Touring a Battleship at Baton Rouge

I spent part a day recently touring a battleship where I met up with a local history buff, Rich (Recardo translated into Richard and shortened to Rich).  Rich had taken the day off work and was convinced, as was I that the “coincidence” we meet was a blessing to both of us.  Rich took the day off to remember a son he’d lost 20 years ago to the day and a brother he’d lost in Afghanistan.  The relative he was to meet didn’t show up, so we spent the afternoon together.  Rich was not only knowledgeable; he was a patient and engaging teacher that allowed me to videotape some of his explanations of parts of the ship I would have not understood without his insight.  You can see some of his explanations on my YouTube channel: Retired Pilgrim.

Oddly, the USS Kidd has a pirate painted on its number one smokestack.  Although the ship was named after Admiral Kidd, the crew relished the tales of the famous pirate, Captain William Kidd, and called themselves the pirates of the Pacific. The ship sailed and battled in both the Second World War and the Korean War.

Many men were cramped into its quarters as seen on the YouTube video.  Enlisted men shared bunks on shifts on bunks that were three bunks tall.  There wasn’t much room to turn.  Privacy was unknown.  In addition to their bunks, they shared lines of sinks and toilets.

Officers had glamorous quarters in comparison, but still quite cramped by modern standards.  A few high-ranking officers even had their own toilet and sink.

The ship was made for battle and as such was loaded with guns and torpedoes.  I was surprised to learn that, even in the second world war, all but two of the guns were computer driven from a central room.

Much more information and pictures are on the YouTube video.  Should you have the opportunity to visit the museum and battleship, it is well worth the time and effort.



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