Battleship! And I Don't Mean the Game

We spent the day yesterday scouring 4 different ships!

We went to Battleship Cove and learned a lot about history.  There were so many displays and exhibits that we could not possibly have covered it all in just one day but we sure tried our best!

It's the perfect way to teach history-- hands on and grabbing whatever snippets they were interested in.   I love that I am able to bring history to life and make it more real for my boys.  They were excited and interested.

By the end of the day we all had a profound respect for those in the military.  Tight quarters, little privacy, and being out away from home held little personal appeal to us all.  We're so thankful for those that do serve.  Here is just a small sampling of what we saw:

The Kennedy 

The Lionfish, the Hiddensee, and the Massachusetts 

Look at the size of that anchor! 

Checking out the guns

That is one big propeller! 

Learning about Vietnam Huey Helicopters 

Ships that transport tanks 

Prop. plane

"Mom, LOOK at that cool old car!" 

Three of the ships were connected by gangways 

Ian was quite taken with the coal plan across the water & it
prompted a whole discussion about why we ship our coal overseas

Aboard the USS Massachusetts BB59 

Checking out the dining hall and watching a movie about what types of
meals were prepared and available on the ship when it was in use.
We loved these movies filmed of actual vets and their on board experiences.

30 to a room?  Look how small the beds are and how close
together too! 

An actual piece taken from the side of the ship
after she took "fire" from an enemy 

Lots of opportunities to learn about fisherman's knots 

Perfect spot for a picnic lunch and a break from walking 

We saw Swans 

It looked like a family with really large babies 

One of the "babies" 

This map, aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, JR DD850,
could not have been more enrapturing for Alec.  He examined every pin.  Read about every boat that sunk in the Pacific and the Atlantic during World War II, talked about Hitler, the bombing of pearl harbor and asked all about typhoons, under water mines,  "surface" contact, We talked about why more boats went down in the Pacific and what types of battles were being fought over German/ European soil. It was fantastic! 

Refreshments anyone?  We checked out the old coke machine, the ice cream vending machine, the coffee pot, the library of books, the lips on the tables, and the backgammon boards painted onto some of them.  Each room we came to we tried to imagine ourselves there with fellow crew mates. 

Aboard the USS Lionfish SS 298:
Manning the guns: "This is the same gun thing they had at the
Nautilus museum!" 

"I would not want to have to sleep over the torpedoes!"  Each time
we came across a bed tucked into a place like this we tried to figure
out how the crewmen got into them and who had to sleep there. 

The washing machine

A torpedo with the sides taken off so we could see the compartments inside 

Alec aboard the Hiddensee pretending to talk to the crew reminding them of good manners and not to liter in the ocean.
It was important to him that the crew think about the safety of the animals that live there. 

Evan manning the periscope

Ian "driving" the ship

One of the bays was open so we could see the ammunition inside 

Back aboard the Massachusetts we saw evidence of shrapnel they took during a battle;
talked about shrapnel and  remembered hearing that they used shrapnel at Fort Adams too. 

Checking out the pilot house 

View from the pilot house 

A poster depicting Japanese planes posted on one of the many, many
gun stations on the deck of the ship 

Manning the guns; taking down enemy ships and planes 


  1. Thanks for sharing! What an exciting adventure! I used to live on a WWII era Navy Boat my parents converted to a houseboat. You can see some pictures of it here: Not as big as that one (only 50 feet but always made me wonder how they used it (I've tried to find that info on that and have come up empty..."launch" is a really general term that seems to apply to lots of types of naval vessels of various sizes, so it's been hard going finding more info on this specific one. )

    1. You're welcome! It was amazing... and a bit overwhelming. There was so much to see and learn about.

  2. Wow. What a great trip. Have you ever been to the Wright Museum in Wolfboro NH? Would be a great trip! I love that you take the room out of classroom! Good for you. Can't wait till your next journey! #explorerkids

    1. We have not! I'll have to look into that. I try to take them out of the classroom at least once a week but it's much harder to do in the wintertime!

  3. What an experience for your boys to get all that hands-on learning. Those battleships are huge. #ExplorerKids

    1. They were enormous! I could not get over it; I was so lost and thankful for the "this way" and exit signs.

  4. My kids would absolutely love this day out. We regularly visit our nearest military museum, it’s a great way to learn about history and war. #ExplorerKids

    1. I find it really engages the kids much more than reading about war. They actually tried to picture themselves on the ship in the midst of battle!

  5. What an amazing hands on experience to get a better understanding of how it all was my hubby and son would love this, being an ex marine and our love of ships! Great post :) Mandy xxx# ExplorerKids

    1. It was really neat to see so many ships and just impossible to tour them all and do them justice in one day.

  6. I think my boys would love that! #ExplorerKids

    1. We definitely want to go back; there was just so much to see and do!

  7. "Mom, LOOK at that cool old car!" - You boys have good taste I'm telling you! Those beds looks ever so uncomfortable. I'll hate to be on the top or bottom of those. Thank you so much for sharing and bringing a wider perspective to us. I'd love to take my kids to see the inside life of these men.

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids

    1. It was quite amazing to think that they lived in these beds all crammed in there like sardines for months!


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