Thursday, January 17, 2013

LEGO Ship Model Preview #5- USS Wisconsin

Shown above is our fifth preview model for LEGO shipbuilding day at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. This ship, USS Wisconsin (BB-64), is very familiar to our readers, as it currently docked in beautiful downtown Norfolk right next to the Naval Museum. The model is built as the ship looked in 1944, with the aircraft retrieval crane on the fantail of the ship.

For those not familiar with Wisconsin's history, she is the third of the Iowa-class battleships and displaces about 45,000-tons (USS Missouri, BB-63, was launched AFTER Wisconsin). Equipped with nine Mk7 16-inch/50 rifles, eighteen five-inch guns, and several dozen anti-aircraft guns, the ship was one of the most heavily-armed surface warships in history. Even more remarkable is the ship's engineering plant and hull design. Most battleship designs had to sacrifice speed in order to put bigger guns and/or more armor on. Wisconsin had the firepower and sufficient armor protection to stop an 18-inch shell and still manage 30+ knots of speed.

During World War II, she served mainly as a heavy anti-aircraft gun platform and protected the valuable aircraft carriers. She also unleashed her 16-inch guns during the Okinawa Campaign and on the Japanese home islands.

Wisconsin then served in the Korean War, providing support to the U.S. Marines and South Korean ground forces. Upgraded in the 1990s, she served one last combat tour off the coast of Kuwait and Iraq. She is now a museum ship under the care of the City of Norfolk and Nauticus. 

And don't forget--
When: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Time: 10am to 5pm
Where: At HRNM (2nd floor of Nauticus)
Cost: FREE!

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