Thursday, 24 April, 2003
Debra entered her show plants this morning, and then we had the day to ourselves. Since I didn't make it to the USS Kidd exhibit yesterday, Debra and I went this morning.
The USS Kidd is a WWII destroyer that is now tied up alongside the bank of the Mississippi river in downtown Baton Rouge. It's a floating museum, and part of the Historic Warship and Nautical Center. The Center has displays honoring Louisiana war veterans, models and descriptions of many ships that are part of Louisiana history, and a large display about the USS Baton Rouge—a nuclear attack submarine. There's even a replica of the USS Constitution's gun deck although I'm quite sure that the USS Constitution didn't look quite that good even when it was originally constructed. Outside the center there are two static aircraft displays: a P-40 painted with the Flying Tigers scheme, and an A-4 painted in the standard U.S. Navy gray.
The USS Kidd is tied up in the river just outside the building. Reading how they manage to keep the ship in the same place throughout the river's annual 22-foot change in level is quite interesting. Walking onto the ship, an employee gives you a map and you take a self-guided tour of most of the spaces. I've always understood that space is at a premium on a warship, but seeing it is something else entirely. Spaces are tight, and there are bunks in some quite unlikely places. Walking the ship and reading how the crew lived, and the exploits of the many men who served on the ship was quite enlightening and gave me a better appreciation of the people who serve and have served in our military. It's well worth the $6.00 entry fee—a pleasant morning's outing.