio station to call in Naval and Army Air Corps strikes for Operation Torch on November 7th, 1942. The target area was a small port near Casablanca. Waterman dropped the Rangers a few miles offshore but they miscalculated the currents, missing their target. Although unsuccessful, it showed the capability of Submarines for special operations and the Barb was one of the first vessels to engage in Operation Torch, patrolling and performing reconnaissance.

On October 6th, 1943, Waterman was transferred to the Pacific theatre stationed at Midway. On the Barb’s sixth mission Waterman requested Lt. Commander Fluckey to share duties. On that mission, the U.S.S. Barb scored its first sinking. Waterman was promoted to squadron leader and Commander Fluckey took over command of the Barb on May 21st, 1944. Fluckey earned the Medal of Honor, and sunk many Japanese vessels, including a carrier and saved floating Allied seamen. These actions earned the USS Barb the Presidential Unit Citation.

WW2 American submariners often get overlooked. Waterman is one example of the bravery, professionalism, and fortitude needed to keep the waters safe from Axis powers.

Waterman retired a Rear Admiral, serving the United States for over 22 years.

Rest in Peace,

Rear Admiral Waterman

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum

This hole is one of my favorites for the course. I like the design and the playability of it. You can go around in the water represented by the blue turf or shoot the ball up and out of a submarine periscope represented through white turf and tubing coming out of the ground.

The hole is placed in the crosshairs of a ship about to be sunk. Also a few 55 gallon drums are displayed to represent depth charges for another cool touch.

Also this hole houses a special plaque dedicated to Rear Admiral John R. Waterman. My dad was telling me that we were related to him through my grandfather’s family.

Mister Mini Golf Pro Tips

Go for the periscope but make sure to give it a good amount of power so it makes it out. It’s angled slightly right to account for the slope towards the hole!

ADA Accessibility Notes: ADA compliant pathways are installed to allow for 9 holes of accessible play.

For more details on course accessibility, always check in with a course you are visiting as they may be able to do additional accommodations. In addition, a great resource is the ADA Checklist for Miniature Golf Courses.

Check out the prior hole here:

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum: Hole 4 – Pearl Harbor

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum’s Page is located here:

Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum

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Happy Mini Golfing ⛳️

-Mister Mini Golf

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