MOBILE, Ala. – Sailors from Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island (LHD 8), located in Pascagoula, Miss., continued to work as extras in the upcoming film “USS Seaviper” at the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Ala., May 3.
Makin Island Sailors began helping restore the decommissioned USS Drum (SS 228), one of the oldest World War II era submarines, as a volunteer project in Nov. 2007 for use in the movie. With the restoration complete, the Sailors used their free time, after working hours, to fill minor roles as extra crew members aboard USS Seaviper.
Mighty Moments Motion Pictures began filming "USS Seaviper", which is being produced without official Navy support, on board Drum in April and left May 4. The producers will return in July to shoot a few remaining scenes aboard the submarine.
Actor Robb Maus, who plays executive officer Roitman, said the Makin Island Sailors have been a great asset to the crew.
“They’ve been fantastic, enduring long hours without complaining and not only are they serving as extras but also assisting however they’re needed. Everyday they’re here for the count,” said Maus.
“USS Seaviper” centers around a World War II submarine trapped below the ocean surface by a Japanese destroyer. The crew must find a way to deliver crucial information despite limited resources and a continuing power struggle among the Sub’s leadership.
Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jonathan Davis, who has spearheaded the volunteer effort from the beginning, has found it fascinating to be part of a movie crew.
“It’s been interesting observing the filming, being my first exposure to the process. I‘ve actually been able to provide input to the film crew and cast to help make the movie as accurate as possible,” said Davis. “Also, playing the part of a World War II Sailor as an extra in the movie has a kind of eerie effect like we’ve gone back in time.”
Following delivery to the Navy, Makin Island will be commissioned and homeported in San Diego.
Sailors, who are in their nine to 12-month negotiating window for orders and want to be part of the pre-commissioning command, can contact their rating detailer and ask to be released to the pre-commissioning detailer for further assignment to Makin Island. Makin Island currently has almost half of its 1,100-person crew.