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Battleships

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TNGO, Mar 20, 2005.

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  1. TNGO

    TNGO Member

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    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.
     
  2. mmike87

    mmike87 Member

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    I did the Wisconsin thing and concur it's very much a worthwhile stop.
     
  3. Gifted

    Gifted Member

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    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.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The Olympia, in Philadelphia, has a rack of pristine Krag-Jorgensens.
     
  5. capbuster

    capbuster Member

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    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.
     
  6. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    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
     
  7. SmershAgent

    SmershAgent Member

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    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
     
  8. robert garner

    robert garner Member

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    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
     
  9. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    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
     
  10. enfield

    enfield Member

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    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.
     
  11. GreenFurniture

    GreenFurniture Member

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    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.
     
  12. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    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:
     
  13. RoyG

    RoyG Member

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    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.
     
  14. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    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
     
  15. TNGO

    TNGO Member

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    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.
     
  16. priv8ter

    priv8ter Member

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    History

    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
     
  17. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    I volunteer on the Midway sometimes. Which areas would you like to see? I can tell you whats open, and what isn't.
     
  18. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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  19. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    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.
     
  20. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2005
  21. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
     
  22. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member

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    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
     
  23. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member

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    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 :)
     
  24. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member

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    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!
     
  25. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    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/
     
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