East Texas business part of historic Pearl Harbor restoration

East Texas business part of historic Pearl Harbor restoration

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A locally-based company is lending a hand to a restoration project at Pearl Harbor.

Many people give little thought to pipes, and even less to clamps that hold them in place. But there is a company in Gregg County that specializes in just that, and they recently filled an order to help out a historic restoration project in Pearl Harbor.

The business owner says he never dreamed his pipe supports would have anything to do with something so big.

David Gillespie runs SAC Manufacturing and gets about 15 emails a day requesting his supports. Some he responds to, some he doesn't.

"And this one sort of intrigued my mind, because it was something that was interesting but I didn't know what it was about. So I started coordinating with the engineer that was doing them, and he finally told me it was for a restoration project at Pearl Harbor," Gillespie said.

He found out the dry docks, the same ones that had been hit in the Pearl Harbor attack were in bad shape and were being reworked,

"So I got choked up a little bit because it was pretty neat that they were going to be able to take something we make and put it up. And they had to match all the markings from the war on everything that we make. So they take one down, put all the marking on it and put the new support back up," Gillespie said, speaking about bullet holes or shrapnel marks that are on the old pipe supports that were in place on December 7, 1941 during the Japanese strike.

"They had to also restore the historical significance of it," Gillespie stated.

But the dry docks need to function so water can be drained from around ships for maintenance, thus the pipes.

"They serve a purpose that keeps the dry docks either sufficiently in with water, or that helps them take the water in and out," Gillespie explained.

The pipe supports have been in Hawaii for weeks, but remain in the crates because:

"Every time they get started on it there's a hurricane pointed right at them," Gillespie revealed.

When the weather looks good they'll get to his supports which are "American made, which is a requirement; stainless steel," Gillespie said.

He plans on taking a trip very soon to see his small part of future history bolted into place.

Gillespie says the restoration should take about six months to complete, and he hopes to pick up a little more clientele in Hawaii.

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