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Thread: A visit to USS SALEM (CA-139)

  1. #1
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    A visit to USS SALEM (CA-139)

    Here is a thread with a selection of photos from my visit to USS SALEM (CA-139) June 11th. As you see it was a really crummy day which made her slippery outside. Since my wife was with me and she was not comfortable climbing around on wet ladders I didn't fully visit everything.

    She is moored near where she was built at the Fore River shipyard in Quincy, MA.


    USSSalem-7555 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7558 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7561 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    She is looking a bit rusty on the superstructure. That looks like an SPS-49 antenna, which she never carried in service, unless I'm confused.


    USSSalem-7564 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7567 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    Unless you find a docent to show you around, you are limited to a few unlabelled an uninteresting corridors. I talked someone into taking us down into the engine rooms.


    USSSalem-7573 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7574 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7576 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7581 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7585 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7589 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

  2. #2
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    Boiler:

    USSSalem-7590 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    Back outside:


    USSSalem-7598 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7601 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7603 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7606 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7608 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7641 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    Inside a 5" turret:


    USSSalem-7648 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    13 men were crammed into this tiny space. My uncle spent plenty of time in such a turret on BB-62 during Vietnam.


    USSSalem-7650 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr


    USSSalem-7654 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

    Aft 8" turret:


    USSSalem-7659 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

  3. #3
    Contributor ace16807's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I always loved gun cruisers (perhaps more than battleships). Do they have most of the areas actually sealed off or just roped off so people don't go wandering about without a docent?

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    Most of the areas are either sealed, or open but with no lights. They did tell me if I came at 0600 or such one day someone would take me into any of the sealed off areas I wanted to see (e.g. shell and powder handling rooms, etc...) .

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    Great pictures. She still looks pretty good. Great ships and glad one of those were spared the scrap yards. Love the shot of the external armor belt at her waterline. Was aboard the Des Moines a few times in Philly but would very much like to go and look at Salem. Especially if they restored the below decks hangar. Would also like to see a close up up the boilers plaque to see its ratings. Again, great shots.
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    Very cool. I'll never get to see her so it is nice to see something up close and personal.

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    100% crop of the turbine plaque as requested. I didn't take a close up of the boiler's plaque this time around. Quality is not so great though, as its a small piece of a much larger photo.


    USSSalem-7582 by NelsonAndBronte, on Flickr

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    Admiral,

    How much is open and how much interpretation is there?

    I visited the Salem with my late father and my son back in the summer of 2000. It was the last real walking around he was able to do. We were restricted to topside deck and bridge. I recall it being in very poor shape back then....lots of rust and flaking paint.

    Looks a lot better now.
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    There are a very limited selection of areas open below decks -- essentially walking around the ship in a couple of corridors. There are few signs or labels anywhere. Basically you need to find a docent and have him show you around and explain things. They did tell me if I came at an odd hour someone could take me into any part of the ship I wanted to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Nelson View Post
    There are a very limited selection of areas open below decks -- essentially walking around the ship in a couple of corridors. There are few signs or labels anywhere. Basically you need to find a docent and have him show you around and explain things. They did tell me if I came at an odd hour someone could take me into any part of the ship I wanted to see.
    Are there usually some on hand or is the museum usually staffed by a handful of volunteers manning key areas with docents available only through request ahead of time?

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    Hard to say. When I went there was some kind of Boy Scout sleepover thing starting up. There were therefore a whole bunch of staffers around. They were mostly concerned with the Scouts, though. An "all hands to pizza" call over the tannoy seemed to clear out everyone.

    I spoke with 2-3 docents who all seemed knowledgeable and pleased to talk with someone who could ask more than routine questions about the ship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Nelson View Post
    Hard to say. When I went there was some kind of Boy Scout sleepover thing starting up. There were therefore a whole bunch of staffers around. They were mostly concerned with the Scouts, though. An "all hands to pizza" call over the tannoy seemed to clear out everyone.

    I spoke with 2-3 docents who all seemed knowledgeable and pleased to talk with someone who could ask more than routine questions about the ship.
    It's nice of the "docents" to take individuals below decks. Unfortunately if someone falls down a ladder or walks into something below decks and hurts themselves, the docent's career is probably over.

    For the tours, are people required to wear hard hats and safety glasses?

    The shipyard had some kind of Family Day back in late 1995 (I missed it). When I came back the following Monday there were hard hats and safety glasses laying all over the place.

    The shipyard also handed out pieces of teak wood with "USS Missouri" stamped on them and there were a number of those laying around.
    Last edited by Ytlas; 15 Jun 11, at 17:29.

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    Wow! What a magnificent thread - Thank You!

    Salem is one of my favorite ships - the most advanced all big gun ship ever built IMO.

    The pictures are awesome!
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    Thanks for the compliments.

    I'm not sure if you need hard hats etc. for entering the closed areas. I did not seriously inquire. Certainly nothing was needed for walking around in the areas I visited. It did seem to me that if you were familiar with the ship and carried in a decent maglite you could probably go anywhere in the ship without anyone noticing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Nelson View Post

    I'm not sure if you need hard hats etc. for entering the closed areas. I did not seriously inquire. Certainly nothing was needed for walking around in the areas I visited. It did seem to me that if you were familiar with the ship and carried in a decent maglite you could probably go anywhere in the ship without anyone noticing.

    Just curious. The closest museum ship to me is the USS Midway and I have absolutely no desire to go to see it.

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