Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Battleship Cove

Sunday morning, I flew into Newport State Airport in Rhode Island, to be met by blogger Old Air Force Sarge. He picked me up there, and we were off to Battleship Cove, arriving forthwith, with only a few detours (as in "see it but can't get to it") that he blamed on his GPS, road construction, high taxes and solar flares. Just a guess, but I'm thinking that he wasn't a navigator in the Air Force.

Finally, we got there and walked aboard a fine collection of warships, the first being the USS Joseph P. Kennedy jr., DD 850, a Gearing-class Destroyer.
Here's Sarge checking out the ASROC launcher.
Note that he's standing respectfully outside the red DANGER stripe on the deck. The launcher could and did pivot quite quickly when in use.
Some extra labeling for sailors who didn't quite get it.

Next, we went aboard USS Lionfish, SS298. Lionfish is a World War Two Balao class fleet boat. And as you can tell from prior posts, I loves me some fleet boats.
I'll probably do a whole post on Lionfish later, but if nothing else, let me assure you all that her Dive horn still works. (And I'd have been disappointed had it not.)
(Shown: Green Dive alarm, yellow General alarm (inoperative). Red Collision alarm box is missing.)
But Sarge tells the story better than I can, so I'll refer you to his site for his version of what happened.

It was also someplace in this control room where Sarge cracked his melon on a low-hanging box with sharp corners. Sadly, he didn't give me advance warning so I could video it. Would have been cooler than just hearing the mumbled profanity.

Next, we popped in on the Hiddensee, A Russian-made Tarantul I-class missile corvette that was built for East Germany in 1984 and commissioned Rudolf Egelhoffer. They used her from 1985 through 1990 when Germany was re-unified, and the German Kriegsmarine re-named her Hiddensee before decommission her in 1991. Then they gave it to the US Navy, which used her for five years for testing as USNS Hiddensee before eventually donated her here.
Hiddensee, stern view.
Hiddensee, from the deck of USS Massachusetts.
Not a Dalek. One of Hiddensee's close-in air-defense guns on her stern.
76.2mm main gun.
SS-N-2C missile launcher. Lower missile is on a reloading platform that had to be assembled in place each time a new missile was placed on the tube. When this ship was transferred to the US Navy, the Germans also transferred 170 of those missiles. Wonder where those are now?
Missile launcher, rear view.
Small bridge, with no bridge wings. How does the captain see to dock this boat?
Simple controls, with writing in both Russian and German, and English translations courtesy of a label-maker pasted below the important ones.

When I come back, USS Massachusetts.


  1. I wasn't sure if the Kennedy was a Gearing-class DD until you confirmed it (couldn't quite tell from Sarge's photos). I was on one of those (USS William M. Wood DD-715) from '73 to '75. Brings back a lot of memories - thanks for the confirmation.

    1. It was the last Gearing-Class built.

      Had I known, I'd have taken more pics aboard.

    2. I spent mid '76 to mid '78 on the USS William R. Rush DD-714). A quick internet check shows both ships built in the same yard. Way cool.

  2. No I wasn't a navigator. Pretty obvious wasn't it?

  3. I wondered where Hiddensee ended up... :-)

  4. Thanks for letting me tag along on your vacation!

  5. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Thanks for the pictures