America boasts a large number of interesting and must-see museum ships - arguably these are some of the best museums in America. These include everything from sail ships to some of the world's largest battleships ever built and of course aircraft carriers. These museum ships can be found all around the American coastline - including Hawaii. Here are some of the must-see American museum ships.
The USS Consitution is one of the most famous ships ever to serve in the American navy. She is a three-masted, wooden heavy fridge who had a very notable career in the 1812 War. He was launched way back in 1797 and is one of the first six ships ever authorized by the Naval Act of 1794. She was never defeated in battle and she defeated several British ships.
One of the most insane facts about this old ship is that while she is over 200 years old and a museum, she remains in active service in the Navy. She is berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts and is a very family-friendly museum.
- World Record: The Oldest Ship Of Any Class Still Afloat
- Displacement: 2,200 Tons
- Number Of Guns: 44 Guns
- Admission Fees: $10-15 For Adults ($5-10 For Children)
- Opening Hours: Tuesday To Sunday 10.00 am - 6.00 pm
- Closed: Monday
Mighty Mo (Aka USS Missouri)
The USS Missouri is one of four completed World War Two Iowa class battleships and among the largest warships ever built for the US Navy - excluding aircraft carriers like the Kitty Hawk, Enterprise, Nimtz, and Ford classes. All of the four ships of this class to be completed are now museum ships around the country including the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, the USS New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, the USS Iowa in Los Angeles, and the USS Missouri in Hawaii.
The 16-inch guns of these ships are among the largest naval guns ever built in the world and the largest to ever fire in anger in the American Navy (the Japanese had larger guns but that's another story).
Of these ships, the most significant is the USS Missouri. It was aboard the Mighty Mo that Japan surrendered in World War 2. It was here that the largest and most destructive war in human history came to an end.
- Admission Fees: $29.99 (Adult, USS Missouri Only), $79.99 (Adult, All Pearl Harbor)
- Opening Hours: 8.00 am - 4.00 pm
Fun Fact: Mighty Mo Is The Battleship Staring In The 2012 Movie Battleship
There are five museum aircraft carrier ships of the US Navy (perhaps the greatest travesty is that these do not include the highly distinguish USS Enterprise who was scrapped after the war). These aircraft carriers are the USS Midway of the Midway Class and four Essex Class carriers - the USS Hornet, USS Lexington, USS Intrepid, and the USS Yorktown.
The USS Midway was launched in 1945 as the successor to the Essex Class but was too late to take part in the Pacific War against Japan. For 10 years from 1945 to 1955, she was the largest warship in the world. She was decommissioned in 1992 and was just able to take part in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 before her decommissioning. Today she is moored up in San Diego where she is open to the public.
- Admission Fee: $26 Adult, $18 Child
- Opening Hours: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm (Last Admission 4.00 pm)
- Bonus: The USS Midway Has 30 Restored Airplanes And Helicopters On Display
The USS Texas is also a unique museum and is currently closed for a major overhaul and repair work. She had to have a large number of bilge pumps constantly pumping out the water to prevent her from sinking. And then as a stop-gap, they pumped her full of foam. Now she is undergoing much-needed and well overdue repairs in the dry dock.
Record: Oldest Preserved US Battleship
Serviced: Both WWI And WWII
The USS Texas is the oldest preserved battleship and was first launched in 1910. She served in both World War I and World War II - among the operations she engaged in was D-Day in Operation Overlord. She was stricken soon after the war from the ship registry in 1948. She has five battle stars and is nicknamed the "Mighty T".
Fun Fact: In 2012 She Had Around 30 Leaks
What is unique about the U-505 is that it is a captured Nazi submarine by the United States in 1944 during World War II. She is one of only four surviving German U-boats today. She was ordered in 1939 and came into service in 1941.
In 1944 she was found by US antisubmarine units who engaged her and damaged her. The crew thought she was done for and so abandoned ship. But they did not scuttle her, so the Americans were able to board her and eventually tow her back to America.
The Submarine Facts
- Date Captured: 4 June 1944
- Ships Sunk: 8 Ships Sunk All in 1942 (3 American, 2 British, 1 Norwegian, 1 Dutch, 1 Colombian)
- Number of Patrols: 12
- Admission Fee: $21.95 Adult Depending On The Exhibit (U-505 Online Tour Only Currently)
- Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm
- Location: Chicago
These are just a few of the particularly noteworthy museum ships on display in the United States. There are many, many more on display. These include 5 aircraft carriers, 9 battleships, 24 American submarines, 1 Nazi submarine, 1 Soviet submarine, and many destroyers and other vessels.