|USS Missouri (BB-63) overlooks USS Arizona (BB-39). (Source)|
Anyhoo, that comment reminded me of my own encounters with the mighty Iowa Class battleships.
There were four ships of this class that were actually commissioned: USS Iowa (BB-61), USS New Jersey (BB-62), USS Missouri (BB-63) and USS Wisconsin (BB-64). Two more were planned and laid down but never completed: USS Illinois (BB-65) and USS Kentucky (BB-66). Of the four I've seen three of them. Iowa, New Jersey and Wisconsin, which loyal reader Scott the Badger always calls the "Badger Boat." That's a Wisconsin thing I gather.
|Iowa fires her main armament at coastal positions during her 1952 Korean deployment. (Source)|
Now I knew just how big a modern battleship was because I had walked the decks of the mighty USS Alabama (BB-60, last of the South Dakota Class) when we were down yonder in Mississippi back in the summer of 1987. (Yes, it was freaking hot and humid, thank you for asking. This old Yankee eventually got used to it, still don't care for that kind of heat though, but I digress.)
We were driving down to the base for the first time for to go a shopping at the Navy Exchange and the Commissary, we popped over the hill fast by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and there those three gray ladies lay, at first I didn't realize that there was a battleship there, she was dwarfed by those two aircraft carriers. But as we drew near (and I had stopped drooling) I beheld those big 16 inch rifles in the aft turret and realized that there indeed was a battleship, by her hull number (61) I realized that she was indeed the Iowa.
So I used to see her often until they towed her out to L.A. Now I first saw the New Jersey while flying into the airport in Philadelphia. There she was, tied up in the Delaware River. I thought that odd as we were flying into Pennsylvania. After I pulled my head "out" (so to speak) it struck me that the Delaware River runs between two states. Pennsylvania and, you guessed it, New Jersey. Makes perfect sense to park the old girl there. I mean there's the big city venue of Philly right there across the river. (Also worthy of note, we flew over an aircraft carrier which was at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, CV-67, USS John F. Kennedy whose decks The WSO has trod as a midshipman and from which I have a ball cap.)
|New Jersey bombarding positions off South Vietnam during the latter part of her 1968-69 WESTPAC cruise. (Source)|
|Wisconsin fires a Tomahawk missile during her 1991 deployment to the Persian Gulf. (Source)|
So I haven't seen the Missouri yet, oddly enough though I do have a ball cap and a polo shirt embroidered with the words USS Missouri, a different Missouri.
|The U.S. Navy Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) arrives at Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut after completing its maiden six-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Note the crewman in a Santa Claus-costume on deck. (Source)|
Pretty cool, neh? The old and the new. Nice tribute I thought.
Seeing as how it's Friday, I figured a video was in order. Featuring the Mighty Mo.