Friday, November 22, 2013

Battleship Texas

While Grandma Ella and Papa Kirk were in town, we went to see the Battleship Texas.

It's in a park, and you can't really see it at all, until you turn a corner to park your car and then it's right there, like Holy Battleship!  That thing is huge!


The Battleship Texas is the only battleship that was used in both WWI and WWII that is still intact.  It's about as old as the Titanic. 


Connor is going to try to convince his scout troop to plan an overnight on board.

Battleship Texas

Papa Kirk had a great time.


There are so many guns on the deck, and you can aim them.  This one was for two men, with one aiming the height of the barrels, and the other spinning the entire platform around.

I knew that Battleships were built for battle, but I never really imagined just how many huge guns were on board.  And by that I mean that there are a lot. 

Fun fact:  The Texas was outfitted with the very first anti-aircraft guns to be put on a battleship during WWII. 


Swabbing the deck.


This plaque was in the officer's wardroom.  Hey Mom, is that where Uncle Mark is building ships now? 

The Texas was commissioned in the spring of 1914, so there is going to be a 100th anniversary celebration next year.


This is the scullery.  Notice how most of the mugs don't have handles?  Only the officers got to use mugs that had handles.  Everyone else had to burn their hands on the hot mugs.

This is the bathroom.


There was also a barber shop on board:


And a dentist's office:

I am glad that my dentist's office does NOT look like this.

And an operating room:


During both WWI and WWII, there was only battle-related death aboard the Texas.  There were numerous other deaths caused by accidents aboard the ship.  Since nothing was automated, the ship ran on man power, and there were plenty of opportunities to get hurt.

Self Portrait on a Battleship

We climbed up pretty high on the various decks, but eventually Connor wanted to climb back down to the main deck.  Lex and Papa Kirk didn't want to stop, though, and they climbed up even higher.  They didn't make it all the way up to the crow's nest (because I think it was roped off), but they went even higher than they were in this photo:


The boat is huge.  There were 1,800 men serving on board.  The kitchen was right on the main deck, and it was huge, too.  There were a good half dozen pots that Connor, Lex and I could have fit inside.  At the same time.

There is a restoration project going on right now aboard the Texas.  The hull is being reinforced so that the entire ship can be lifted out of the water and dry docked so that the hull can be repaired from rust.  I guess that the hull is in such poor condition that if they lifted it out of the water now, the engines (which are really heavy) would just fall out of the bottom.  The thing has been in the water for almost 100 years now.

Go check it out, if you can.  It's amazing.

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