Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big Mo pt.II

If you decide to tackle the Missouri on your own, get a map of the ship.
The ship is huge and you will get lost.
There the aforementioned arrows to help you along, but even with them pointing me in the right direction it is very easy to get turned around.
Let me just show you some things that I found on the upper decks.
This is what I guess is the wheelhouse:

You can see where I suppose the Captain sits. Where's the wheel?
Well, it seems the wheel is behind a GAGILLION feet of armor plating:

You can see the slots above the wheel where you can see forward. In front of those slots are what I can only describe as blast shields. They can be rolled up or down and are made from thick glass(bullet proof I assume).
I thought this was pretty cool; a bubble gauge that displays list:

Also on that deck was the chart room.
There is no full access to the ship. Many doors and passages are blocked off to deter people from wandering around. There are set paths you take to get to where you are going.
This was pretty neat:

I believe this is the Combat Information Center(not really sure as I was not guided). I overheard one of the staff mention that it was where the missiles were fired from. You can still see the chart of the Persian Gulf in front.
Other than the Captain's cabin, the rest of the tour involves normal stuff. I didn't get images of the Captain's cabin for there was a group there and I forgot to go back. Let me just say it was bigger than my living room!
Here's a typical officers quarters:

For the most part, bigger than the cabin I had on my Carnival Cruise.
The cabins are set up realistically; you can see a uniform hanging up there. Books were on the shelves, shoes on the floor etc., after a bit it became sort of eerie.
I mean I was by myself and seeing some of these rooms that looked liked someone was still living there gave me the willies.
You sort of expected someone to come around the corner and ask you what the hell you were doing there.
Here's the crew's mess:

About the size of the cafeteria of the commmunity college I went to. I guess it has to be for 2,700 men served on board.
Compared to the officers quarters, the enlisted men could have been on a submarine:

Crew quarters were all over the ship.
The Misssouri is so big it has it's own zip code:

Okay, not really, but it might as well have one. I mean the ship has everything else. It truly is like a floating city.
I'll post up the rest of the images on Picasa and turn on the link when I'm done.
Visiting the ship gives you a fairly good idea of what it was like to live on board.
My impression was that it was like a dorm with huge guns.
What amazed me was the disparity between the living quarters of the officers and petty officers compared the crew. On the Bowfin, it seems everyone sort of suffered together. On the Missouri, if you wore "scambled eggs," life was not so bad.
I was on the "Surrender Deck" where the Japanese surrendered but I could not find the marker where it actually took place. There was a case showing some documents, but again there was a crowd there and I forgot to go back.
Another reason to take the guided tour.
The advertised walk wasn't so bad for everywhere you go there's something interesting to see.
I'd recommend it just so that you can say you were on a battleship since there aren't too many out there left.
I don't think any of them are in service.
Visiting the ship makes me want to take advantage of any Navy "open house" days that come up. I'd like to visit a newer combat vessel and see what it is like.
Besides being a piece of history, the Missouri gives you an idea of what our service men go through when they are deployed at sea.
I, for one, appreciate what they go through.

See more here.

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