MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Patriots Point Officials say it would’ve cost more than $10 million dollars to repair the submarine, and the decision they made to recycle the vessel costs $2 million. That tough decision was made back in March and Friday marked the beginning of its final voyage up the coast.

“Mixed emotions,” Bill Underwood, who served on the USS Clamagore from 1969 to 1972, said, “lots of mixed emotions. I hate seeing her like that.”

It was a day filled with emotion as the USS Clamagore set sail out of Patriots Point one last time.

“This is the final movement,” Patriots Point director of operations Mike Hastings said, “this is the last piece of the puzzle to move the Clamagore submarine from her berth at Patriots Point up to Norfolk, Virginia.”

The historic submarine was first commissioned in 1945 and was home to hundreds of sailors.

“I lived on there for three and a half years,” Underwood said. “During that time, she was my safe place, my home and my whole family was on there. I had 85 brothers and we were very, very close.”

During its thirty years of service, those aboard shared several memorable moments.

“Having birthdays and Christmases huddled in an area the size of a broom closet,” Hastings said. “Sharing books and playing card games with his friends. You can’t replace a bond like that.”

And other moments that weren’t as pleasant.

“We had fires happen,” Underwood said, “we had leaks happen, we got hit by a destroyer.”

But their strong connection to the vessel has never wavered through the years.

“I have not met a disgruntled or unhappy crewmember from the Clamagore,” Underwood said.

The Clamagore has been an exhibit at Patriots Point from 1981 until last year.

“We had several small leaks in a ballast tank,” Hastings said, “one of the main ballast tanks, and when you lose your ballast tank, that’s a sure indicator that you’re on your way to losing the boat.”

Now, the iconic submarine will be recycled and many are sad to see it go.

“She served her purpose here very well for many years,” Navy veteran George Patwaters said. “I have to admit I got a tear in my eye when she left.”

Patriots Point officials say there will be an exhibit aboard the USS Yorktown dedicated to the USS Clamagore.