July 3rd Photos Page

Wow, looking back through recent photos I see I've been onboard eight times since my last posting.  Lots of things have been going on including a ship raid at the former Philadelphia Navy Shipyard, a visit by a former captain of the ship, our annual fundraiser, the Battleship Blast, and plenty of firings of our 5-inch gun.  As usual I have the same old excuses as to why I haven't posted any photos recently.  This time though I have a new excuse I'd like to share with you briefly, it has to do with the plight of USS Olympia.  

For those of you who have followed the adventures of the ships Brass Team over the years you know of my love of the Olympia.  We've been onboard her several times in the last two years volunteering and I'm concerned about her future.  The bottom line is that the Independence Seaport Museum has told the Navy they can no longer afford to take care of her and they will relinquish control of her in November.  Apparently the Navy has told them that sinking her as an artificial reef off the coast of Cape May, NJ would be a responsible way of disposing of her.  This is a national treasure we are talking about here, a one-of-a-kind example of the early steam-driven iron ships that established this country as the global Naval power it is today.  There have been hull inspections done, towing reports prepared and estimates established for the necessary repairs.  The towing report actually states the ship will sink at her moorings in three years if nothing is done.  The estimate calls for $10M worth of repairs which includes immediate repairs at her berth in preparation for a tow, a tow to a dry dock, and then the necessary hull repairs.  In addition to the $10M for the repairs, the museum seeks an additional $10M to establish an endowment to provide for maintenance of the ship well into the future.  This is definitely a tidy some of money to be raised, but call me an optimist, I believe if the people of this country knew about this story they would come to her rescue. The Olympia is the oldest steel-hulled warship afloat, and she hasn't been in a dry dock in 65 years, she is in dire straits.  What's been keeping me away from posting photos here is a letter writing campaign to national television news broadcasts and other shows trying to get them to run a story about this tragedy.  To date the situation hasn't been given the national awareness it deserves.  In order to save Commodore Dewey's flagship from being sunk as a reef I urge you to join me and do whatever you can to raise public awareness about Olympia's plight.  If you like I can send you more information and even copies of the letters I've written to get ideas for your own.  Time is running out though, and my mission is to get the word out.  Hopefully one of my letters will bring this story to the national news, but if we all write letters we will dramatically improve our chances for success.  Please, do what you can to help save this ship for future generations to visit and enjoy.

OK, so now you know what I've been up to...  Below are a bunch of photos taken since May 8th.  I also wanted to post some videos from the Battleship Blast of the fireworks and the firing of the 5-inch gun, but the files are way too big.  I'll have to do some editing to get them down to a reasonable size to post.  As always we're always looking for volunteers to come down and help out.  In closing, keep the Olympia in your prayers, and do what you can to help raise awareness of her situation.  

 

May 15th Photo #1
A shot looking straight out the barrel of the right side gun in Mount 52.

May 21st Photo #1

A shot of the now infamous quad 40 mount at the former Philadelphia
Navy Yard.  When we were there on our Ship Raid I took a bunch of
photos of the serial number plates on the guns in the hope of tracing
them back to the New Jersey.  We've tried to get this mount for some
 time now, but have been unsuccessful to date.  It would look so nice
all cleaned up and sitting on the pier near the Battleship...
May 21st Photo #2
As my old drill sergeant would have said when I was in basic training,
that's a perfect "sight picture."  This is a shot taken looking through
the right hand sight on the quad 40 mount pictured above.
May 29th Photo #1
The S.S. John Brown was visiting town for the Memorial Day weekend. I
plan on going on a cruise on her out into the Chesapeake Bay in October.
She is one of the last operational Liberty Ships left in the country, 
should be an interesting experience.
May 29th Photo #2
That's me, trying to clean up one of the large brass doors that protect
the optics for the range finder on Turret 2.  They hadn't been touched
 in a long time and were in need of some attention.
May 29th Photo #3
Here's how the door looked after a days work.  I didn't take a
before shot, but below is the Port side door of the same turret, 
which gives you an idea of the difference.
  
May 29th Photo #4
This one got the same treatment as the one above the next Saturday.
May 29th Photo #5
Firing of Mount 52 on Memorial Day Weekend to give
the Flyers luck on their quest for the Cup...
June 5th Photo #1
First weekend of June and the new canvas has arrived.  It looks great!
  I worked on those Range Finder doors just in time, because now
they have the new canvas installed around them.
June 19th Photo #1
A couple of brass plates we polished and lacquered today.
There is a pair like this on each wing where the 40mm salute guns
are mounted.  The lacquer should keep them shinning for a while.
June 26th Photo #1
On June 26th, Admiral Katz, a former captain of the New Jersey
(8 Aug 1987 - 19 May 1989), and a group of crewmembers from
the '80s visited the ship.  Here we see the Admiral departing,
in the background is a group of former crewman who lined up
as side boys and saluted as he departed.
June 26th Photo #2
In preparation for the Battleship Blast I worked up on O5 today,
sprucing things up in the VIP viewing area for the July 4th fireworks.
By the end of the day everything was ready for inspection! 
June 26th Photo #3
The view forward from O5, look at that nice white canvas, looks great!
July 3rd Photo #1
Shot of the USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) moving up river past the New Jersey
being escorted by several fire boats.  She was in port for the July 4th
festivities and was open to the public for tours during her stay.
July 3rd Photo #2
As the USS Bulkeley passed by we fired our Port side 40mm
salute gun.  Here we see the ships curator doing the honors.
July 3rd Photo #3
Here the USS Bulkeley passes by the USS Olympia which
also fires a salvo to welcome her to Penn's Landing.
July 3rd Photo #4
Now it's time to get the party started, time for the ships annual fund
raiser, the Battleship Blast to begin.  The HyperSonics played again
this year and put on a great show.  Plus I ask you guys, how often
do you get to see cute go-go dancers performing on top of Turret 1?
July 3rd Photo #5
A close up shot of the ladies.
July 3rd Photo #6
The surf-n-turf dinner is over now and the sun is
setting, it's almost time for the fireworks to begin.
July 3rd Photo #7
Quite a few of these guys were cruising about among the pleasure
boats gathered for the festivities.  Pretty sweet little ride they
 have there, I bet it can really haul a@@!
July 3rd Photo #8
After the fireworks we fired both 40mm salute guns and then Mount 52. 
Last year I fired the 5-inch gun from inside the mount, sitting in the gunners
seat.  This year we have a remote trigger installed so the person that fires
the gun stands out on deck and pulls the trigger.  This is a frame from a
video of me firing the gun, I'm on the far left holding the remote trigger.
 

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Last updated on March 02, 2010.