October 8, 2016
While we were in the Boston area, my men took a day trip down to Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA. Since I was not there, I asked my 10 year old son to verbally tell me what had happened. Even though it was already the following morning, you may be able to notice how excited he was still. I just kept up with the typing as he described his experience to me for over an hour. This time, I captured his words before he “ran out”. Enjoy!
We were just about entering rush hour traffic when we were coming in to Boston. We took the express lane. So we had 2 buses and a guy in front of us. So, when we were just about there just about closet express lane for the other people, where there’s blocks up. The two buses moved over and the guy just stayed on there. We got to the tunnel that goes under the city. Then we saw lights flashing on the other side of the tunnel. There was a cop coming so he spotted a guy and pulled him over outside the tunnel, like a mile up past the tunnel.
At the Battleship Cove. We meet a cop car at a stop sign blocking the entrance but there was still enough room to get through. They were painting the lines down there so the police guy told us that we will be able to go through there but only because the Battleship Cove was before they started painting. We just drove into a spot by the fence by the little bay. We saw a swan so we took a picture of it with ducks. When we were going back for lunch, we saw it swimming so we took another picture of it swimming.
We got to the building about one hundred feet away because there was a big line from two busses stopping plus there was a holiday for all old marines, sailors and retired army guys. They were having a reunion for the battle ship.
We went on a self-guided tour. We went to the PT Boat Exhibition Hall first. We were not able to go in the boats, but we were able to see them. A PT boat has a very smooth top where you can easily fall off. It was used for taking people or carrying supplies out quickly before the enemy strikes. When they were attacking, it was very useful because they could get in and get out fast before they could hit you. Just like in McHail’s Navy, which is a TV show.
We went to Battleship, Massachusetts, next. We walked onboard the main deck and went to the guns on the outside of the ship. They were 16” guns. It took a while for them to reload it because it took 125 guys to man two of the big guns. All the people on board would add up to around 440 to 460 men, somewhere in there. We were able to climb in to the 16” gun area where they sit to reload it, to command on how they aim, and look around in there. Two people are constantly looking for new targets. Then there are ten more helping fire the gun, let the gas out, and then find where the people are. There’s a whole bunch of gas that builds up when it is fired that needs to be let out. So, there’s this one guy that pulls the valve and the gas shoots out the front.
Then, we went to the next lower deck, and I would not want to be a battleship guy because you are constantly stepping over two foot high metal steps and millions of doors to keep it from sinking when it is blown up. The doors would be shut so water couldn’t come in. Only one part would fill up with water instead of the whole ship going down. I would seriously get lost with all the doors and turns. I would not be able to find the kitchen if it wasn’t for this map. But we hardly went off this map. We just said, “Let’s go here. Let’s go there.” Most of the area of where the guys sleep was filled up with models of ships, tanks, planes and a whole bunch of collections.
We went to the kitchen where they make the bread and pizza crusts. Then we went into I don’t know how many rooms. I can’t even name all of them. The captain’s part where they steer the boat from up top is bullet proof. Nothing can penetrate it except missiles. The people had to tell the captain where to steer as it relies on a compass and stuff. That was one and a half foot thick steel where the captain steered the ship. If that gets blown off, there’s another steering wheel down lower. We were able to go down to the engine room, but that was a far as you can get. When we went through the entire battleship, I was completely lost. Period. Dad actually walked to another room while we were looking at something and we had to ask, “Where did he go?” Then we found him.
We watched a video on this because this was an old marine telling what happened. It actually had gotten blown up right through the top, side. They left the shrapnel damage on the wall near the bridge and gun turret. They closed the doors on all of them when they are being attacked. So, if it got attacked, they can still get out of there.
We ventured off on the main deck where you can see the airplane crane. Down below in the exhibit we saw the whole ship with the airplane crane because it had two planes on two sides with two racks. One large sea plane in the middle with the wheel to keep the back end afloat plus two smaller sea planes, that you can float on the sea. It has to land on the water behind the ship when the ships is still going. Then the crane would lift them up and put them on the rack until the next time they had to use them.
To take off, there is a short runway with a booster. When they push a button, the booster kicks them off or shoots them off. They have to have their engines running full speed to do that.
The next ship we went on was the submarine called the Lionfish. They had guns protecting from the airplanes for when they pop up on the surface. They have a five-inch Wet Mount, 20MM gun, and 40MM gun. We went down below to where the front is. That is where they store the missiles. They had a video going on how they load and fire it. After we got done with that, we walked back one more to the Officer’s Country & Wardroom. You couldn’t go in, but we were able to see the place. There were two beds and some other stuff. We went up a ladder one at a time and came back down again to look up where you can see the target part where the sonar is and whole bunch of other stuff. We walked into the next room where there were more bunks, a kitchen, dining room from officers and a galley for the sailors. We walked into the engine room next. We saw how the engines worked and walked into the maneuvering room, where they steered and throttled. Then we walked back one more room to the back torpedo room where they can defend from the back. Finally we exited out the back, but there’s about three emergency exits total.
The Missile Corvette Hiddensee, the Russian’s type of cruiser, has just basically missiles and machine guns. They had everything automatic because it is more modern. They gave it to us when we were allies. There’s a helicopter landing on the back. That was the only place where we could go up. But we couldn’t go to the DASH Hanger due to restoring it. We walked down underneath to the engine room, which was kind of like all engines. We walked around the airport for helicopter. It had to be perfect or it would not be able to land. We walked around underneath and saw where they slept, the kitchen, and stuff like that. We saw the command part where they steered the ship and looked for the targets.They had window flaps that came up with three inches of steel for when they were in war. Then they relied on the telescope, compass and stuff. On the eyeglass, there was a crosshair on it. But when a missile came up on them, an automatic machine gun would shoot at it and blow it up before it reached the ship.
We walked to the destroyer, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. The deck was kind of like a PT boat in a way. It was really useful because it was one of the ships that blockaded Cuba from getting its nuclear missiles. The USSR was donating missiles to them to point them at the United States, because they were our enemy at that time. On board it showed a map of the world on how the ships went down. Some of the causes included attacks and airplane raids, other submarines, and hurricanes. But some of the shipwrecks could have been prevented though.
By the time we were done, it was closing time, but we actually also saw two helicopters and took pictures of them. They were used for attacking and troop deployment.
Since it was now supper time, we went to Five Guys during rush hour traffic. By 8:00pm going into 9:00pm, it was still rush hour. We plugged Dad’s phone into the dashboard because we could find good music on it. We got back late at night and went to bed.
[Until we meet again,]