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A Few Big Guns


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Throwback alert: Check out this amazing shot of three 35,000-ton battleships tied up on the Embarcadero in 1946. They include the Alabama (right), the Indiana (left) and the Massachusetts (center). Photo provided by the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
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My wife and I toured the USS Alabama on display in Mobile, AL. As a Navy Vet it was interesting to me, however, my  wife thought it was to big and spooky. We didn’t see a great deal of the ship as it is very large. I served on LPH-7 USS Guadalcanal, a flat top for Helicopters (long gone now).  A much smaller ship by any measure.

 

CJ

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The USS Massachusetts is above 2 hours away.  I've probably been onboard her at least 8-10 times.

 

One of the very few good things about living in the Northeast is the number of naval museums within a days drive.

 

The USS Constitution*, USS Intrepid*, USS Massachusetts*, the US Submarine Museum* and the USS Slater (DE-766) are all day trips  (All within 2-3 hrs drive one way)

The USS New Jersey & the USS Olympia* is an overnight trip (4 hr drive one way)

The USS Wisconsin is a 2 day trip (8-10 hours one way)

 

*Indicates there are multiple exhibits, ships and/or other museums present.

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11 hours ago, Chantry said:

The USS Massachusetts is above 2 hours away.  I've probably been onboard her at least 8-10 times.

 

One of the very few good things about living in the Northeast is the number of naval museums within a days drive.

 

The USS Constitution*, USS Intrepid*, USS Massachusetts*, the US Submarine Museum* and the USS Slater (DE-766) are all day trips  (All within 2-3 hrs drive one way)

The USS New Jersey & the USS Olympia* is an overnight trip (4 hr drive one way)

The USS Wisconsin is a 2 day trip (8-10 hours one way)

 

*Indicates there are multiple exhibits, ships and/or other museums present.

 

The USS Massachusetts and several other retired warships are docked at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.  

I had the (ahem?) pleasure of serving as a chaperone for a crew of Boy Scouts on a sleep-over aboard ship.  On canvas cots.  Fun.

My most vivid memory of the trip is how small submariners had to be to function on a WWII era sub; the very definition of "tight quarters".

 

LL

 

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3 hours ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

 

The USS Massachusetts and several other retired warships are docked at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.  

I had the (ahem?) pleasure of serving as a chaperone for a crew of Boy Scouts on a sleep-over aboard ship.  On canvas cots.  Fun.

My most vivid memory of the trip is how small submariners had to be to function on a WWII era sub; the very definition of "tight quarters".

 

LL

 

 

I find that I no longer fit very well in the submarine or the Russian missile corvette and even parts of the battleship can be a tight fit.  B-17's & B-24's are equally tight fits.

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18 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Magnificent!   :FlagAm:

 

Sadly, they wouldn't be welcomed there today.  :mellow:

 

 

Yet, despite San Francisco trying to not be part of the United States, they still have Fleet Week.

https://fleetweeksf.org/air-show/

 

 

SFFWK Presented By UA Logo V4_FINAL

Held annually between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, The San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show Presented by United attracts fans from all over the globe. The waterfront event is headlined by The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and is the only air show in the United States with a commercial airliner, the United 777, to perform a fully choreographed act.

2021 Air Show Dates

Friday October 8, Saturday October 9 & Sunday October 10

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3 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Yet, despite San Francisco trying to not be part of the United States, they still have Fleet Week.

 

 

Indeed... undoubtedly to the chagrin of many denizens of Baghdad-By-the-Bay... particularly The City's "Leadership."  :rolleyes:

 

And surprisingly, the first Fleet Week happened during the mayoral reign of none other than Her Majesty, Queen Dianne Feinstein, forty years ago.

 

Two years later, in 1983, a most hysterical event came about:  For the first time, the Blue Angels were to be a major attraction.  And Hooo Boy, were they ever!  There was some controversy over whether the Navy forgot to inform City Hall, or if someone in the Mayor's office forgot to release this information to the press (my money's on City Hall; such was the word on the street at the time). 

 

And when a bunch of blue and gold A-4 Skyhawks began zipping about the Financial District doing their practice routine, folk panicked - it was like watching "War of the Worlds" in person.  :D

 

The TV, radio, and print news reporters had a heyday... I lived there then, and I'm here to tell ya, it was funnier'n Hell!!  :lol:

 


 

Quote

 

Blue Angels' low-altitude ambush left San Francisco fuming in 1983

San Francisco Chronicle  October 04, 2018

 

The Blue Angels will always be a simmering debate in San Francisco.

 

Until the city’s dogs get organized enough to hire a lobbyist, the Navy precision flying team will almost certainly continue its multi-decade tradition of flying above and between our city’s landmarks during San Francisco Fleet Week.

 

But no modern controversy compares with the great Blue Angels panic of 1983, when six A-4 Skyhawk pilots surprised the city with a series of low-altitude San Francisco flybys that rattled windows and nerves. The coalition of enraged residents included Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who got on the phone and ordered the planes grounded.

 

One elderly woman was so convinced that the U.S. was under attack, she broke her hip trying to escape danger. Another woman with a poodle “in a whining frenzy” reportedly left a note by her bedside, blaming the Federal Aviation Administration if she didn’t make it through the night.

 

“I thought it was the Russians coming when I heard the jets,” said Diane Comer, who at the time worked in the Financial District, where planes passed below some workers. “I thought Reagan had done something, and we were going to get it. But I didn’t hear anything on the radio and later someone said it was the Blue Angels.”

 

image.png.32867839d94661052641b71b34304dfe.png 

October 1983: The Blue Angels pass over Treasure Island, with the Bay Bridge in the background.Frederic Larson / The Chronicle 1983

 

 

The problem occurred after the Blue Angels filed for a waiver to fly lower than their normal altitude — at the time 1,000 feet above the tallest building — but failed to notify City Hall.

 

Adding to the element of surprise: The Blue Angels hadn’t performed in San Francisco for the first two years, although they flew over Moffett Field in July 1983. (File under “Things that would never fly in 2018”: miles of Highway 101 near the airfield were closed on that day, and traffic was detoured during rush hour, so planes could fly low over the interstate.)

 

Feinstein, a S.F. Fleet Week supporter, became furious when her windows started rattling — and City Hall phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

 

“The mayor was concerned that so many people were frightened,” her spokesman said. “She got on the telephone with the Navy and ordered them to bring those planes down.”

 

A standoff never materialized. The Navy reported that the planes were already landing when Feinstein made her phone call. All seemed to be forgiven the next day, when the mayor showed up to Fleet Week wearing a yellow knit hat with “Go Navy” embroidered on the side.

 

Meanwhile, the debate continued in the letters pages of The Chronicle. One Telegraph Hill dweller reported the plane dipping so low, he could see the pilots’ faces.

 

Ferlinghetti had the best lines, reporting that in his North Beach neighborhood, he saw “people run for shelter as if bombs were falling.”

 

“As a former Navy man (four years sea duty during World War II) I certainly was impressed by the Navy’s own Blue Angels when they terrorized the population of San Francisco with aerial acrobatics,” Ferlinghetti wrote. “The Navy couldn’t have chosen a better way to demonstrate the horrors of modern warfare. The beauty of it was that they did it without firing a single shot.”

 

Peter Hartlaub is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop culture critic. Email: phartlaub@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @PeterHartlaub

 

 

 

                      

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
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