On Saturday, January 18th, 2014, Saugus Pack 61 set out on a freezing day to Fall River, Massachusetts to Battleship Cove. When we arrived, the colossal Battleship USS Massachusetts came into view. It was about 21o and snowing, so I couldn't wait to get on board. On deck, the 3, 16 inch turrets towered over me and stood about 1 story tall.
Not real size.
Below deck, it seemed I wasn't even on a boat anymore, in fact I think I actually forgot it was a boat once or twice! I asked Kevin several times; “Do you know where you’re going??”
Once we arrived in our massive bunk room, what I saw was 4 cots hung from the ceiling by chains and a very old heating system.
Our sleeping room was at the Bow and was much, much bigger.
The ship was built in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1939 and served for 4 years throughout WWII. It held about 1.1 million gallons of fuel, coal and water and at full speed it would burn about 1000 gallons an hour! It only cost $76,000 dollars to fill up the fuel tank!
So, enough pictures; After exploring for 2 hours it was dinner time, and on a Navy ship, you got to expect Naval food. We had Mac n’ Cheese, turkey, corn, and a brownie.
The turkey was a bit hard on the outside, the mac and cheese was the best, the brownie was okay and the corn was good. After dinner at 7:30 they had a Morse Code class in Radio Room III on the freezing 5th deck below the waterline. They only took 16 people in the small room (Me being 16) then, the person coming to teach us was late, so I didn't do Morse Code. So I went and explored more with my dad and Kevin. We went to the very uh... front? Of the ship to where the soldiers loaded the huge 16 inch turrets. Each shell weighed 2700 pounds, so they were loaded into the lift by rollers. At the end of the night we went to the student orientation room near the stern at 8:45 and watched a movie. What do you think we watched? You guessed it! Battleship. Yea that was pretty much what I did that night. The next morning after getting 2½ hours of sleep Revelry started to play at 6:30am. Breakfast served very, very salty eggs, crispy bacon, and something else I can’t remember… It was still a bit dark after breakfast that morning, and we did some exploring etc, etc… At 9:30 I think was the movie about The Pearl Harbor Attack of 1941. It was about 19o and a bit windy. We stood on the deck of the destroyer class DD850 Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and watched the 15 minute video with surround sound that even came out the Kennedy's loudspeaker!
After that, Kevin bought me and Colin patches that had the Massachusetts on it. Then we headed home. I’m sure everyone was glad to go home after sleeping on a flat cot in a room with poor heating!
Well, that’s just about all I feel about typing, I hope you liked this very long article about what I did on this big piece of floating metal.
Written by David Woodworth.
Pack 61 Saugus, MA.