USS Massachusetts BB-59
The USS Massachusetts is one of four WWII South Dakota Class Battleships. BB-59's specifications are:
Length: 680 feet
You can visit the Battleship USS Massachusetts in Fall River, Massachusetts. Allow yourself a full day and get there early. There is a LOT to see and if you enjoy naval history and hardware you'll feel like a kid in a candy store.
The USS Massachusetts is a very impressive ship. There's a great deal to see inside and you really get a feel for what it might have been like for our fathers and grandfathers to have lived and fought in such a crowded environment. Many of the crew's areas have been restored to a very high standard. Some are accessible and others can be viewed through plexiglas screens. Staff and volunteers continue to paint and scrape and get more compartments ready for visitors. The interior is like a small city, complete with a barber shop, post office, laundry, sick bay, dentist's office, brig, and more. They even have a snack bar/grill on board and the food was quite passable (although it may have seemed that way as I was starved after spending a full morning climbing through and exploring the ships and submarine).
Don't miss a visit into BB-59's aft turret. You can pass by and miss the open hatch quite easily. The entrance hatch is on the bottom of the back of the turret and it is not well marked but you can climb inside and see the components and workings of the turret interior (You will need to be somewhat flexible as there is some climbing and bending involved in getting around the turret interior. It is not handicapped accessible). There is a short audio tape playing on the starboard gun which is lowered to give the visitor a better view of the breach and loading mechanisms. One of the 5" turrets (gun mount is the more correct term) is open also. It's even more of a climb but there is more headroom than in the 16" turret.
If you visited the ship a few years ago, you may want to make another visit. While I was there the USS Massachusetts staff and volunteers were busy painting and scraping two more compartments that had not been open before, so there will be more compartments open to see today. Hopefully one day the engine rooms will be accessible as that is one area of the ship I thought would be really interesting.
Before you leave the museum, take a stroll along the boardwalk along the shore of the river. From here you can best take in the whole scene of the Battleship USS Massachusetts towering over the other ships moored before you. It really is a spectacular scene (If your camera has a panorama mode, this is the best place to shoot pans). The ship is positioned roughly north/south, on the east side of the river, so the most interesting lighting is early in the morning.
Along with USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove in Fall River there are two restored WWII PT Boats (the Elco PT Boat PT 617 and a Higgins PT 796), a WWII US Fleet Submarine USS Lionfish, the Destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, and the Soviet Missile Corvette Hiddensee.