Friday, March 26, 2010

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Rain was in the forecast today, so I decided to go out and head on over to Pearl Harbor and see what's new.
I went to the Arizona Memorial last year, so I skipped that although the visitors center is all new.
More on that later.
My goal was the USS Bowfin Museum and the USS Missouri.
The new visitors center great. Now, the center is open air and spacious.
You have a choice to a number of ticket packages since the Arizona, Missouri, Bowfin and the Pacific Air Museum are all located in the same area.
Sort of.
The Arizona Memorial is free since it's actually a National Park. The others charge admission. Lucky for me, there is a resident discount.
I was going to do the full Monty, but decided I didn't want to rush, so I left the Pacific Air Museum for later.
You are greeted at the Bowfin Museum by two nuclear missiles:

The one on the left I think was a Trident missile(edit:probably not), and the other one is a Poseidon or Polaris missile. Kind of cool even though the Bowfin was not a ballistic missile sub.
The museum is more for show than education. I mean there are interesting displays, but most are personal and collected objects rather than educational material. I took the audio tour, which was okay(and free).
There are old photos and uniforms showing what it was like early in the submarine service. The rest of the displays cover the development of the submarine fleet.
I thought the battle flags were great seeing as how they were created mostly by sailors on the boat:

There are cool scale models of the different types of submarines that went into service. There is a large cutaway model of the Bowfin, a WWII Balao class submarine:

It's interesting to note that early submarines were basically diving chambers with a superstructure attached to it. Almost everything you see on the outside is a facade.
Moving on through the museum I came across this:

It's an old missile control board from a ballistic missile sub. I couldn't find the FIRE buttons or anything, but it sort of gave me the willies standing in front of it. Images of the movie Crimson Tide came to mind, and it's hard to imagine the amount of destructive power that console once held.
Spooky, Cold War stuff.
Here's an old dive suit:

How'd you like these shoes?

Now never say I don't do anything for you because yes, sports fans, the main event, the moment you've all been waiting for:

That's right! A freakin Poseidon missile!
Okay, actually a test missile, but it's still a missile! I put the lady in there for scale.
This is the business end, I think the place where the warheads go:

Fourteen thermonuclear warheads I believe the audio tour said. I don't think I'd be too happy having one of those in the trunk of my car.
The most interesting thing was the body; it was made out of some sort of composite:

Probably something Morton Thiokol dreamed up. I wonder if it would make a good bike frame?
Well, I took tons of pictures so you might be seeing more of them.
Next up:


DerekL said...

Both missiles are Polaris - the one on the left is an A-1, on the right an A-2.

DerekL said...

Ack. Stupid fat fingers. The one on the right is an A-3.

limom said...

thanks for the clarification!