July 27, 2018

Museum Ships - United States

When Andrew Hunter came through Oklahoma City, I asked him if he'd been to Turner Joy, in Bremerton, near where he lived. He admitted to having never heard of it, so I decided to put together a list of museum ships in the US. It's sorted by state, then city, so it should be fairly easy to get an idea of where the nearest ones to you are. I apologize for not being able to provide links to the ships directly, but they can be found in the Wikipedia list I got the data from. The Historic Naval Ships Association is also an excellent resource.

Anyway, I highly encourage you to go and support these ships. A museum ship is also a fiscal black hole, and we should all try to preserve them for the future. I've put asterisks next to ships I've visited personally. For those that don't have reviews, the visit was either long enough ago I don't think I can do a reasonable job of writing one, or it's still pending.

ShipStateCityType
USS Alabama*AlabamaMobileBattleship
USS Drum*AlabamaMobileSubmarine
MontgomeryAlabamaPickensvilleSnagboat
NenanaAlaskaFairbanksSternwheeler
Libby's No. 23AlaskaPort AlsworthSailboat
USS RazorbackArkansasLittle RockSubmarine
HogaArkansasNorth Little RockDistrict harbor tug
USS HornetCaliforniaAlamedaAircraft carrier
CCB-18CaliforniaCoronadoCommand control boat
PCF-104CaliforniaCoronadoPatrol Craft Fast
USS LCI(L)-1091CaliforniaEurekaLanding Craft Infantry
B-427CaliforniaLong BeachSubmarine
RMS Queen Mary*CaliforniaLong BeachOcean Liner
Angels Gate*CaliforniaLos AngelesTugboat
USS Iowa*CaliforniaLos AngelesBattleship
Ralph J. ScottCaliforniaLos AngelesFireboat
USS LCS(L)(3)-102CaliforniaMare IslandLanding Craft Support
USS PotomacCaliforniaOaklandYacht
ReliefCaliforniaOaklandLightship
SS Red Oak VictoryCaliforniaRichmondVictory ship
PTF 26CaliforniaSacramentoFast patrol boat
B-39CaliforniaSan DiegoSubmarine
BerkeleyCaliforniaSan DiegoFerryboat
CalifornianCaliforniaSan DiegoSchooner
USS DolphinCaliforniaSan DiegoSubmarine
MedeaCaliforniaSan DiegoSteam yacht
USS Midway*CaliforniaSan DiegoAircraft carrier
PCF-816CaliforniaSan DiegoPatrol Craft Fast
PilotCaliforniaSan DiegoPilot boat
Star of IndiaCaliforniaSan DiegoBarque
AlmaCaliforniaSan FranciscoSchooner
BalcluthaCaliforniaSan FranciscoFull rigged ship
C.A. ThayerCaliforniaSan FranciscoSchooner
Eppleton HallCaliforniaSan FranciscoTugboat
EurekaCaliforniaSan FranciscoPaddle Steamer
HerculesCaliforniaSan FranciscoTugboat
SS Jeremiah O'BrienCaliforniaSan FranciscoCargo ship
USS PampanitoCaliforniaSan FranciscoSubmarine
SS Lane Victory*CaliforniaSan PedroCargo ship
USS LucidCaliforniaStocktonMinesweeper
HA. 8*ConnecticutGrotonMidget submarine
USS Nautilus*ConnecticutGrotonSubmarine
SS X-1*ConnecticutGrotonSubmarine
Annie*ConnecticutMysticSandbagger sloop
Australia*ConnecticutMysticCoasting schooner
Breck Marshall*ConnecticutMysticCatboat
Brilliant*ConnecticutMysticAuxiliary schooner
Charles W. Morgan*ConnecticutMysticWhaler
Emma C. Berry*ConnecticutMysticSloop
Florence*ConnecticutMysticWestern-rig dragger
Gerda III*ConnecticutMysticLighthouse tender
Joseph Conrad*ConnecticutMysticSailing ship
Kingston II*ConnecticutMysticHarbor tug
L. A. Dunton*ConnecticutMysticSchooner
Nellie*ConnecticutMysticOyster sloop
Regina M.*ConnecticutMysticCarry-away sloop
Roann*ConnecticutMysticEastern-rig dragger
Sabino*ConnecticutMysticFerry
Star*ConnecticutMysticFishing vessel
OverfallsDelawareLewesLightvessel
USS PhiladelphiaDistrict of ColumbiaWashingtonGunboat
PCF-1District of ColumbiaWashington D.C.Patrol Craft Fast
TriesteDistrict of ColumbiaWashington D.C.Bathyscaphe
PTF 3FloridaDeLandFast patrol boat
USCGC InghamFloridaKey WestCutter
SS American VictoryFloridaTampaCargo ship
HA. 62-76GuamComnavmarianasMidget submarine
Falls of ClydeHawaiiHonoluluFull rigged ship
USS ArizonaHawaiiPearl HarborBattleship
USS BowfinHawaiiPearl HarborSubmarine
USS MissouriHawaiiPearl HarborBattleship
MV AbegweitIllinoisChicagoIcebreaking ferry
U-505*IllinoisChicagoSubmarine
USS LST-325IndianaEvansvilleLanding Ship Tank
William M. BlackIowaDubuqueDredger
George M. VerityIowaKeokukTowboat
Sergeant FloydIowaSioux CityTowboat
Bayou St. John submarineLouisianaBaton RougeSubmarine
USS KiddLouisianaBaton RougeDestroyer
USS OrleckLouisianaLake CharlesDestroyer
PT 305LouisianaNew OrleansPT Boat
BaltimoreMarylandBaltimoreTugboat
Chesapeake (LV116)MarylandBaltimoreLightvessel
USS ConstellationMarylandBaltimoreSloop
SS John W. BrownMarylandBaltimoreCargo ship
NS SavannahMarylandBaltimoreNuclear merchant ship
USCGC TaneyMarylandBaltimoreCutter
USS TorskMarylandBaltimoreSubmarine
USS Cassin Young*MassachusettsBostonDestroyer
USS Constitution*MassachusettsBostonFrigate
VicturaMassachusettsBostonSailboat
Nantucket (LV-112)MassachusettsEast BostonLightvessel
Hiddensee*MassachusettsFall RiverMissile Corvette
USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.*MassachusettsFall RiverDestroyer
USS Lionfish*MassachusettsFall RiverSubmarine
USS Massachusetts*MassachusettsFall RiverBattleship
PT 617*MassachusettsFall RiverPT Boat
PT 796*MassachusettsFall RiverPT Boat
Effie M. MorrisseyMassachusettsNew BedfordSchooner
CG 36500MassachusettsOrleansLifeboat
USS Salem*MassachusettsQuincyHeavy cruiser
Katherine VMichiganAlpenaFish tug
USS EdsonMichiganBay CityDestroyer
USCGC AcaciaMichiganManisteeUSCG seagoing buoy tender
City of MilwaukeeMichiganManisteeRailroad Car Ferry
USS LST-393MichiganMuskegonLanding Ship Tank
USCGC McLaneMichiganMuskegonPatrol Boat
Milwaukee ClipperMichiganMuskegonPassenger Steamer
USS SilversidesMichiganMuskegonSubmarine
USCGC BrambleMichiganPort HuronCutter/Buoy tender
HuronMichiganPort HuronLightvessel
USCGC MackinawMichiganMackinaw CityIcebreaker
SS Valley CampMichiganSault Ste. MarieBulk freighter
USCGC SundewMinnesotaDuluthUSCG Seagoing Buoy Tender
SS William A. IrvinMinnesotaDuluthLake freighter
USS CairoMississippiVicksburgGunboat
USS AriesMissouriGasconadeHydrofoil
Captain Meriwether LewisNebraskaBrownvilleDredger
USS HazardNebraskaOmahaMinesweeper
USS MarlinNebraskaOmahaSubmarine
USS Albacore*New HampshirePortsmouthSubmarine
Barnegat (LV 79/WAL 506)New JerseyCamdenLightvessel
USS New JerseyNew JerseyCamdenBattleship
USS LingNew JerseyHackensackSubmarine
Fenian RamNew JerseyPatersonSubmarine
Intelligent WhaleNew JerseySea GirtSubmarine
USS SlaterNew YorkAlbanyDestroyer escort
KestrelNew YorkAlexandria BaySteam yacht
ClearwaterNew YorkBeaconSloop
Mary A. WhalenNew YorkBrooklynOil tanker
Nantucket (WLV-612)New YorkBrooklynLightvessel
USS CroakerNew YorkBuffaloSubmarine
Edward M. CotterNew YorkBuffaloFireboat
USS Little RockNew YorkBuffaloLight cruiser
PTF 17New YorkBuffaloFast patrol boat
USS The SullivansNew YorkBuffaloDestroyer
Day PeckinpaughNew YorkCohoesCanal motorship
Fire FighterNew YorkGreenportFireboat
PT 48New YorkKingstonPT Boat
PT 459New YorkKingstonPT Boat
PT 486New YorkKingstonPT Boat
PT 615New YorkKingstonPT Boat
Baylander (IX-514)New YorkManhattanHelicopter Landing Trainer
Frying PanNew YorkManhattanLightvessel
John J. HarveyNew YorkManhattanFireboat
USCGC LilacNew YorkManhattanLighthouse tender
PioneerNew YorkManhattanSchooner
Sherman ZwickerNew YorkManhattanSchooner
WavertreeNew YorkManhattanFull-rigged ship
W. O. DeckerNew YorkManhattanTugboat
Ambrose (LV-87)New YorkNew YorkLightvessel
USS GrowlerNew YorkNew York CitySubmarine
USS IntrepidNew YorkNew York CityAircraft carrier
SS Lehigh Valley 79New YorkNew York CityRailroad car float
Lettie G. HowardNew YorkNew York CitySchooner
Derrick Boat No. 8New YorkOswegoFloating derrick
Major Elisha K. HensonNew YorkOswegoTugboat
ChristeenNew YorkOyster BayOyster sloop
John D. McKeanNew YorkSleepy HollowFireboat
ChancellorNew YorkWaterfordTugboat
UrgerNew YorkWaterfordCanal tugboat
ModestyNew YorkWest SayvilleSloop
PriscillaNew YorkWest SayvilleSloop
USS North CarolinaNorth CarolinaWilmingtonBattleship
MajesticOhioCincinnatiShowboat
USS CodOhioClevelandSubmarine
SS William G. MatherOhioClevelandBulk freighter
W. P. Snyder Jr.OhioMariettaTowboat
PT 728OhioPort ClintonPT boat
Col. James M. SchoonmakerOhioToledoBulk freighter
USS Batfish*OklahomaMuskogeeSubmarine
USCGC AlertOregonPortlandUSCG patrol boat
USS Blueback*OregonPortlandSubmarine
USS LCI(L)-713OregonPortlandLanding Craft Infantry
PortlandOregonPortlandSteam tug
PT 658OregonPortlandPT Boat
USS NiagaraPennsylvaniaErieSnow-brig
USS BecunaPennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaSubmarine
Gazela PrimeiroPennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaBarkentine
JupiterPennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaTugboat
USS OlympiaPennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaProtected cruiser
USS RequinPennsylvaniaPittsburghSubmarine
CoronetRhode IslandNewportYacht
USS ClamagoreSouth CarolinaMount PleasantSubmarine
USS LaffeySouth CarolinaMount PleasantDestroyer
USS YorktownSouth CarolinaMount PleasantAircraft carrier
H. L. HunleySouth CarolinaNorth CharlestonSubmarine
USS LexingtonTexasCorpus ChristiAircraft carrier
HA. 19TexasFredericksburgMidget submarine
PT 309TexasFredericksburgPT Boat
USS CavallaTexasGalvestonSubmarine
ElissaTexasGalvestonBarque
USS StewartTexasGalvestonDestroyer escort
USS Texas*TexasLa PorteBattleship
TiconderogaVermontShelburneSteamboat
USS WisconsinVirginiaNorfolkBattleship
Portsmouth (LV101)VirginiaPortsmouthLightvessel
AluminautVirginiaRichmondSubmarine
WT PrestonWashingtonAnacortesDredger
USCGC ComancheWashingtonBremertonFleet tug
USS Turner JoyWashingtonBremertonDestroyer
Trieste II (DSV-1)WashingtonKeyportBathyscaphe
Sand ManWashingtonOlympiaTugboat
Arthur FossWashingtonSeattleTugboat
DuwamishWashingtonSeattleFireboat
SwiftsureWashingtonSeattleLightvessel
Fireboat No. 1WashingtonTacomaFireboat
HopeWisconsinGills RockFish tug
LudingtonWisconsinKewauneeTugboat
USS CobiaWisconsinManitowocSubmarine
CG 41410WisconsinSturgeon Bay 
John PurvesWisconsinSturgeon BayTugboat
SS MeteorWisconsinSuperiorSteamer

Comments

  1. July 27, 2018Directrix Gazer said...

    USS Slater (Cannon-class DE), in Albany, NY, was quite nice when I visited back in 2010. They allowed, nay encouraged me to man the forward 3-inch/50 cal gun and slew it around to track a passing tourist boat (the passengers of which seemed rather amused by said act).

    The main deck, galley and CIC (which they do a good job of explaining) are the accessible portions of the ship. No going below at this stage in the restoration, sadly. She's a work in progress but what is accessible is in very good shape. The guides were knowledgeable and personable.

    There's a short pre-tour movie about the ship's service and the context for her design. I was stunned at one point to hear a woman behind me exclaim to her companion "Wait, we fought the Japanese in World War Two?!"

  2. July 27, 2018bean said...

    I actually ran into one of their guides on the Iowa when he was visiting. He spoke highly of the ship, and it's nice to have his opinion confirmed. It's definitely on my list eventually, although it's going to be a while.

  3. July 27, 2018S_J said...

    Thanks for the list.

    As a boy, I was able to tour a submarine once...from my memories of where/when that happened, I deduce that it was the USS Lionfish.

    I'm a little surprised at the number of museum ships listed in Michigan. I'll have to visit some of them.

    Possible correction to your list: the museum ship USCGC Mackinaw is in Mackinaw City, in Michigan. About a month ago, I was in that area of Michigan. I saw the Mackinaw, but was unable to take a tour.

  4. July 27, 2018bean said...

    Fixed. I checked, and the wiki list wasn’t pointing to a Reykjavik, Michigan, it was pointing to the Icelandic city. I have no clue what happened there.

  5. July 27, 2018Chuck said...

    Not sure if you are counting replicas or not, but Virginia also has the Godspeed, Discovery, and Susan Constant, functional replicas of the ships that settled Jamestown, where they are currently docked.

  6. July 27, 2018bean said...

    The list doesn’t appear to count replicas, as Mayflower II is also missing. (I checked because she’s currently at Mystic for a refit, and I wanted to mark her as one I’ve seen.) Wiki has a list, but it's not in the same format. I may or may not incorporate it at some point.

  7. July 27, 2018Black Bellamy said...

    Yeah, you can take the Ling off the list. The black hole has swallowed her.

  8. July 27, 2018bean said...

    I know Ling is circling the event horizon, but I'm going to leave her on until she's actually cut up or otherwise totally and permanently gone. She's almost certainly doomed, but I'm rooting for her.

  9. July 27, 2018littskad said...

    The Alabama (and Drum) in Mobile is spectacular. When each of my boys was in Cub Scouts, we got to stay overnight on the Alabama. It was a lot of fun wandering around it in the dark with nobody else around.

  10. July 27, 2018bean said...

    @littskad

    I can't quite agree with you there. Alabama wasn't bad, but compared to the other major warships I've been to (two other battleships, a carrier, and a heavy cruiser), she was just unimpressive.

    But yes, an overnight, even on her, would be pretty neat. My scout troop did one a year or so after I left.

  11. July 27, 2018littskad said...

    @bean

    You have a lot more experience then me, so you're probably right. We did get a very elaborate and thorough tour from someone who had a great rapport with the scouts and seemed to know everything about the ship. Also, when we got there, it was already closed to the general public, so we didn't get any over-the-top commercialism, and since we knew we were going to be there at night, we all had flashlights, so we didn't notice the lighting issues you did.

    I guess the takeaway is: the best way to visit a battleship is to have a son, wait until he's a cub scout, and go then. It takes a bit of planning, but it's all worth it in the end. (It's also the best way to go camping at state parks in my experience.)

  12. July 28, 2018bean said...

    We did get a very elaborate and thorough tour from someone who had a great rapport with the scouts and seemed to know everything about the ship.

    That's going to make a tremendous difference. I was there on a Friday in December, and they didn't have anyone for me to talk to (I asked). A good tour guide can make anything interesting, and doing that to a battleship is easy mode. If I dialed out the differences between Alabama and Massachusetts on that front, I'd still give Massachusetts the edge, but they wouldn't be the totally different experiences they were. I'll certainly believe Alabama has someone nearly as good as Massachusetts did (equally good is a big stretch), but they weren't on duty the day I went.

    I guess the takeaway is: the best way to visit a battleship is to have a son, wait until he's a cub scout, and go then.

    That's not a bad way to do it, but I would generalize to say that the best way to visit a battleship (or frankly anywhere) is to go with a good tour guide. You can usually hire one if you want. The rate on Iowa was $75, and I can tell you that you'll get a better tour with a smaller and older group. The guide is spending less time making sure that nobody has wandered off.

    (Well, the real best way is to be able to rely on professional courtesy to meet their most obsessive guide, and have him show you parts of the ship you'd never let the general public into. But that doesn't work for most people.)

  13. July 28, 2018Gbdub said...

    As far as notable replicas go, there’s also the “HMS” Surprise in San Diego.

    How was the museum in Mystic? I was recently out there in CT but didn’t make it over there because I didn’t realize the ship collection was that extensive. Did go to Nautilus and the forts in New London though.

  14. July 28, 2018bean said...

    Mystic was pretty good, although nowhere near as good as Nautilus. A lot of those "ships" are actually boats, and it was often hard to tell if the thing you were looking at was historic or someone's recreational sailboat. (They let people tie up at their docks.) There were only about four of them they'd let you go on instead of looking from the dock, although those were pretty neat, and the shore exhibits were well-done. Yes, I've written a review of it, but it's going to be a long time before I publish, because I don't want two solid weeks of "nautical stuff around Boston".

  15. July 28, 2018bean said...

    I've had a look through the list of replica ships, and I might bring in a couple, but merging looks difficult, and the only one that I really want to see is Dingyuan, a Chinese replica of the Sino-Japanese war ironclad. I want to see her more badly than 90+% of the stuff on this list. Most of the rest is historic sailing ships of various sorts, which are just a lot less interesting.

  16. July 28, 2018Mike Kozlowski said...

    ...Sadly, Clamagore at Patriots' Point SC is in grim shape. Her interior is in very good shape, but the outer hull is probably too far gone. The USN threatened a couple years ago to tow her out to sea and scuttle her, but not heard anything since. Yorktown is in surprisingly good shape, but she desperately needs a drydocking. Laffey is good, and the new sound/light show in CIC is worth the visit all by itself.

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