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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Jobs at Battleship New Jersey and Memories of Mighty Mo'

Kelly at Maritime Compass reports that the Battleship New Jersey is looking for two people to fill the Director of Education and the Assistant Curator's positions. The New Jersey is important to Puget Sound residents, because she was mothballed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton for nearly 30 years. The story reminds me of the Battleship Missouri, which was moved from Bremerton to Hawaii, causing a bit of pain to the local community and to me. I remember as a small child climbing aboard the ship in Bremerton and seeing the plaque marking the place where the Japanese surrender in World War II took place. I'm sure that was one of the sparks that got me interested in history. You couldn't see much of the ship, except a passageway under the bridge. And you could walk up to the bow.

Thinking about the Missouri also brings back memories of building those cheesy plastic ship models, including one of the Mighty Mo', the ship's nickname. The model came with a 45 rpm record that had a three-minute audio story about the Missouri in battle, including a terrible attack by a kamikaze fighter. The story had great narration and sound, with radio broadcasts and gunfire, probably inspired by the old "Victory at Sea" TV series of the early 1950s. The recording was similar to the best sound pieces you hear on National Public Radio. I played it over and over. I can almost hear it in my memory as I write this.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

Joe,

Sorry to hear about Bremerton's loss. Reminds me of New Bedford's loss of the Charles W. Morgan. I suspect that when museums/states weigh the costs of restoring and maintaining these large vessels they often do not see the benefits.

At the same time I did run across a clip at the National Archives that contains footage of the launch of the Missouri which was christened by Margaret Truman. Link

5:11 PM

 

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