Battleship Cove America’s Fleet Museum Fall River, MA

The largest floating naval museum in the U.S.

Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA is the  nation’s largest floating exhibit of U.S. Navy warships. There is the battleship USS Massachusetts (more on that in a minute), the submarine USS Lionfish, the destroyer USS Joseph. P. Kennedy, Jr, two PT boats, and a Russian corvette.  They are all displayed in their period colors with their period fittings and the interior spaces are as they were when they were at sea.

Start your visit by seeing the nautical exhibits in the landside  Maritime Museum. Here you’ll learn the seafaring history of Massachusetts and her contributions to our nation’s defense. Be sure to save some time for the  undeniably fascinating collection of scale model ships, the most popular of which is a 28-foot model of the Titanic.

Next, board the battleship  Massachusetts. Walk her weather decks then  explore her interior compartments.  Most of them are fully restored, many with mannequins to help you visualize crew functions. Be sure to look at the big guns. You can actually go inside the gun deck of Turret #3 or the barbette of Turret #2.

After that, take  a walk through the submarine  Lionfish. This is an excellent example of a Balao-class WWII-era patrol/attack submarine. One hundred and twenty were built and nine were lost during the war. The Lionfish was never modified after the war and is historic for that reason. She is  seen exactly as she was built in 1943.

Be sure to see the PT boat area and then the destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. The “Joey P”  was built in nearby Quincy and served during the Korean War. She  was also part of the flotillas of ships that enforced President Kennedy’s blockade of  Cuba during the Cuban Missile crisis. She was decommissioned in 1973.

From the very first, the mission of this vibrant destination was to bring all aspects of military seamanship to life, to let you touch the steel of  a battleship’s armor, walk the confined spaces  of a submarine, feel what it was like to be a sailor of a destroyer. Yes,  the bunks are narrow, the wardroom is almost claustrophobic – but that’s the way of it. Pause and reflect and let yourself be transported back in time.

Located just south of Boston.

Hours:   See web site

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