Monday, April 13, 2015

A day enjoying the history on display on Galveston Island Texas. Seawolf Park.

With the "Greatest Generation" that saw the world through the darkest hours of World War 2 and ushered in the modern era slipping away rapidly, it's a great thing that we have museums, and countless books, documentaries and other means to remind the world to never go back down that dark and sorrowful road...

One such spot where visitors can get actually hands on with real honest to goodness World War 2 military hardware is at Seawolf Park in Galveston Texas. 

Seawolf Park, featuring the American Undersea Warfare Center is located technically just north of Galveston, on Pelican Island, and is a memorial to the United States Navy Sargo-class submarine USS Seawolf (SS-197) mistakenly sunk by U.S. Navy forces in 1944 during World War II.

Seawolf park features a submarine, and the remains of a merchant ship, and a destroyer escort designed to conduct antisubmarine warfare all in one museum area. It is the home of two semi preserved U.S. Navy ships, the first as you enter the display area is the Gato-class submarine USS Cavalla (SS-244) and immeidately across the display area, the Edsall-class destroyer escort USS Stewart (DE-238), and the remains of the World War I tanker S.S. Selma, the largest concrete ship constructed, can be seen in the waters northwest of the park '​s fishing pier. Also displayed at the park is the tower of the Balao-class submarine USS Carp (SS-338) and the sail of the Sturgeon-class nuclear attack submarine USS Tautog (SSN-639).

There are facilities for having a picnic, and shore access inside, and out of the park where anglers can fish for common Texas Coastal fish such as Sea Trout, Speckled Trout, Atlantic Drum, Flounder, Gafftopsail Catfish and others. 

A tour through the park, and the naval installations can give the visitor a great understanding of the hardships the Greatest Generation had to go through, lacking in even the most basic modern conveniences and comforts. 

We recently took the trip to Seawolf Park, hopefully this photo tour will give you a feel for what things aboard were like for those that put their lives on the line for liberty...

The road in from the main island leads through Palm trees and sand until it all opens up to a view of a World War 2 era Destroyer escort ship. Quite a sight for sure!

The sign at the entrance gate gives a clue that this isn't your ordinary county park!

As you come through the ticket takers station, the first thing you are greeted by is the business end of a U.S. Navy Submarine, complete withe torpedo being fired, and frozen in time.

As you round the nose of the submarine, and walk between vessels, a beautiful sandstone and cast I believe it is bronze monument stands to honor the fallen.

Words far too many many have come to forget the true meaning of. 

Now we climb aboard the USS Cavala and take a tour aboard a real World War II submarine!

The decking of the Cavala was refurbished since 2000, but already is showing the impact of the harsh marine environment.

As you descend the stairs through the hatch, you immediately enter into the forward torpedo room. 

Thanks to the handy tour signage, we now now how torpedoes were propelled in World War II.

Moving on, let's let the photos do the talking, they say it so much better than I can!

Remember that sign about the Officers Staterooms? Well here they are!

You'd think Officers would have had better quarters, but then again, this isn't meant to be a luxury cruise ship!

Some of the areas of the exhibits, it is obvious that more modern equipment has been installed.

Now this next pic, shows just how much decay happens over 71 years, including a good number of those years, 1944 to 1971 being maintained in active service.... I'm no expert, but I suspect there is a LARGE number of missing valve handles here!

Somehow I doubt the poster in the Crews Mess is original to the sub from 1944.

And that is it for the sub pics for now... In order to keep in manageable, I am going to break this up into pieces that are easier to chew on as it were, so for now...

Get out there and find your own... road less traveled.

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