This 1950s black and white film “Battleship” is from the Adventure Today series with Ray Forrest and focuses on the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) [decommissioned in 1958]. Ray arrives at the battleship and the sailors release the mooring ropes from the dock. Captain RJ Foley talks to Ray (:24-1:55). Ray adjusts the settings on his video camera. Footage from the top down shows sailors walking below.The ship’s service ribbons are shown. Sailors perform various tasks, including thoroughly scrubbing the ship. The anchor rope is examined and carried across the deck (1:56-3:58). A Man Overboard drill is done using a box. The Captain uses binoculars. Sailors are lowered in a lifeboat to rescue it. Once they have, they return and hook the lifeboat to the wires and are lifted back up. Footage is shown of the boat slicing through the water and stark against a cloudy sky as evening sets in (3:59-5:50). An officer relaxes in a chair, reading. Another watches television in a 1950s cabinet. Officers eat in the wardroom (5:51-6:01). Commander Ryder shows Ray the main engineering panel with all of its dials. Ray is shown the LP Turbine Unit No. 4 boiler, the reduction gear, and the propeller shaft. Sailors work on projects in the machine shop, the electrical shop, the printing shop, the bakery, and the butcher shop (6:02-7:34). Meat covers large flat-top grills. The cook ladles a sauce on top. Sailors go through the food chow line cafeteria-style as food is placed on their trays (7:35-8:10). Sailors receive wages at the pay line. Places to spend money include the soda fountain, the ship store, the barber shop, and the tailor shop (8:11-9:00). A Lance Corporal polishes a pin. A sailor sits on a bottom bunk, smoking a cigarette and reading.Sailors return to their bunks and hang clothes up in their lockers. Sailors in t-shirts smile for the camera (9:02-9:32). The decks are hosed and scrubbed down, including holystoning (9:33-10:07). Officers use binoculars as the battleship approaches the gun drill area. Sailors scramble to their battle stations.The 16-inch guns move to face various targets (10:08-12:10). Morse code flashing lights signal the shore at Norfolk, Virginia. Navigation maps are plotted. The ship arrives (12:11-12:50).
USS Wisconsin (BB-64) is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on 7 December 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid), sponsored by the wife of Governor Walter Goodland of Wisconsin.
During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions. During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned. She was reactivated on 1 August 1986; after a modernization program, she participated in Operation Desert Storm in January and February 1991.
Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991 after a total of 14 years of active service in the fleet, and having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, as well as a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the January/February 1991 Gulf War. She currently functions as a museum ship operated by Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Wisconsin was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) 17 March 2006, and was donated for permanent use as a museum ship. On 15 April 2010, the City of Norfolk officially took over ownership of the ship.
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