THE NEXT CHAPTER IN THE
HISTORY OF OUR SHIP
16th, 2001, the 57th anniversary of the ships christening, the USS WISCONSIN and
the National Maritime Center-Nauticus celebrated their Grand Re-Opening.
Participating in this grand re-opening were Richard Conti, Nauticus Director,
Paul Fraim, Mayor of Norfolk, RADM Christopher Cole, Commander Navy Regional
Mid-Atlantic, Mary Mosier, Captain, USN (RET), Operations Manager for Hampton
Roads Naval Museum and over 400 crewmembers, friends and family.
Monday morning started with a parade from City Hall, down
Main Street, to Nauticus. Nothing was going to stop her former crew, they
came with canes, wheelchairs and assisted by family members. They marched with
their heads held high and a big smile on their face. They were going to
see their MAGNIFICENT LADY. Among our marchers was
Jerry Blesch, Captain USN (RET) who recommissioned the Wisconsin in
1988. Mayor Fraim and RADM Cole
delivered very short speeches before the doors to Nauticus
Prior to this event,
on Sunday morning after a buffet breakfast and an Easter Service, we shuttled to
Nauticus to Dedicate a plaque on behalf of the Wisconsin Association. This
plaque is dedicated to the memory of all sailors and Marines who served in
this proud and historic warship. It is to be placed, if
possible, aboard the ship. At the present time, it is on display at Nauticus, at
the foot of the bridge leading to the Wisconsin.
were then allowed to preview all of Nauticus' displays pertaining to the
Wisconsin. Among the many displays is "City at Sea" with three
movie screens depicting Life aboard the Wisconsin. They continually show short
clips and still photos of crewmembers from the three eras that the ship was in
service. You had to hear the "Wow!, that's me" "I
know him" "That's what's his name" . If you want to
relive your time aboard the ship, this is a "Must See". There
were many other exhibits, Battlescope, Battleship X, etc. just to mention
a few. The Nauticus team has done a tremendous job in recreating
our time aboard our ship. WELL DONE! Nauticus.
By 1PM the bridge was opened to us. We walked her decks
once more. She is beautiful and massive and powerful. We walked from
bow to stern and back again, several times, just remembering and telling sea
stories. Hampton Roads Naval Museum has to be commended for all their
efforts in preserving the history of our ship. We met a few of the docents, some
who were former crewmembers, all have a very good knowledge of the history of
For those of you who could not attend this celebration. I hope the
following pictures will give you a feeling of being there. The first 106
photos were taken by Lil and Dom Menta.
Wisconsin in her new and hopefully permanent home
Mary Mosier, Any chance of me getting a duplicate set of keys for the
Friday evening. As members were checking in. we wasted no time in
gathering so that we could tell sea stories.
We talked and talked and talked and talked
RPV Remoted Piloted Vechicle
3 different views
Do you believe the Iraqis surrendered to this?
Anyone have a white handerchief?
Comparison to a 16" shell in weight
The start of the Wisconsin
Wisconsin in the Pacific War
Sunday morning buffet
No. 4 Engine Room
1951-54 Bill Henson
1988-92 James Dickson
Our Dedication Service
Bill Frost-2 terms aboard
He can still blow that Bosn's Pipe
Bill Henson introducing our guest speakers
Carl Capestrain, Pres.
Carl Capestrain & Charlie Hartig from the Mayor's office
Speakers in waiting
Carl Capestain presents the Busy Badger award to Jennifer Cashat from
Armed Forces Reunion
Carl presenting pieces of numbered teakwood from the deck of the
Media coverage including Jody Cox on left
Standing Room Only
Dave presenting Mayor Paul Fraim with a teakwood clock
Admiring the plaque
Rich answering some questions
Charles Bryant ,
Dom Menta and
Those beautiful 16" guns
Dick Hamann signing Kathy and Bill up for the cruise
Betty and Buck Frazier
Jean and John Berry
Marie and James Armstrong
Mrs. Morris, Claire Kokidko, Walt Morris, ??,
Bob & Mary Griel
Is it a case of low chairs or high tables?
Albert Prichard, Leonard Goodman & Floyd Sheffler
Gathering for the March
The none marchers rode the bus to Nauticus
Lining up at City Hall
Marching toward Nauticus
Left, right, come on guys stay in step
They also ride bikes
Some of Norfolk's natives
3rd Graders from Tarrallton School
Copeland Mills, School of the Arts and the
Boy Scouts in the rear
US Naval Sea Cadets Corp
The Nauticus Crew
The US Navy Band
Here come the Marines
followed by the sailors
After looking at all these marching photos, I think we should have
gone back to Boot Camp to practice marching.
We made it to Nauticus and the Welcome Flag is out
A final speech by
Lil and Jerry
Would you believe, Lil is standing on a orange crate
Myron NelsonJohn Pritlow
Carl and Gabe strolling the deck
Carl and Gabe in the foreground is Dave Kohnan's wife and Mom
Jack Culp with his in-laws
Tom Lowney, Ed Lederer with wife and ?
A view of the bow
The bridge from the ship to Nauticus
George Johnson looking over the Donor's list
Amy Waters Yarsinske signing her book
"Forward for Freedom
The Story of
John Fox's memorabilia
Viewing a clip of the Ed Sullivan show
May 22, 1955
Betty's sister & husband, Bill & Kathy Frost, June & Frank
Crawley, Betty & Jack Culp,
Standing, Sally Fiore,
Miriam Zimmerman, Carl Capestrain,
Dean Giroux, ?,?
Aren't they cute??
Bob McClure, Harold Seavers, Lin Daggett, Marge Daggett, Standing is
Susan McClure 2nd from right
How about this bus?
Lil said I had to put this picture on because she took it.
Dignitaries on the march.
Next 3 photos taken by
ADM Cole gives a short speech prior to the start of the parade.
Next 8 photos sent in by
E Div. 1956-1958
Aft Dolphin station.
View from Nauticus
View from Nauticus
ADM Cole being interviewed.
Next 2 photos sent in by
The one and only
Look who's behind Al,
it's Lil and Dom.
Thanks Al for all the pictures you kept sending me showing the progress
being made in the construction of the pier which is now the home of our
Percy Sussex on the
Next 3 photos sent in by
Percy Sussex, Q Div.
Starboard signal bridge.
Photo by Keith Lanpher
(c) GIS Bureau of the City of Norfolk