Battleships


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TNGO
March 20, 2005, 08:17 PM
I got to visit a couple of BBs last week: the Wisconsin on Wednesday and the North Carolina on Friday. The approach to Wisconsin is striking; you're driving along in downtown Norfolk when suddenly this tremendous bow and six 16" guns are looming up ahead! Only the main deck is open to visitors, but the adjacent Nauticus museum has some fascinating battleship-related exhibits.

The North Carolina, while noticeably smaller than Wisconsin, is far more accessible. A large portion of the ship's interior is open to the public, including Turret II all the way down to the powder handling room and magazines. (In just one of the powder magazines, there were over 134 powder cans. Each can would hold three 90-pound powder bags. No wonder magazine explosions were so cataclysmic.)

A placard at the arms locker listed the small arms carried by the ship. 130 M1903 Springfields, along with lesser numbers of Browning machine guns, BARs, Thompsons, M1911s, etc.

To anyone visiting the Norfolk or Wilmington areas, I highly recommend these vessels.

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mmike87
March 20, 2005, 09:03 PM
I did the Wisconsin thing and concur it's very much a worthwhile stop.

Gifted
March 20, 2005, 09:08 PM
I hit the Missouri while in Hawaii. Not much of the ship was open to the public. If I ever get to that area, I'll have to stop by. One of the things I wanted most was to see the inside of the turret, and the breech of a 16-inch gun.

Vern Humphrey
March 20, 2005, 09:13 PM
The Olympia, in Philadelphia, has a rack of pristine Krag-Jorgensens.

capbuster
March 20, 2005, 11:27 PM
My wife and I made a visit to Mobile,Alabama last weekend to see the dead sea scrolls exhibit. From our hotel window we could see the battleship,U.S.S. Alabama.If you are in the area,you might include a tour of this ship. You will also find a WWII era submarine and several airplanes at the same location.

misANTHrope
March 20, 2005, 11:32 PM
I've been to see North Carolina at least four times, and to Wisconsin once. I have a real fondness for investigating old naval ships. I've also seen Massachusetts, a museum that also features, IIRC, a WWII-era sub and a Russian corvette, and toured Nautilus at Groton. But my favorite naval museum I've been to so far was in Patriot's Point- Charleston, SC. There, they have Yorktown, destroyer Laffey, submarine Clamagore, and Coast Guard cutter Ingham, all WWII-era. It's no hard task to spend an entire day there, most of it on Yorktown.

I also got to see USS Constitution in Boston the summer of 2003 while I was at Newport, RI for my Navy indoc. We visited Boston in uniform as a sponsored field trip, and there was an old destroyer there that had a few areas open for touring, but most of the ship was in the process of being restored. But some of the old-timers doing the restoration took us down to the engine room and lots of other "unfinished" areas, and we got tons of cool stories and such. That was a really rewarding experience.

There are still a lot of preserved ships out there for me to see... :D

SmershAgent
March 20, 2005, 11:38 PM
The Missouri and the Bowfin (a submarine) are well worth the time if you're near Pearl Harbor. I also recommend the USS Intrepid in NYC, although that's an aircraft carrier and not a battleship. The U-505 in Chicago is a must see for the WWII enthusiast; it's a real pity none of the German capital ships survived. The HMS Bellfast, a WW2 British cruiser, is anchored on the Thames, and they let you prowl through it just like over here.

My $0.02

robert garner
March 20, 2005, 11:42 PM
Took my son to the Alabama last year can see most all of the ship save the turrets and Boilers,the turbines tho are accesable.Fire conrol was as close to a computer as was possible boggled me at any rate!
Planes tanks submarine are all about but the biggest giggle?
Sam wanted his picture with a "big bullet" (you gotta realize theres WW11 navy boys about ready and willing to give Historical perspective!)Well go stand in front of the bullet boy!
Such a GLARE, from a vet you never saw,Course son in the Navy you gotta call them Shells! Grins from the Swabby! Cool!
Any vets read this,from any war,
Thanks

Mauserguy
March 21, 2005, 12:40 AM
capbuster, my dad was on that submarine during the war. It is the SS228, USS Drum. He goes to the reunion every couple of years.
Mauserguy

enfield
March 21, 2005, 08:37 AM
If you're passing thru Houston, stop and see the USS Texas, BB-48. A large part of the ship is open to tours, including below-decks.

GreenFurniture
March 21, 2005, 08:46 AM
I toured the North Carolina when I was a kid ('bout 1977 or so) toured the Yorktown (and all the rest) three years ago but had to cut it short since our BATFE interview was happening two days early, and had the pleasure of going on a "family cruise" aboard the Destroyer Peterson when I was 16.

Rockrivr1
March 21, 2005, 08:50 AM
I love going through these old ships. You can just feel the history when you tour them. If anyone ever gets up to the Massachussetts area, you have to stop into Battleship Cove. The USS Massachusetts (BB-59) in anchored there along with a Destroyer, Submarine and a PT Boat. The Massachussetts is pretty wide open and you can tour just about the whole ship. Great time.

I'm planning a trip to San Diego this year as I really want to see the USS Midway that has opened up there. I was stationed on her many years ago and I already know the areas I want to see when onboard. Hopefully they will be open. If not, I may want to think of bringing a small bolt cutter with me to get into locked areas. Hummmm, :rolleyes:

RoyG
March 21, 2005, 09:04 AM
Need to make it over to Wilmington and go on the North Carolina. Many years ago I took my kids to see Battleship Cove in MA. They were very young and none of them remember it. The ex has the pictures.

LeonCarr
March 21, 2005, 09:34 AM
The USS Texas is BB-35. On the tour you get to just about see every part of the ship. Part of the movie Pearl Harbor was filmed on board.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

TNGO
March 21, 2005, 09:45 AM
The North Carolina is supposed to be towed to a Norfolk drydock for hull restoration "no earlier than 2007, and more probably after 2010", according to the website.

Some interesting exhibits at Nauticus:

A '69 Volkswagen suspended next to a 16" projectile, demonstrating the weight similarity.

A section of the muzzle end of a 16" rifle from USS South Dakota, sister ship to Alabama and Massachusetts.

A section of riveted, layered armor that had been pierced by a large-caliber shell in a USN test.

priv8ter
March 21, 2005, 09:55 AM
I've been to Battleship Cove to see the USS Massachussets. I also remember for Seafair one year the USS Iowa pulled into Seattle. It was before I was as into firearms as I am now, and I remember what impressed me most was the beautiful teak decks. Those sailors had to put some elbow grease into maintaining those.

As for submarines, I got to reenlist in the Engine Room on the USS Nautilus, and see some things you don't get to see on the usual tour. And I went to Baltimore once, and toured the USS Torsk, the last sub to ship a Japanese ship during WWII.

The two things that impressed me the most were: The conditions the old time sub guys were able to put up with(No ice cream machines or plasma TV's!!!!) and how much of the equipment looked the same. I was on the USS Seawolf, and a lot of things just looked the same! Same sound powered phones and jacks, same coffee pots, the TDU(Trash Disposal Unit) looked the same. It was just kind of scary.

greg

dasmi
March 21, 2005, 10:08 AM
I'm planning a trip to San Diego this year as I really want to see the USS Midway that has opened up there. I was stationed on her many years ago and I already know the areas I want to see when onboard. Hopefully they will be open. If not, I may want to think of bringing a small bolt cutter with me to get into locked areas.

I volunteer on the Midway sometimes. Which areas would you like to see? I can tell you whats open, and what isn't.

280PLUS
March 21, 2005, 10:55 AM
What a co-inkydink...

http://www.hnsa.org/index.htm

Rockrivr1
March 21, 2005, 11:22 AM
Hi Dasmi. There are many many places on board that I would love to show my family when we go. The three top ones would be the berthing area that's right below the #2 arresting cable. Also, there are two work areas that I would love to see again. The first is on the port side aft two decks above where the laundry room was and the second is right off the flight deck. It's midship port side right were the landing lights are. There are two dead end compartments in there. One was used by the blue shirts and the other was used by my squadron for the plane captains. A lot of history for me in those areas.

dasmi
March 21, 2005, 11:39 AM
Hmm, I don't think any of those spaces are open. But, when you're going to be in town, PM me. I might be able to get you in there, or find someone who can. When the meseum first opened, we had a problem with old Midway sailors busting open hatches to get down below to where they used to work. One group of guys got several decks down and forward in pitch black, using only a lighter to see with.
As for what is open, Flight deck, hangar deck, the mess directly below the hangar deck, not sure what its called, the galley on that deck, the machine shops and post office that are on that mess deck, the berthing space directly forward of the hangar deck, the flight deck is open, pri-fly, captain's bridge, captain's at sea cabin, chart room, and sick bay. The liquid oxygen plant is open, the SINS(Ship's internal navigation system) room is open, LSO platform and fresnel lens exhibits are open, the Foc'sle is open, Junior Officers quarters, and one engine room and boiler are open, I can't recall which. Also, we have the following aircraft on board, with more coming soon:
SNJ Texan, A-4C Skyhawk, F-14 Tomcat, A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair, F-4S Phantom, E-2C Hawkeye, UH-1 Huey, SH-2 Seasprite, C-1A Trader, T-2C Buckeye, S-3 Viking, F-4N Phantom, SH-3 Seaking, and a H-46 Seaknight.

I highly recommend the tour. The museum docents are all really great guys, and love to tell stories and answer questions. When you come on board, you'll recieve an audio headset, that guides you around the ship, if you want it, or you can walk around and do a self-guided tour for as long as you like. The museum also has some pretty cool flight simulators on the hangar deck. I believe they are bringing some restored ordinance aboard for an exhibit soon as well. For up to date information, check out the forum on cv41.org.



Hope this helps.

UPDATE:
I just checked, the brig is opening soon, as are some ready rooms. The engine room that is open is number 3, and main engineering is also open.

Hkmp5sd
March 21, 2005, 12:14 PM
There are only two types of ships: Submarines and Targets.

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D

MarkDido
March 21, 2005, 12:15 PM
Hi Dasmi. There are many many places on board that I would love to show my family when we go. The three top ones would be the berthing area that's right below the #2 arresting cable. Also, there are two work areas that I would love to see again. The first is on the port side aft two decks above where the laundry room was and the second is right off the flight deck. It's midship port side right were the landing lights are. There are two dead end compartments in there. One was used by the blue shirts and the other was used by my squadron for the plane captains. A lot of history for me in those areas.

Heheh it would be so much more realistic if they could experience the sound of a Tomcat catching the #3 wire, and the subsequent whine of the #3 arresting gear engine. My berthing compartment on IKE was on the O-3 under #3 wire.

Funny thing, after about 2 days of flex-deck ops, you don't even hear it anymore. Never had a problem going to sleep

MarkDido
March 21, 2005, 12:18 PM
Quote:
There are only two types of ships: Submarines and Targets.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Gotta admit, surface ships are no match for a stealthy nuke.

Unless of course the Seahawks get into the picture.

The next sound you hear is the high-pitched whine of a MK-46 ADCAP screw!

Oops, got my torpedos mixed up :)

MarkDido
March 21, 2005, 12:20 PM
Quote:
There are only two types of ships: Submarines and Targets.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Gotta admit, surface ships are no match for a stealthy nuke.

Unless of course the Seahawks get into the picture.

The next sound you hear is the high-pitched whine of a MK-46 Mod 5 screw!

dasmi
March 21, 2005, 12:21 PM
oh, all this talk of touring ships reminds me, if you're every in Long Beach, CA, check out this Foxtrot class Russian sub that is now a museum. Right next to the Queen Mary. I toured the sub recently, very interesting.

http://russiansublongbeach.com/

dasmi
March 21, 2005, 12:27 PM
Just remembered another great tour I've taken. http://www.lanevictory.org/

If you're ever in San Pedro, CA, tour the Lane Victory.
I toured her when she was in San Diego, and this was by far the best ship tour I've been on. The crew is great, and the ship is wide open to visitors. I spent an hour talking to an old merchant marine about how to operate the 5 inch gun, and what is wrong with politicians these days. Then I went down to the engine room, and spent another hour or two being instructed on the operation of a steam turbine by a grizzly engineer. The ship is fully operational, and is crewed by retired navy and merchant marines. Basically, its a big playground for these guys. It was great fun :)
They also do cruises from San Pedro, and let you go up and visit the bridge and engine room during the cruise. They serve a nice lunch, have live music, and have mock air attacks from vintage aircraft.

Nathanael_Greene
March 21, 2005, 01:10 PM
And don't forget the Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Rico567
March 21, 2005, 02:08 PM
When we toured the Wisconsin, we were told that the reason visitors are confined to the main deck only is because the ship is actually still U.S. Navy property, and is kept in condition to be recommissioned and put on active duty again. Given the Tomahawk launchers and all the other remodeling done to her, I can understand why. We've been aboard on several trips to Norfolk; on one of them the Coast Guard bark Eagle was in port, and we really enjoyed that visit- she was built for the German navy, but became a prize of war.

jlwatts3
March 21, 2005, 02:25 PM
When I was about 10 I toured the Missouri. She was in LA on her way to Pearl Harbor. Very cool. I was entranced by the huge deck guns. Never been the same since. ;)

kfranz
March 21, 2005, 02:25 PM
Patriots Point near Charlseton is a worthwhile stop as well... :)

cls12vg30
March 21, 2005, 03:08 PM
I love touring naval ships, of any age or type. I think my favorite part is the smell, they invariably are permeated by a unique mixture of the smells of oil and paint. That smell always resurrects memories from when I was a very small child, going to see my Dad aboard the submarine tender Canopus.
I've seen the North Carolina several times, never taken the time to go aboard. Perhaps this summer, my brother is probably going to be moving to the Wilmington area so I'm sure I'll be spending more time there. I also toured the Yorktown at Patriot's Point in Charleston back around 1996.

By far the ships I have spent the most time on are the guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock (CL-92, later CLG-4), the destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD-537) and the submarine USS Croaker (SS-246, later SSK-246).

These three ships are located at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, in downtown Buffalo, right near where Lake Erie end and the Niagara River begins. (Don't worry, the water is calm. The Falls are a good 25 miles upstream.) This is the largest inland park of its kind in the US.

The Little Rock was a heavy cruiser in WWII, about 600-700 feet long, that was upgraded in the 60s with a launcher and radar systems for giant SAM's, I can't remember what they were but they had to have been 40 feet long. The Sullivans is a rather famous ship, named after the five Sullivan brothers who perished on the USS Indianopolis. The ship was featured in the movie about the brothers. The Croaker was a WWII submarine which was later updated with a new "sail"-type conning tower and other gear to make it one of the early-generation hunter-killer subs.

When I was younger we would do a weekend sleepover (in the enlisted racks) on the Little Rock every year with the Boy Scouts. We would maintain "fire watches" throughout the night (with the help of real Navy Coffee for the older guys and real "bug juice" for the younger.) In the morning we had the run of the park, that early it was usually pretty empty. I remember the rotator and elevation cranks still worked on the 20mm AA emplacements on the Sullivans, you could climb up there and swing it around, take aim on the downtown buildings, it was great.

Besides the ships, the Park also boasted nice examples of the F86 Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, P-39 Airacobra, M48 tank, a PT Boat, and a host of other exhibits. I highly recommend it for any naval or military history fan that is going to be travelling to or near Buffalo. (Hint: Do it in the summer.)

enfield
March 21, 2005, 03:41 PM
Yup, I got my BB's mixed up -- good catch. BB-48 was the WeeVee.

Bridger
March 21, 2005, 03:49 PM
^^ I remember the smell too! Many trips to the Intrepid in NYC. I remember aiming the .50 cals at the city and boats on the Hudson too heh

They also have a submarine and destroyer I think. The sub has one of the earliest nuclear cruise missiles on board. Wish I had a more enthusiastic tour guide the last time I went though, he basically just read a script and rushed us through.

itgoesboom
March 21, 2005, 05:12 PM
Probably the coolest thing I have ever gotten to do was go out to an aircraft carrier during training, just before the start of the war in Iraq. I don't think I will ever be able to tour a ship after that, it just won't equal it.

Only spent 24 hours onboard, but it was a blast getting to photograph the ship, the crewmen, and the airops.

Not to mention the butt kicking that is the catapult launch. :what:

I.G.B.

Selfdfenz
March 21, 2005, 06:27 PM
Not sure how they all came to be where they are but back in the 60's (or was it the late 50's) when they were about to scrape the NC there was a big fund raiser at school to buy her. I gave about every cent I had on the chance I might get to see her someday.

Either the year they pulled her in at Wilmington or the following one I went aboard. Same year I think. Things were very "temporary". You could go some places and not others but you could go a lot more places then than you can now. Amazing and amazingly smelly.
Alot of the AA would crank then but its locked now.

What a deal we got.

On another note I heard today someone located one of the Japanese I 400 class subs near Hawaii. On the bottom of course. I am hoping Nat. Geo. will dive on it if it's not too deep or rusted. Remarkable boats. Giant, different, doomsday boats.

S-

Parker Dean
March 21, 2005, 09:12 PM
For anyone considering dropping in on the Texas, keep in mind they offer periodic Hardhat Tours. It's an all day thing, and you get to areas not normally available. Oh, it's called hardhat tour for a reason so dress and equip accordingly. November/January tours recommended. NO CLIMATE CONTROL= damn hot most of the time.

http://www.usstexasbb35.com/hard-hat-tours.htm

Old NFO
March 21, 2005, 09:23 PM
The three top ones would be the berthing area that's right below the #2 arresting cable. Also, there are two work areas that I would love to see again. The first is on the port side aft two decks above where the laundry room was and the second is right off the flight deck. It's midship port side right were the landing lights are. There are two dead end compartments in there. One was used by the blue shirts and the other was used by my squadron for the plane captains. A lot of history for me in those areas.

Same thing for us on Coral Sea Rock... I took what little of the Midway tour I could a couple of weeks ago. Ended up being a "partial" tour guide to a bunch of folks from Phillips- They had no idea about the flight deck, so I kinda walked 'em through a normal deck op from launch to recovery. They just could not get over lauching in 250 feet and recovering in 400+ feet. On the Coral Sea, our compartment would get up to about 130 degrees because of the steam leaks- I spent many a night in the chain locker at the base of the island, chain bags aren't a bad bed after about a week of rolling ops :rolleyes:

I was lucky enough to get onboard USS New Jersey when she was still an active ship of the line- VERY impressive!!! :D

crucible
March 21, 2005, 09:34 PM
I love touring naval ships, of any age or type. I think my favorite part is the smell, they invariably are permeated by a unique mixture of the smells of oil and paint.

Exactly! I love touring old warships for that very reason, well, and of course all the history associated with it. Something about the common things such as smell, sight and touch of these historic treasures makes the history behind them more real to me than any book could ever do-as much as I love books.

I first had a tour aboard the USS North Carolina when I was a boy, and have been on her numerous times since. (At the grand old age of 8, I "manned" one of her 40mm guns. Moving it around and looking though the site just as the men who used that very weapon to shoot at Japanese dive bombers did gave me more of a history lesson than did much of my public school education.)

They were doing some restoration work to her the last time I was there a couple years ago, and were selling pieces of her original teak decking (2+ inches thick!) that they were having to replace to help raise money for it. I of course bought one, and I picked out one that had a nice gauge in it because it makes it that much more interesting to me: what caused it-a dropped box of anti-aircraft shells during an attack? A piece of shrapnel? A clumsy seaman? Who knows. Regardless however, it's that very real piece of history that was 'been there-done that' that I can hold in my hands that exemplifies why I love history to begin with-real men like me and you actually did and experienced those things, and in some small way though them, I can get a bit closer to knowing, experiencing and appreciating it all for what it is(was) moreso than any other medium.

Chris

4v50 Gary
March 21, 2005, 10:08 PM
I've been aboard the Iowa when they were active. Love them.

If you're in Charleston, the Carrier Yorktown is there.

Here on the West Coast we've got the USS Hornet in Alameda (Essex Class like the Yorktown), liberty ship Jeremiah O'Brien, USS Pampanito (fleet class sub). There's also the tall ship Balcutha and the schooner Alma which are open to the public (National Park Service). Also the automobile ferryboat Eureka (with old cars too) is open and on display in San Francisco. Support a ship. Visit it.

Old NFO
March 22, 2005, 11:01 PM
I'm up in Newport, RI right now, and it's really sad to look out on the bay at the base and see the USS Forrestal and USS America sitting tied up and basically abandoned. They've been stripped of the upper works (Radars etc.) and just sit there rusting. They are going to sink America and it appears the Forrestal may become a museum... sigh... Guess I'm gettin old :banghead:

dasmi
March 22, 2005, 11:05 PM
I'm glad they are making the Forrestal into a museum. I hate to see old naval vessels scrapped or sunk, theres just so much history there.

shep854
March 22, 2005, 11:21 PM
At least America will go down serving her country. The plan is to use her for a target to see how well the big carriers resist damage. this could save American lives. I'd far rathers see them sunk with some dignity than go to the breakers.

I still regret that the USS Enterprise, CV-6, couldn't be saved. My father served in her in 1942, and was wounded at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, part of the Guadalcanal campaign. Would I have loved to be able to walk her decks! It is like what I expereinced when I got to climb on an SBD Dauntless dive bomber recently. He flew in those as a gunner. Even though he's gone, I felt very close to him.

Then again, maybe Dad had the right idea. Once,I mentioned this to him, but he retorted that it was better that she was scrapped, than to be dishonored by having long-haired, draft-dodging hippies crawl around on her.

misANTHrope
March 23, 2005, 01:19 AM
I'm up in Newport, RI right now, and it's really sad to look out on the bay at the base and see the USS Forrestal and USS America sitting tied up and basically abandoned. They've been stripped of the upper works (Radars etc.) and just sit there rusting. They are going to sink America and it appears the Forrestal may become a museum... sigh... Guess I'm gettin old

I may be mistaken, but when I was at Newport two summers ago, I could have sworn that the other carrier was Saratoga, not America. According to www.navsource.org, that's the case, and America is currently in PA. Navsource also says that as of April 2004, the Navy made Forrestal available for use as an artificial reef, but Saratoga is on hold for museum donation.

Trebor
March 23, 2005, 01:31 AM
By far the ships I have spent the most time on are the guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock (CL-92, later CLG-4), the destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD-537) and the submarine USS Croaker (SS-246, later SSK-246).

These three ships are located at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, in downtown Buffalo, right near where Lake Erie end and the Niagara River begins. (Don't worry, the water is calm. The Falls are a good 25 miles upstream.) This is the largest inland park of it's kind in the US.

My dad served on the U.S.S Galveston, sister ship to the Little Rock. The Galveston was the first ship with the Talos missle system. My dad came with us on a trip to visit my mother-in-law a few years back and we spent several hours on the Little Rock. He especially liked going through the Talos missle spaces since they were extremely restricted when he was on the Galveston. There were Nuke warheads available for those missles and they WERE carried in the 60's when he was aboard.

I had a private tour of the U.S.S. Missouri conducted by the then head of the (museum ship's) engineering department. It was for an article I hoped to sell. He took us down to spaces that were still closed off to the public like the main Fire Control room and "Broadway" and the "Truman Line" mess and many of the engineering and berthing spaces. Some of those spaces may be open to the public by now, but I'm sure the majority of the ship is still off limits. There's just too much room and not enough money and resources to restore everything.

The big BB's may still technically be Navy property, but they will never be recalled to active service. Without a full-time crew the ships deteroriated rapidly during the relatively short time they were mothballed for the last time. The volunteers for the museum organizations have their hands full just keeping them afloat and safe to tour. The general deterioration and the modifications done for the tours (handicap access and asbestos/hazmat removal, for example) have pretty much eliminated the ability to return the ships to "combat ready" status. The cost would probably be two or even three times what the last restoration to combat ready status cost. Not to mention the fact that one of the reasons they retired the ships for the last time was the difficulty the Navy had in crewing them. Those old ships were very labor intensive and many of the skills were now unique to those ships only. Not much call for Gunner's Mates trained in the 16" guns in the rest of the Navy.

Trebor
March 23, 2005, 01:39 AM
I forgot to mention: I grew up a couple hours outside Chicago so I've been on the U-505 more times then I can count. I've also been on the Interpid in NYC and it's companion ships (and sub) and on the other ships in the Naval Park in Buffalo. I still need to get to the U.S.S Silversides sub here in Michigan.

The only active duty ships I've been on were the Kitty Hawk in San Diego a few years back and the U.S.S Constitution two years ago. I got some good pics on the Constitution.

Oh, yeah, I toured the H.M.S. Belfast too. I had no idea it was there and the first time I saw it on the Thames I was like,"Whoah! What's that doing there!"

Trebor
March 23, 2005, 01:53 AM
The two things that impressed me the most were: The conditions the old time sub guys were able to put up with(No ice cream machines or plasma TV's!!!!) and how much of the equipment looked the same. I was on the USS Seawolf, and a lot of things just looked the same! Same sound powered phones and jacks, same coffee pots, the TDU(Trash Disposal Unit) looked the same. It was just kind of scary.

My grandfather served on a light cruiser in the Pacific in WWII. He was still in the Naval reserve when my dad joined the Naval Reserve in the 60's. They'd often drive to drill together.

My dad told me that in a *lot* of ways he served in essentially the same Navy my grandfather had served on in the war. Aside from the nuke powered carriers and subs, much (most?) of the 1960's Navy was made up of WWII ships in various stages of upgrade. The ships were the same, the engineering plants were the same, the majority of the equipment was the same and the procedures were the same. A lot of the senior chiefs and officers my dad served with in the Reserves were WWII vets. These guys were doing the same things on essentially the same ships in the '60s that they'd done in WWII 20 years earlier.

Dad always felt that if they could have taken one of those 1960's era Navy ships back to WWII they wouldn't have had any problem crewing it up with WWII era sailors. (The exception being the Nuke boats). You couldn't do the same thing today.

MarkDido
March 23, 2005, 07:50 AM
I forgot to mention: I grew up a couple hours outside Chicago so I've been on the U-505 more times then I can count.

The gentleman who captured the U-505 was Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

Gallery wrote several absolutely hilarious books about the Navy after his retirement. "Cap'n Fatso" and "Stand By To Start Engines" are two of his funniest. He also wrote a serious novel called "The Brink" about a nuclear standoff between a Soviet and American ship. He has written other books, just can't remember them off the top of my head.

The USS "The Gallery's" is named in honor of him and his 2 brothers, both of whom also rose to the rank of Admiral. The fourth "black sheep" brother became a Catholic priest.

Funny reading if you can find copies. It was Admiral Dan and my dad's influence (WWII bubblehead) that prompted me to launch my glorious 23 year naval career! :)

captain obvious
March 23, 2005, 09:10 AM
The most interesting ship I've ever toured was, without question, the Imperial Russian crusier Aurora, in St. Petersburg. Historical value aside, the ship wasn't too spectacular - it survived the Russo-Japanese war from what seemed more like luck to me than anything else, and it seem notably underarmed - but the manner in which the tour (or lack thereof) was conducted was. I don't really recall any tour guides with our group - we (I was on a 6th Grade field trip) basically were unleashed on the ship and allowed to go anwhere we could reach. Not too many museum ships stateside seem to be like that. I recall HMS Belfast being a bit more lax, but not as much as the Aurora.

cls12vg30
March 23, 2005, 10:19 AM
He especially liked going through the Talos missle spaces since they were extremely restricted when he was on the Galveston. There were Nuke warheads available for those missles and they WERE carried in the 60's when he was aboard.

That was it, the Talos system. Thanks for that. I was always amazed that those two huge missiles on the fantail of the Little Rock were anti-aircraft missiles. I believe they were actually multi-stage IIRC. As I recall they were intended to take down Soviet Bombers, and yes I do recall learning that they could be equipped with nuke warheads. I also recall learning that every time they fired one (never fired in action, of course), they had to re-paint most of the fantail.

Another funny thing I remember is the first time I toured the Little Rock with my Dad, who was an Electrician's Mate I believe, he was in for about 7 years, from about 1972-1980. Being an enlisted man, he always seemed a little uneasy when we were touring "Officer's Country". Old habits die hard, I guess.

GunWares
March 23, 2005, 10:39 AM
Interesting thread, but how come it wasn't locked for not being firearms related? :p

George S.
March 23, 2005, 11:13 AM
I toured the USS Missouri a number of time when it was moored at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA. The Missouri was next to the USS New Jersey. That was quite a sight to see two Iowa-class battleships at the same dock!

At the time the Missouri was here, tours were open to the public. You could walk out to the bow on the main deck, walk around the the Number One Maiin Gun Turret, and go up to the "Surrender Deck" where the Japanese surrender ceremony took place. There was a recording playing of part of the ceremony where McArthur read his closing speech. Very strange feeling to stand there next to the brass plaque on the deck that marked the location of the signing table and listen to the recording!

The Captain's In-port Cabin was open as was the Officer's Wardroom so you could walk thru and get some sort of idea what the ship was like.

From what I have read, the now "Ex-Missouri" and the three other battleships are no longer carried on the rolls and they have been all gutted to the extent that they could not be put back into commission.

cgv69
March 23, 2005, 12:15 PM
I been to both the USS Yorktown museum (Charleston) and the USS Intrepid museum (NYC). Both where very cool but I have yet to see a battleship up close.

The sub at the Yorktown museum confirmed something I already knew. There is no way in hell you would ever get to do sub duty!

I'm more of a plane guy as I still think the AF museum in Dayton is the coolest one I've been to. Someday, one way or another, I will make it to the Smithsonian in DC!

Parker Dean
March 23, 2005, 12:39 PM
Interesting thread, but how come it wasn't locked for not being firearms deleted?

What, battleships don't have guns? :)

TNGO
March 23, 2005, 01:21 PM
the five Sullivan brothers who perished on the USS Indianopolis.

The Sullivan brothers served on USS Juneau.

Someday, one way or another, I will make it to the Smithsonian in DC!

The Air & Space Museum annex at Dulles airport (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center) has a nice collection of aircraft cannon and MGs. Along with an Arado Ar-234, P-47, Fw-190, the Enola Gay, the Dash-80 Boeing 707 prototype, and many other famous aircraft.

Old NFO
March 23, 2005, 09:45 PM
I may be mistaken, but when I was at Newport two summers ago, I could have sworn that the other carrier was Saratoga, not America.

Oops, you're right Misanthrope- My bad... I had just come from a meeting discussing the plan for USS America and crossed the wires... My one and only carrier was Coral Sea, and when I flew I had a little cheater card with the names.numbers of ours... :D I spent all my time learing the bad guys cues, weaps, ranges, etc... Boy do I feel dumb... :banghead:

For a gun thread- the armoury on the ships is fairly extensive, especially on carriers, as they store not only the Marine Det's weaps, but also the boat crews, airdales, M-60's from the helo's etc. Quite a set of toys!

Trebor
March 23, 2005, 11:37 PM
I was always amazed that those two huge missiles on the fantail of the Little Rock were anti-aircraft missiles. I believe they were actually multi-stage IIRC. As I recall they were intended to take down Soviet Bombers, and yes I do recall learning that they could be equipped with nuke warheads. I also recall learning that every time they fired one (never fired in action, of course), they had to re-paint most of the fantail.

The Talos system used a solid rocket booster to launch the missle. After launch they were propelled by a ramjet. The missles are out of service now but, interestingly enough, they were more capable then their replacements. The Talos had a over 50 mile range and reached speeds in excess of Mach 1.

They were used in action. The U.S.S. Long Beach shot down a North Vietnamese MiG with one during the Vietnam war.

(There's also an unconfirmed story that the Galveston shot down a SOVIET MiG that got too close to a carrier group around 1968 or so. That one may or may not have happened)

Trebor
March 23, 2005, 11:41 PM
The gentleman who captured the U-505 was Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

Gallery wrote several absolutely hilarious books about the Navy after his retirement. "Cap'n Fatso" and "Stand By To Start Engines" are two of his funniest. He also wrote a serious novel called "The Brink" about a nuclear standoff between a Soviet and American ship. He has written other books, just can't remember them off the top of my head.

Yep, I've always had an interest in him after reading about his plan to capture a U-Boat that resulted in the capture of the U-505. I have his books "Now Hear This" and "U-505." I had a third book, but I can't think of the title right now myself. I'll have to look for a copy of "The Brink."

Hkmp5sd
March 24, 2005, 12:07 AM
Another good vessel to visit is the C.S.S. Hunley (http://www.hunley.org/) in Charleston, SC.

Pappy John
March 24, 2005, 12:45 AM
Interesting thread, but how come it wasn't locked for not being firearms deleted?
http://www.bb62museum.org/images/8406362.jpg

Howzat for firearms related?:p

dasmi
March 24, 2005, 12:52 AM
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/iowa/ia-1984guns.jpg

http://www.gnt.net/~wright/1bb61.jpg

Or that

Hkmp5sd
March 24, 2005, 12:56 AM
Submarines can bite too! Just one little torpedo... :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/73.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/74.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/75.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/76.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/77.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/78.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/79.jpg

SkyDaver
March 24, 2005, 01:03 AM
The Panama Canal web site has some pictures of the USS New Jersey when it was being towed out to the West Coast.

http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html

Husker1911
March 24, 2005, 01:21 AM
I'm terribly envious of all these posts. I live in the Omaha area, not too many ship museums here. (Hey, a WWII sub and a minesweeper). However, we have a kick a$$ Strategic Air Command museum, with an SR-71 banking overhead within the walls of the museum. The gunstore I manage is in Bellevue, home of Offutt AFB, where Air Force 1 landed 9/11/01.

Old NFO
March 24, 2005, 10:41 PM
Hey, don't forget us bubbleheads....

Good pics Hkmp5sd, was that a 37 or a 48? Of course you had to have the pics taken by an Airdale You guys couldn't see that far....:D

shep854
March 24, 2005, 10:55 PM
Hkmp5sd, the target ship looks like a Brit Leander-class frigate. Any idea what it was? It sure doesn't look like a US design.

A torpedo tube could be considered a pneumatic/hydraulic gun. THERE! Now it's gun-related! :D :rolleyes:

Hkmp5sd
March 24, 2005, 11:44 PM
It was a Mk. 48 fired from a British submarine at a former British target. No idea what type of target it used to be.

cls12vg30
March 25, 2005, 12:04 AM
Wow! Great pics! They better not lock this thread, it's one of the more interesting in recent memory...

Another good vessel to visit is the C.S.S. Hunley in Charleston, SC.

Didn't Clive Cussler have a hand in locating and raising the Hunley? Or am I thinking of the Monitor? I'm surprised the Hunley is on display already, it can't be more than 5 years ago that they raised her.....


The Sullivan brothers served on USS Juneau.

You are correct, sir. You know as I was typing that, I was thinking they were on the Indianapolis, but the timeline wasn't working out right in my head, since the Indianopolis was sunk shortly before the Japanese surrender (having just delivered an atomic bomb to Tinian), and I'm pretty sure the Sullivans perished earlier on, early enough for their namesake ship to see action in that war, which I'm pretty sure I remember it did.

Thanks for clearing up the cobwebs in my memory.

shep854
March 25, 2005, 08:18 AM
I was wondering, since the paint looked like USN.

[Obligatory gun reference] Do they make those in a CCW version? [/obligatory gun reference] :scrutiny:

AirForceShooter
March 25, 2005, 08:32 AM
I got you all beat.
I was on the New Jersey when it fired a complete broadside.
The Captain was fully aware he was probably the last man in the US Navy that would ever get the chance and took full advantage of it.
I've been close , very close, to B-52 strikes and this broadside was lot's more. It was incredible and the smile on the Captains face was something to behold.
When the guns were fired the whole ship moved.
And you know how they say you can see the round leaving the barrel. You Can. I know it's an optical illusion but it seems the shell comes out of the Barrel and just hangs in the air and then ZIP off it goes. Smoke , fire, lots of noise. And you just know at the other end hell is arriving very fast.
I'm Air Force but that day I loved the Navy.

AFS

280PLUS
March 25, 2005, 09:11 AM
Here's another link for you. The passing of another great ship. The only one in the fleet named after a Civil War hero. The name has been retired for political correctness I hear. The first of her name was the same ship the Brits packed full of explosives and rammed the drydock doors at St. Nazaire. DDG-14 was the third Buchanan. Destroyers had guns too. Just not quite as big.

http://sinkex.uss-buchanan-ddg14.org/

BTW it turned out my old XO was COMNAVSURFPAC complete with 3 stars when this went on. I emailed him and asked him to please drop something big on her for me. To this day I claim that GBU-24 as MY BOMB!

:D

Hkmp5sd
March 25, 2005, 11:59 AM
Didn't Clive Cussler have a hand in locating and raising the Hunley? Or am I thinking of the Monitor? I'm surprised the Hunley is on display already, it can't be more than 5 years ago that they raised her.....
Yep, that's the one. They are still working on it, but giving tours on Saturdays.

roo_ster
March 25, 2005, 12:07 PM
Ya'll are whetting my appetite to see some navy ships

********

I've only ever visited two ships.

The first was a Russkie guided missile sub located in St Pete, Florida. (It was hte one butchered in the filming of that Harrison Ford sub movie. Sadly, that butchering ruined it for exhibitions.)

I determined that I would not have done well on a sub (6', currently 275#). It was a really cool example of that early missile technology. The sub had to surface, raise a portion of the bow up to expose the missiles, which were in two 15deg tubes, and then fire them

Also, the exterior surface of the sub was covered in this tire-like rubber riveted to the outer hull.

******

The other ship was the USS Cairo at Vicksburg, MS. It is an iron-clad river ship the Union used to control the Mississippi.
http://www.nps.gov/vick/cairo/cairo.htm

13 big guns, to include a 32 pounder Woof, woof!!

****

oneshooter
March 26, 2005, 01:13 AM
USS Texas,BB-35
Commissioned 1914
10ea-14"/45cal in 5 twin turrents
4ea-5"/45cal single hull mounts (1945)
Several "Firsts"
First USN BB to launch aircraft from a turrent platform (1919)
First USN BB to carry radar (1939)
First USN BB to have refridgerated air (1926)
First USN BB to show "talkie"movies (1927)
First Marine Division "Read in" on board (1941)
First battleship Memorial in the nation (1948)
National Historic Landmark
National Historic Engeneering Landmark ( Triple Expanding Steam Engines,the largest ever put in a Battleship,21,300hp each)
Only surviving "Dreadnought Class" BB left
Served in the Atlantic, African, and Pacific campaigns
Earned 5 Battle Stars in WW2

TNGO
March 26, 2005, 02:28 AM
I visited the Texas three years ago. I'm glad someone had the foresight to preserve a WW I-era battleship. It's a cryin' shame that BB-43 wasn't saved!

The Tennessee, New Mexico and Colorado-class BBs, with their clipper bows, were very handsome ships, especially after their WW II modernizations.

Tory
March 26, 2005, 08:40 AM
"...5 twin turrents...a turrent platform"

Obviously not a typo.

There is "tOrrent" and "Current;" neither of which would seem to apply. :uhoh:

Is TURRET the word you are attempting to use? :rolleyes:

Parker Dean
March 26, 2005, 12:30 PM
Only surviving "Dreadnought Class" BB left

Uhh, not to be pickin on ya or anything, but "Dreadnought era" would be more appropriate. This is because the ship is from the same time period, and is the result of, the first all-big-gun main battery BB, HMS Dreadnought.

The Texas is a New York class BB, being one of a two-ship production run. The other being the New York, of course

TexasAg
March 26, 2005, 05:26 PM
If you get the chance...tour the USS Kidd DD-661 in Baton Rouge, La. She is a fully restored Fletcher class DD....looks as she did in 1945. She is an impressive museum and well worth the trip.

The USS Salem is now a museum in Quincy MA...never been there, hope to someday.

And...I grew up about seven miles from the San Jacinto Battleground..the site where the USS Texas BB-35 now rests. Well worth the time...take the hardhat tour.

enjoy....

Rico567
March 26, 2005, 08:53 PM
I've been to several of the ships mentioned, and there's always something new and fascinating at each one....but let's not forget the museums. The Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA is one that's not to be missed. They've got the turret from the Monitor, among all kinds of other goodies. The museum at the Naval Weapons Station at Keyport, WA is also well worth a visit. And the list goes on.
Although I am a former destroyer sailor, so as not to leave the Air Force out, if you're ever around Dayton, don't miss the Air Force Museum near Wright-Patterson AFB. There are signs telling you where to exit from I-70, etc. You'll like it even if you're not wild about airplanes.

oneshooter
March 26, 2005, 11:32 PM
Picky, picky, picky. I got the information across didn't I? :banghead:


http://www.usstexasbb35.com/

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

280PLUS
March 27, 2005, 10:08 AM
I can't believe noone's mentioned "Old Ironsides" in Boston. Go find out why they painted the gundecks red...

:confused:

:eek:

Near her is also a WWII destroyer you can tour. Much smaller than the one I was on.

Old NFO
March 27, 2005, 10:15 AM
You're right Rico! Another one is the new Udvar Hazy Air and Space exhibit at Dulles outside DC. They have a military section and a civilian section, it is really interesting to see former combatants sitting side by side. They also have a large exhibit of machine guns dating from WWI to current. An interesting sidelight was the discussion of the .50 vs. the 20 and 30 mm and the actual ability to bring down an opposing aircraft. There are a lot of things to see in the US, the sad part is that many of us don't have (or make) the time to stop and see them... :banghead:

oneshooter
March 27, 2005, 02:24 PM
Here is a tie-in between the old and the new. Taken in 1934, USS Constitution, USS Texas, USS New York.

http://www.usstexasbb35.com/constitution-full.jpg

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

cls12vg30
March 27, 2005, 02:37 PM
I've been dying to get to the new museum at Dulles since it opened. In 1986 I lived in Herndon about 2 miles from Dulles. Even back then they were talking about building that museum, and that was the year they brought in the space shuttle Enterprise on the back of a 747. I was about 9 years old at the time, and my friends and I spent most of the day watching the sky, until we finally saw it go over on approach.

A few months later I was flying out of Dulles and the shuttle was sitting out next to one of the taxiways. 17 years later they finally built a home for it!

If I time it right (around traffic) I can usually make D.C. in under 4 hours, just short enough for a day trip. Maybe next month.

Trebor
March 27, 2005, 03:56 PM
I can't believe noone's mentioned "Old Ironsides" in Boston. Go find out why they painted the gundecks red...

Look a little closer...



The only active duty ships I've been on were the Kitty Hawk in San Diego a few years back and the U.S.S Constitution two years ago. I got some good pics on the Constitution.

shep854
March 27, 2005, 05:03 PM
As an aside: HATS OFF! to the moderators for leaving this thread open. :)

cls12vg30
March 27, 2005, 05:17 PM
Go find out why they painted the gundecks red...


I believe that would be the same reason why British soldiers wore red.

Gunsnrovers
March 27, 2005, 05:19 PM
We toured the HMS Belfast in 2000 and it was pretty wide open. Very neat tour.

Looking forward to getting back to San Diego this summer to view the new aircraft carrier museum.

I really want to get back to Hawaii. Last time I toured Pearl Harbor was in 1983.

The Liberty Ship Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco is really neat. Nice to tour a fully functional war baby like that. Just down the pier, the USS Pampanito is a neat WWII sub to walk through as well.

Been on the USS Lane Victory a few times for a few "swing dance" cruises. Neat to sell all the guys and gals decked out in vintage civillian and military walking out uniforms. Really adds to the atmosphere.

misANTHrope
March 27, 2005, 11:00 PM
I can't believe noone's mentioned "Old Ironsides" in Boston. Go find out why they painted the gundecks red...


And look even closer now...

I also got to see USS Constitution in Boston the summer of 2003 while I was at Newport, RI for my Navy indoc. We visited Boston in uniform as a sponsored field trip, and there was an old destroyer there that had a few areas open for touring, but most of the ship was in the process of being restored. But some of the old-timers doing the restoration took us down to the engine room and lots of other "unfinished" areas, and we got tons of cool stories and such. That was a really rewarding experience.

:D

WvaBill
March 27, 2005, 11:20 PM
Don't forget the USS Torsk in Baltimore. How did those sailors live on a WWII SS?

I went to Nauticus before the Wisconsin was there, but there was a really neat Aegis simulator we got to "interact" with.

280PLUS
March 28, 2005, 07:05 AM
I guess I missed those. Gee, I SAID I couldn't believe it... :rolleyes:

I'm a little miffed at whomever got to tour the engineroom on that WWII destroyer in Boston. They wouldn't let ME! And I'm an old snipe too!

Heck, I'll bet I had more time on the astern throttle than THEY did on the ahead. :cuss:

My son and I did find a rope across a ladder that was unhooked so we both went up to the upper decks and played on the AA guns and such. Then suddenly we hear, "HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?!?!"

They didn't believe the rope was down, they thought WE had unhooked it.

Is it possible one of the shipboard ghosts recognized another old destroyer sailor and undid the rope FOR US??
(Twilight Zone theme playing here...)

:p

It figures, 25 years out of the Navy and I'm still getting in trouble with them!

:evil:

shep854
March 28, 2005, 08:19 AM
280Plus, What was that old saying?
"When you're out of FRAMs, you're out of cans"? ;)

280PLUS
March 28, 2005, 08:28 AM
:D

280PLUS
March 29, 2005, 07:47 AM
I remembered the acronym but forgot what it was.

here's a link...

http://www.gyrodynehelicopters.com/fram.htm

MikeIsaj
March 29, 2005, 08:09 AM
The USS North Carolina is by my experience the best warship tour available. You get lots of access to a well maintained ship. Worth a detour to see it.

I had the good fortune to board the USS New Jersey while serving in Lebanon. I was riding with 2 Sergeants Major and when they ask to detour to the battleship, Navy Lieutenants oblige. Got a fair tour and a ball cap. I later got the chance to hear the big guns fire over my head. An awesome display of American firepower! The Shiite's (who were our enemies then) were terrified of the thing. If you said "New Jersey" near them you could see the fear.

Baltimore has a submarine in the inner harbor. I can't remember the name but it's great because there frequently are WW-II vets onboard to demonstrate systems. I got a great lesson on torpedo room ops from a former chief. Can't put a price on that!

Old NFO
March 29, 2005, 08:15 AM
280 Plus- The "new" terms are SLEP and SDLM- Service Life Extension Program amd Service Depot Level Maintenance. They are still doing the things that ADM Halsey started, except that they now include aircraft. The air force has a similar program that will make the last B-52's 80, Yes Eight Zero, years old when the last one is retired from service. I'm off for WESTPAC Saturday, will be in Yoko next week. If anyone wants pics, pm me.

cls12vg30
March 29, 2005, 09:48 AM
I will definitely be touring the North Carolina before the end of the summer. My brother and his girlfriend are going to be moving to the Wilmington area in June, so I'll no doubt be spending more time down by the coast.

Does anyone know if there is a WWII vintage LSM (Landing Ship, Mechanized), set up for tours anywhere? I know it's a long shot, since even when they were new those ships were considered so expendable they didn't even give them names.

My grandfather, who passed away in August, served on the USS LSM 133 during the Phillipines campaigns in '45, and if there's one around I would definitely like to see one someday.

misANTHrope
March 29, 2005, 10:34 AM
Looks like there's an LSM in Omaha, NE. :confused:

http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/preserve.htm

280PLUS
March 29, 2005, 12:35 PM
Happy WESPAC-ing!

I did 2 myself. If you mean Yokosuka, let me know if "Andy Capp's" is still there and serving those awesome burritos...

and stay away from that D'Absinthe!!! :eek:

Stay in touch!

Oh, I forgot. Those DASH helicopters were said to have shortened many a young officer's carreer. They werefamous for being lost and well, if you lost one on YOUR watch, oh well...

I know of a story of one young ensign who survived by never taking his DASH out of it's hangar. :rolleyes:

:D

Coronach
March 29, 2005, 01:33 PM
Might already have been mentioned, but the reason that only the deck of the Wisconsin is open is because she is still in reserve. Opening up the interior would ruin the preservation efforts.

Her status is a matter of debate. The costs and time involved in getting her ready to roll again would be massive, and probably would preclude it ever happening again. But, at least when I was there last, she was/is still technically in the navy, and was/is still in the reserve fleet. This may have changed, though. I dunno.

What is interesting is that she has comparatively little wear, tear and miles on her. Of all 4 of the Iowa class BBs, she was used the least over the years since WWII.

Mike

shep854
March 29, 2005, 01:46 PM
FRAM "Fleet Rebuild And Modernization"

I believe that's it.

For the innocent: This was a Navy program during the '50s and '60s to update WWII warships, especially destroyers ("tin cans").

Old NFO
March 29, 2005, 06:00 PM
I did 2 myself. If you mean Yokosuka, let me know if "Andy Capp's" is still there and serving those awesome burritos...

Will do on both counts 280 Plus! Will be on Blue Ridge with C7F for a few days.

Carl N. Brown
August 8, 2005, 03:13 PM
I got my son and grandson to go on a tour of the Alabama at Mobile
and they enjoyed it more than they expected. My son drove us 600
miles and we stayed at the motel next to the museum park. We made
a weekend of it. My son was intrigued by the SR71 in the air museum.
Touring the submarine Drum was also worth the trip.

We went up to the control station in the tower, down to the powder
room under turret B and inside turret X (aft 16 inch) awesome. I read
during the last hurricane that a number of people elected to ride out
the storm on board USS Alabama. I was tempted to join them.

One ship I wish they had saved was BB43 Tennessee.

The Dictionary of America Naval Fighting Vessels (DANFS) contains this
passage about battleship BB43 Tennessee at Iwo Jima, Feb. 1945:

"The days after the landing were a steady routine of call fire and
counterbattery work as Japanese guns continued to reveal themselves
by opening fire on the hovering support ships before being located
and taken out. For this purpose, it had been found that single-gun
salvoes at close range, using "pointer fire" (in which the gun is
directly aimed by telescopic sight), were the most precise and
effective. The notion of using a 14-inch naval gun for sniping was
rather new, but it seemed to work very well."

Normally the big guns were fired by following directions of the fire
control stations in the conning tower and firing 3, 6, 9 or 12 gun
broadsides. For these "sniping" operations, the gun crew aimed one
gun with a telescopic sight and fired single shots. Some sniper rifle!

The last time I checked, a 14-inch naval shell required a powder
charge of 3,500,000 grains for a 9,800,000 grain projectile.
I believe a .30-06 blank was used as the primer. The Hornady
Manual does not cover this round.

[Gun related material added.]

DarthBubba
August 8, 2005, 03:51 PM
Wanted to chime in with my support for a tour of the U.S.S. New Jersey.
Had a fun walking tour of the ship when I was visiting Philly the ship is across the river berthed in it's name sake.
The tour personnel were knowledgeable and most were retired United States Navy personnel who had served on the ship. We got to tour one of each type of gun turret and went on an extensive walking tour of the ship from bridge to 3 decks above the bilge and from fore to aft.
All and all a fun tour I highly recommend it.

DarthBubba :D

dasmi
August 8, 2005, 04:24 PM
If you're in the San Diego area, you might want to check out the Russian B-39 Foxtrot class sub at the San Diego Maritime museum. I just toured it. Same boat as the Foxtrot up in Long Beach, but not nearly as far away from San Diego. It's next to the Berkeley, and aft of the Star of India. Can't miss it, big red star on the conning tower.

http://www.sdmaritime.com/ContentPage.asp?ContentID=177
http://www.sdmaritime.org/Uploads/b-39websized.jpg

Also, the USS Dolphin will be participating in the Fesitval Of Sail in San Diego.
http://www.csp.navy.mil/csds5/photos/dolphin.jpg

http://www.sdmaritime.com/ContentPage.asp?ContentID=172
If anyone wants to meet up for tours and lunch, I'll be going on Saturday the 20th, and Sunday the 21st. PM me and we'll talk.

jason10mm
August 9, 2005, 01:29 PM
I've done the BB and sub tours in Hawaii and Mobile, the carriers at Corpus Cristi and SC (with sub and destroyer), the sub in San Francisco, and the BB North Carolina. I have to do the BB in Houston before I leave Texas, and I think there is a sub in Galveston. I can never tire of those tours. I would love to see the German u-boat in Chicago and the Constitition in Boston.

I hope a 688 or a boomer goes on display at some point.

WT
August 10, 2005, 11:13 AM
FYI.

Proceedings of the US Naval Institute (August 2005) has an interesting writeup on Big Boats (BB's.)

Old, too labor intensive, limited gun range, limited missile carrying capacity, lack of anti-submarine and anti-aircraft capabilities, lack of chemical and biological warfare protection, fuel guzzlers, antique propulsion, and very, very expensive (over $2 billion per ship) to reactivate ....... among other problems.

dasmi
August 10, 2005, 11:52 AM
Old, too labor intensive, limited gun range, limited missile carrying capacity, lack of anti-submarine and anti-aircraft capabilities, lack of chemical and biological warfare protection, fuel guzzlers, antique propulsion, and very, very expensive (over $2 billion per ship) to reactivate ....... among other problems.

Yep. And still incredibly cool.

richyoung
August 10, 2005, 06:49 PM
I'll address these one by one...

Old,

Yep, almost ten whole years older than the B-52, which we were still using last time I looked, and much younger than the 1911 the Marines are still buying....NOT a persuasive argument - we routinely Service Life Extension Program carriers that have seen 30 solid years of steaming - the Iowas have much less water under their keels...


too labor intensive,

The Marines have volunteered to fund manning the gun crews, or supply them. Former secretary Lehman says automation can reduce the rest, as well as manning only half of the engine rooms for routine steaming...

limited gun range,

Thats just a plain fib - 50 km rang with old WWII rounds, MORE range than an unrefueled carrier attack plane with rounds on the drawing board that use technology already used in other artillery shells. An out-and-out falsehood.

limited missile carrying capacity,

...somewhat true, but MISLEADING - their duty will be to provide naval gunfire support for marine amphibious landings - we have plenty of other ships to sling missles, and more capacity can be added in refit...

lack of anti-submarine and anti-aircraft capabilities,

...again, true but misleading - the other amphibous task force ships, including the transports will, like the battleship and even the LCS that the battleship would be in lieu of, (although admittedly to a lesser extent), rely on the dedicated ASW/AAW assets like the Aegis (sp?0 cruisers we already have and will have to accompany the landing force anyway...

lack of chemical and biological warfare protection,

...again - NOT true - poison gas was well-known before WWII, and I'm sure it's designed capability against that has been enhanced over the years. They are called "water-tight/air-tight" doors and bulkheads for partially that reason...

fuel guzzlers,

true, but it's not like an oil-fired carrier or LHA is exactly cheap to fuel either. The Iowa class was built with Pacific warfare in mind, so they have plenty of fuel storage and range - essentially a non-issue....

antique propulsion,

...and yet the Camden and Sacremento seem to do just fine with their propulsion, and guess where it came from? A never-completed Iowa class BB named the Kentucky. I know they were still steaming until recently, maybe still? They had the reputation of being very reliable and fast ships, and would even race other naval vessels. Again, a non-issue...

and very, very expensive (over $2 billion per ship) to reactivate

...still less than ONE of the pie-in-the-sky LCS, which won't be around for ten years, if ever, and can't do as much as far even if it IS ever built....

....... among other problems.

Ya got me there - I can't really address that one. :confused:

If you aren't bucking for rear admiral or a cozy contractor job, and you think Marines might have to seize a beachhead sometime in the next decade, (Liberia, anyone?) and you want them to get heavier support than a dual-purpose 5" can provide, the answer is clear :D ...but NOT popular with the navy brass.

dasmi
August 10, 2005, 06:53 PM
antique propulsion,

The USS Midway did perfectly fine from 47 to 92 with it's antique propulsion. As far as I know, she's still got the same turbines, bearings, gears, etc, as the day she was launched.

MarkDido
August 10, 2005, 07:34 PM
Even though they're physically old, some of the old BB's that are still in mothballs have fewer steaming miles on them than a 10 year old DDG or FFG.

I'm a carrier sailor, but I always thought that when the crap hit the fan, I'd rather be on a BB than a CV! ;)

pete f
August 10, 2005, 08:21 PM
I remember the interview they had with some raghead after we had gone to lebanon with one of hte BB's THEY HATED the BB because they had no warning that anything was on th way until the world blew up in their face. caves offered no protection because the 2600 pound projectiles arriving at the end of a near ballistic flight would just go as deep as the caves. The ships do have a purpose, the bigger issue would be to develop a new one built from the ground up as a way of carrying that weapons platform(16" guns) and do it in a smaller less costly to operate manner. With modern assisted base munitions, a 100km gun is not a pipe dream and being able to repeated strike targets no matter the weather is a very powerful force multiplier. If not a new platform the cost of rebuilding one of these into a lower profile, more defensable and simpler to operate, warship is well below the cost of building a new platform that can meet the need as this ship does.

New ships are designed to be built around guided missles with the intent that one accurate shot beats a mass of near misses. This is often true, but the use of a battleship in a land bombardment is to create a barrier to troop movement to allow your troops onto a beach or landing area with a minimum of risk.

bubbygator
August 10, 2005, 09:27 PM
I served my first Midshipman Cruise aboard the Iowa in 1957 under Capt. F. Julian Becton. We sailed to Rio De Janiero; held passing the equator celebration. All us 4th classmen served as less than Seaman Apprentice as far as work details went, but the PO's & Gunny's weren't allowed to rough us up any - it was all straight hard work. We had 1st classmen serving as our Division Officers, & they got to sample Officer's work (I later had my 1st class Cruise on a tin-can).

I had General Quarters station as a shell-passer in a 5" gun turret. The 5" shells weren't too heavy, I'd guess less than 20 pounds. They came up from the magazine below-decks in a dual elevator, first one side, then the other. The fuze was set automatically by signals from Fire Control as they traveled in the elevator. They were safe because the fuze was activated by the force of firing. At the top, we lifted them out, turned, and kind of "plopped" them in the pusher tray in front of the big brass powder shell. The gun captain then pushed the button to ram them in, and they fired on signal from Fire Control. Everything could be operated manually as well, even to carrying both the shells & cartridges up from below-decks & setting the fuze by hand.

We had tours of all the facilities on designated study (off-work) days; the 15" gun turret & below-decks were very interesting. I later heard they had an explosion in one of the 15" turrets, but I never saw what the details were. The bags of powder were huge - you couldn't man-handle anything, every movement was designed to be a specific way & machine assisted. They said at the time that every time they fired a single shell, they threw the cost of a Cadillac over the side.

The ship was huge; but we lived there & every space was occupied with men who knew how to make the ship work - to accomplish the assigned mission. I could not have asked for a better introduction to the "real" Navy.

Peter M. Eick
August 13, 2005, 10:09 AM
I got the honor of touring the Texas here in Houston with a the father of a friend who served during WW2. It was fascinating to walk the ship with the docent and the father and he took us to his duty station, showed us his bunk, talked about where he was during the battles, who stood where, how things worked etc. I learned a lot, and the docent (who was one of the senior guys) just kept peppering him with questions. I don't know who got more out of it.

We were invited back to do the "hardhat" tour where you see the real guts of the ship. Maybe when it cools off.

dasmi
August 13, 2005, 12:04 PM
...and yet the Camden and Sacremento seem to do just fine with their propulsion, and guess where it came from? A never-completed Iowa class BB named the Kentucky. I know they were still steaming until recently, maybe still?
Camden is still active, slated for decomissioning in September 2005, Sacramento was decomissioned Oct 1, 2004.

richyoung
August 19, 2005, 07:54 PM
Thanks dasmi! Looks like a possible source of spares for a reactivated Iowa!

aerod1
August 19, 2005, 08:37 PM
I was stationed aboard the USS Midway from 1962 - 1965. I worked on the flight deck in V-1 division (blue shirt). On July 7, 2004 three of my former shipmates and I walked the decks of the Midway once again. It had been fourty years since any of us had seen each other or the Midway. I realized a couple of guys were looking for me when I stumbled through "Classmates.com" in October of 2003. Yes they have a military section. It was a wonderful and emotional reunion. The four of us were the closest of friends back then. They were surprized to find out I am the resident "gun nut" of the group. They are all pro gun but I got involved in guns while in my thirties. I was never anti gun... just wasn't interested in them at the time.
It is fantastic that the Midway is a museum instead of scrap.
I have a lot of memories there.

Jim

cracked butt
August 19, 2005, 08:45 PM
The only sub I've seen is the USS Cobia, docked at Manitowoc Maritime Museum in wisconsin. Shipyards there built WWII submarines including the Cobia. I've also toured a shipyard there while in gradeschool that makes wooden ships, including Navy minesweepers. Neat stuff.

Several veteran's groups were trying to bring the Heavy Cruiser USS Des Moines to Milwuakee as a museum, but all of the socialist blissninnies whined about how a war machine would soil their lakefront :fire: Last I heard, it might be permanantly parked in Sheboygan, where people and the local government are not only a lot more appreciative of such historical artifacts, but they want it to go there, though there are a few technical problems involved. I hope it ends up in Wisconsin, it would be a great thing to take my kid to see on weekends.

scout26
August 19, 2005, 09:20 PM
CB,

To veer slightly off-topic. There used to be a guy off I-94 (I think)that had a collection of "Land Ships". Is it still there. I can't remember whether he did "tours" or not. I just remember seeing tanks, where there should not have been tanks.

U505 at the Muesem of Science and Industry is tooooooo :cool:

cracked butt
August 19, 2005, 09:34 PM
Scout, I've heard of the guy with the tanks, but I've never been there or seen it.

I heard that they have redone the U-boat exhibit at the S&I museum, probably worth a trip down there once my kid gets a little older to see it. last time I was there I could only see part of the outside of the ship.

oneshooter
August 19, 2005, 10:04 PM
Bubbygator,
I believe that the standard HE projectal for the 5" navel rifle weighs 54#, with a 25# propellent charge.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

marley
August 20, 2005, 10:02 AM
I just wanted to say that there are two PT boats at battleship cove. My grandfather still drives up there once a summer and gives tours. He was on the 282 and on the 190 boats. One of them is a higgins and the other is an elco. They are the 617 and the 796. These are 60yo expendable boats made out of wood. They burned most of the boats at the end of the war because they were worn out and two expencive to ship home. Family members of the PT boaters are allowed on to the boats. The Marines are taught that the navy left them on the Canal all alone. I know that there were men in wooden boats fighting cruisers with torpedos that did not work. Later there were gunboats that fought the barges that the japs were using to bring in fresh troops. My Grandfather's story about the night his boat was rammed by another PT boat and how the bow was just gone is very scary. As a Virginiain I have seen the Wisconsin and the North Carolinia. Charlie the allagator is always around. I have seen all of the ships at battleship cove. Go see them any of them so they will be around for the Children. They will need to know what happened years from now. Patrick

natedog
August 20, 2005, 10:55 AM
The Olympia, in Philadelphia, has a rack of pristine Krag-Jorgensens.

Darn, I must've missed 'em. I took a quick walk through of the Olympia on a trip a few weeks ago, but it was so dang hot I didn't stay on more than 10 minutes.

MSGT9410
August 20, 2005, 11:17 AM
I went to the USS North Carolina not long ago. Here are some of the pictures I took while there:

(sorry about the size, dunno how to do thumbnails. Mods, feel free to edit if you feel necessary)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/M0ldyM1lk/P1010083.jpg

Gotta love the 20mm. The main deck is lined with these up and down the sides.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/M0ldyM1lk/P1010079.jpg

View from the bridge of the vessel
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/M0ldyM1lk/P1010072.jpg

16-in. guns ( :D )
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/M0ldyM1lk/P1010071.jpg

A USCG vessel that was moored across the river. Notice the 40mm BOFORS turrets on the USS NC. Quite a few of them on board.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/M0ldyM1lk/P1010077.jpg

misANTHrope
August 20, 2005, 12:13 PM
Well, OK, I guess I'll chip in with some of my North Carolina photos I took during my last visit this past May.

View from the stern of #3 turret (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_1977.jpg)
Guns of freedom (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_1979.jpg)
Ramming powder bags into the breech of a 16-incher (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_1988.jpg)
My dad checking out the view through the optical director in the 16" turret (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_1989.jpg)
40mm Bofors quad mount (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_1992.jpg)
My version of the bridge view (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_2004.jpg)
Powder cans down in the magazine (http://flyboy.strych9design.com/BB-55/IMG_2026.jpg)

Darth Ruger
August 20, 2005, 01:02 PM
I'll jump in here, too. Someone mentioned the USS Pampanito, a WWII sub at Pier 45 in San Francisco, close to Fisherman's Wharf. If you get a chance, it's a good tour below decks. Sank five enemy ships during the war.

If you've never had the opportunity to tour a submarine, check out this link. You can click and drag on the photos to scroll around 360 degrees inside the various rooms of the Pampanito:

USS Pampanito (http://www.maritime.org/tour/index.htm)

Carl N. Brown
August 22, 2005, 06:28 PM
I got around to scanning some photos from a 1999 tour of
the USS Alabama (BB60) at Mobile. It is obvious I can't
claim to being a great photographer, but the Battleship
Alabama memorial Park is well worth a trip.
These views should be: A & B turrets
SS228 Drum submarine
The Starboard quard forties from the conning tower
and a B25 with multiple fifties.

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