History of USS Wisconsin (BB-64)

Although numbered before USS Missouri (BB 63), USS Wisconsin (BB 64) was actually completed before her sister and was part of the Iowa class of battleships, which included USS Iowa and USS New Jersey. These giant ocean-going ships were a central part of U.S. naval hegemony during and after World War II, although aircraft carriers became the new kings of the sea. Launched from the Chesapeake Bay in 1944, she toured the West Indies before settling with the Pacific Fleet in 1944. The battleship Wisconsin arrived relatively late in the Pacific theater, but participated in the advance of Task Force 38 toward Luzon Island, Taiwan, and Nanxi Song Island, Saigon. Kamran Bay and French Indochina.

Additional escort missions allowed her to conduct raids on Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Hainan Island, and Okinawa.

Like her sister ships, the USS Wisconsin's profile is dominated by 16" guns in her three main turrets - two forward and one aft - supplemented by additional 20 x 5" guns . The superstructure was protected by 80 x 40mm and 49 x 20mm anti-aircraft guns, which killed the enemy several times throughout the war in support of the carrier group. A 1982 modernization program for the Iowa-class ships introduced 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 16 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which were added to the mix. Missile and anti-air defenses were further strengthened by adding a 4 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) to replace the old anti-aircraft gun mounts.

Three Vought Kingfisher seaplanes remain on board and these systems perform well for reconnaissance, patrolling and most importantly search and rescue of downed pilots.

As Iraqi forces invaded the small Gulf state of Kuwait and oil-rich country for no reason, the United Nations mobilized to liberate the country. USS Wisconsin and her sister USS Missouri are the only two Iowa-class ships in the region, operating in support of naval, naval and air forces from multiple nations. Her 16-inch guns were brought back into service, targeting Iraqi targets in the region and providing on-call fire support if needed.

Their UAS also works well for coordinating multiple 16" artillery strikes. With the invasion repelled, Wisconsin made her final voyage home in 1991a fitting end for a ship built to fight.

USS Wisconsin was ordered in 1940, laid in 1941 and launched in 1943. She officially entered service in 1944 and finally retired in 1991. Her name was removed from the Naval Ship Register in 2006.

Affectionately known as "Wisky" or "WisKy," she earned 6 battle stars during her storied career on the high seas. Today, she is protected as a floating museum in Norfolk, Virginia.

The city of Norfolk was awarded the USS Wisconsin as a floating museum in December 2009, with a handover ceremony on April 16, 2010. She is currently open to the public as it is docked next to the Nauticus Museum. The main deck and her two upper decks (with access to the radio room, sleeping quarters, captain's cabin, combat operations center and main bridge) are available as a self-guided tour, while a picture/written history of the ship is available to view inside the Nauticus building. Norfolk is famous in U.S. Navy history as the site of the Battle of Hampton Roads between the Monitor and Merrimack Iron Ships during the American Civil War.

Just as iron armor replaced wooden ships, steel ships replaced iron armor.

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) Specification

Basic

Year:
1944
Status:
Retire, keep
Addition:
1,921 employees

Roles

- Blue Water Operations

- Fleet Support

- Hunter

- direct attack

Dimensions

Length:

270.36m

width/width:

108 feet (32.92 m)

Elevation/Draft:

29 ft (8. 84 m)

WEIGHTS

Displacement (Surface):

45,000 tons

POWER

Geared steam turbines developing 212,000 horsepower to 4 x Shafts.

PERFORMANCE

Speed (Surface):

33 kts (38 mph)

Range:

12,948 nm (14,900 miles; 23,979 km)

ARMAMENT

1943:

9 x 16" Mark 7 main guns

20 x 5" Mark 12 guns

80 x 40mm anti-aircraft cannons

49 x 20mm anti-aircraft cannons

1983:

9 x 16" Mark 7 main guns

12 x 5" Mark 12 guns

32 x BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles

16 x RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles

4 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS

AIR WING

1943:

3 x Vought Kingfisher floatplanes

1983:

8 x RQ-2 Pioneer UAV

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