Nauticus is a maritime-themed science center and museum located on the downtown waterfront of Norfolk, Virginia and features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high defination films, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum.
The second floor of Nauticus houses the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the entrance to the Battleship Wisconsin. The museum's exhibits include material on the Battle of the Chesapeake (1781), the American Civil War in Hampton Roads, the Great White Fleet, World War II and the Cold War. Museum holdings are strong in the areas of naval prints, ship models and underwater archaeology. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is the official repository of the remains of two Civil War shipwrecks: USS Cumberland and USS Florida.
USS Battleship Wisconsin
One of the largest battleships ever built arrived at Nauticus on the downtown Norfolk waterfront on December 7, 2000. That date was significant because it marked the 57th anniversary of the USS Wisconsin's launching in 1943 – two years to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The USS Wisconsin opened for main deck tours on April 16, 2001. That date marked the 57th anniversary of the ship's commissioning in 1944.
The USS Wisconsin, one of four Iowa-class battleships constructed by the U.S. Navy, was built from 1941 to 1943 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and commissioned in 1944. She played a major role in World War II, earning five battle stars for service against Japanese forces. She served during the Korean War, and led the Navy’s surface attack on Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, firing not only her first but also the campaign's first Tomahawk Missile. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia and retired to the Naval Inactive Reserve Fleet in Portsmouth, Virginia, in October 1996.
On April 16, 2010, exactly 66 years from the day she was commissioned at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the United States Navy ceremoniously transferred ownership of the vessel to the city of Norfolk, Virginia. Vice Admiral David Architzel joined Mayor Paul Fraim, other city and military leaders, and former crew members on deck to conduct the ceremony. VADM Architzel presented the long glass to Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim signifying that the Mayor now has the watch.
By the end of November 2009, more than 2,495,296 visitors have walked the teak decks of historic BB-64. These visitors have come from all fifty U.S. states and from many other nations to experience the awesome battleship.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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