Battleship Wisconsin (BB-64) - 1952-1981 - page 3

bb64The warship conducted a brief period of local operations off Norfolk before she sailed, on 27 March, for the Mediterranean Sea. Reaching Gibraltar on 6 April, she pushed on that day to rendezvous with TF 60 in the Aegean Sea. She then proceeded with that force to Xeros Bay, Turkey, arriving there on 11 April for NATO Exercise "Red Pivot."

Departing Xeros Bay on 14 April, she arrived at Naples four days later, After a week's visit during which she was visited by Italian dignitaries Wisconsin conducted exercises in the eastern Mediterranean. In the course of those operational training evolutions, she rescued a pilot and crewman who survived the crash of a plane from the carrier Forrestal (CVA-59). Two days later, Vice Admiral Charles R. Brown, Commander, Sixth Fleet, came on board for an official visit by high-line and departed via the same method that day. Wisconsin reached Valencia, Spain, on 10 May and, three days later, entertained prominent civilian and military officials of the city.

Departing Valencia on 17 April, Wisconsin reached Norfolk on 27 May. On that day, Rear Admiral L.S. Parks relieved Rear Admiral Crommelin as Commander, Battleship Division 2. Departing Norfolk on 19 June, the battleship, over the ensuing weeks, conducted a midshipman training cruise through the Panama Canal to South American waters. She transited the canal on 26 June; crossed the equator on the following day; and reached Valparaiso on 3 July. Eight days later, the battleship headed back to the Panama Canal and the Atlantic.

After exercises at Guantanamo Bay and off Culebra, Wisconsin reached Norfolk on 5 August and conducted local operations that lasted into September. She then participated in NATO exercises which took her across the North Atlantic to the British Isles. She arrived in the River Clyde on 14 September and subsequently visited Brest, France, before returning to Norfolk on 22 October.

Wisconsin's days as an active fleet unit were numbered, and she prepared to make her last cruise. On 4 November 1957, she departed Norfolk with a large group of prominent guests on board. Reaching New York City on 6 November, the battleship disembarked her guests and, on 8 November, headed for Bayonne, New Jersey, to commence pre-inactivation overhaul.

Placed out of commission at Bayonne on 8 March 1958, Wisconsin joined the "Mothball Fleet" there, leaving the United States Navy without an active battleship for the first time since 1896. Subsequently taken to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Wisconsin remained there with her sistership Iowa into 1981.

Text provided by Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS), Vol. VIII, pp. 433-37.

  • World War II [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
  • 1945-1950 [1]
  • The Korean War [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • 1952-1981 [1] [2] [3]
  • 1988-Present [1]