Friday, January 19, 2018

Battleship Cove

October 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

battleship cove 1On Mount Hope Bay in Fall River, Massachusetts, lies a collection of preserved United States Navy ships—all part of America’s Fleet Museum at Battleship Cove—the largest collection of historic naval ships in the world.

There are five National Historic Landmarks: battleship USS Massachusetts, destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., submarine USS Lionfish, PT boats 617 and 796, and the Soviet-built missile corvette, Hiddensee.

You can moor your boat and climb aboard them. Just contact the Fall River harbormaster by hailing Channel 16 or calling 508-207-7730. (Day rental is $35.00 per day at press time.)

“Visitors marvel at the ships’ technology and they imagine what life was like for their sailors,” says Emily Bryant, Curator (see below) of Education and Volunteers at Battleship Cove.

battleship cove 2During World War II, the USS Massachusetts was an active battleship. “Walk from the bottom to top of a 16-inch gun turret and learn how the USS Massachusetts could fire a projectile that weighed as much as a Toyota Corolla—22 miles!” says Bryant.

Also on board is the main battery plotting room where 60-foot-long rifles were housed. “The plotting room could deliver as much as 24,000 pounds of steel within yards of, if not on, a target up to 20 miles away,” says Christopher Nardi, Curator/Sailing Program Director, Battleship Cove.

The USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was part of a carrier task force attacking North Korean positions in 1951, and took part in the naval blockade of Cuba in 1962. From 1942 to (spacing) 1953, the USS Lionfish patrolled Japanese waters, dodged Japanese torpedoes, and destroyed a Japanese schooner with her deck guns. The missions of the PT boats 617 and 796 were for advanced base operations in foreign countries during World War II. Launched in 1984, the Hiddensee is the only exhibited example of this type in the United States.

Once you debark, there are indoor exhibits to check out, such as the National PT Boat Museum and the National Destroyermen’s Museum.

Fall River is also known for Lizzie Borden’s bloody rampage, the town’s Portuguese culture and its 19th century textile mills, so there’s more to see on land.

For more information visit www.battleshipcove.org or call (508) 678-1100

 By Ann M. O’Phelan 

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