Aboard the Destroyer USS Kidd, Baton Rouge, LA…

After our night of boondocking in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, we got up the next morning and went to the USS Kidd…

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We love all things history, but especially visiting battleships.  This would be our first tour of a destroyer!   We’ve done quite a few battleships, but this one was exceptional in that it had both a fabulous museum, AND a fabulous self-tour of the ship.  There were very few rooms on the tour that were closed to the public!
When we first arrived, we got our tickets at the front desk.  They had a cute little gift shop right there…
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Then we walked down the front hall, where there was a room full of exhibits, and display cases full of pictures and memorabilia from some of our nation’s heroes…

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In the hallway, was also the entrance to the museums’ theater.

At the other end of the building, down from the entrance, is a little cafe, then doors that lead out to a yard that is guarded by this P40 Tomahawk…

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and is surrounded by inspiring war and peace related quotes…

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The bigs were in their element!  :)  DSC_0388_029

Upstairs, nearly the entire floor is dedicated to soldier and shipping exhibits.  There was a large display called ‘Old Ironsides’, that was a lot of fun for the kids.  There was upbeat, rousing pirate music playing inside her, 😉

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(walk through the above door) and there were several cannons set up in the belly of the ship, complete with gun ports…

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Just out the side of Old Ironsides was a room full of military models – all kinds of ships, along with a case of fighter aircraft and tanks…  There is a large model of the submarine, the USS Baton Rouge, displayed along with benches in front of it so you can sit and watch the movie that plays about it.DSC_0400_041

There were many different intricately-built ship models, and not just the 2 WW eras…

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And another hallway of displays dedicated to some of the local heroes that have given their lives in service to their country.  One soldier local soldier that had lost his life in Afghanistan, and another young man that was only 21 and lost his life in Iraq.  Hit pretty close to home to this momma who is on her way to see her soldier boy off.
Quite some time ago, I quit praying that God would ‘keep my kids safe’ – at least not as an end.  Instead, I’ve been praying that God will use them/us greatly, which is not necessarily safe.  That ‘keep my kids safe’, especially my soldier boy, has been creeping back into my prayers an awful lot lately.  😉DSC_0402_043

There was this large, detailed cut away of a large battleship…DSC_0411_052

I loved this beautiful quilt that is on display.  It was made by a group of local quilters as a fund-raiser, and it was signed by veterans (or for them).  Looking at the quilt, the signatures, and in some cases, messages, are signed in four different colors: Red=killed in action, Black=died since serving, Green=living, signing own name, Blue=living, signed by proxy.  Some of the messages were dedications to relatives that died in the service, sometimes by younger generations that had never met them (their heroes)…

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The entire museum is very clean, well taken care of and maintained, and interesting.  We spent over an hour just in the museum.

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Looking out from the second story down into the Louisiana Memorial Plaza…

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The last room, on the second story of the museum, before you walk out to the ship itself, is full of ship models…

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which were very interesting – a lot of them had rope rigging, which would have been tedious to tie so small!  Very intricate!

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There is also a replica of the Steamboat Louisiana’s pilothouse, with a pilot wheel that really turns.  The littles enjoyed ‘steering’…

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and right next to it is a model of the Steamboat Louisiana…

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Then it was out to the…DSC_0448_089

which was also known as the ‘Pirate of the Pacific’!
It is just a short walk out the back of the museum…

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On board, we followed the map that we had been given when we first arrived, to take a self-guided tour of the ship.
The boys were pretty engaged in the tour from the get-go…

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The tour is very clear, takes you on the main deck, 2 lower levels. and an upper level.DSC_0474_115

It took some getting used to, to be able to navigate those ship hallways…

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and the stairs might take a little more practice  😉DSC_0517_158We loved the galley.  I could handle cooking in here!  But really, given the ratio of soldiers (300) to size of kitchen on here, I think it was a bit like cooking in an RV.   😉

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There were displays with memorabilia in them.  The boys really liked to check out the shells…

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The kids loved the bunks down below!  We could have done something like this in the back of the toy hauler  :)

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One of the things that we really appreciated about this particular battleship, was that nearly all the rooms on the tour were open.

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Either you could walk through them, or they were roped off and set up as they would have been while the ship was in service…

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We decided, being accustomed to #LifeIn400sqft , that we could easily live in a destroyer.
well, until we found the latrine.   We changed our minds pretty quickly.  😉

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We spent quite a bit of time topside, even tho it was windy…

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Because that was where the anti-aircraft guns were…DSC_0577_218

and they worked.  Well, not the guns, of course, but the kids could sight in their target,

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and turn the handles that would raise/lower the barrels and move the gun turret side to side…DSC_0581_222

There were torpedoes on deck to check out…

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The USS Kidd was commissioned in 1943, and was decommissioned in 1964.  The USS Kidd is the only destroyer that maintains the look they had during WWII.

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Jake, thinking of his bro…   <3

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We are so proud of and thankful for the soldiers that do and have put their lives on the line, some of who have been called to give the ultimate sacrifice that one can give for their countrymen.

The USS Kidd is moored in the Mississippi River, as it runs through Baton Rouge.  Having been to multiple battleships before we especially appreciated how accessible this one was for a self-tour (map provided by the museum), and we also loved the museum part of our visit; the admission fee is a great deal (you can check out more details on the ship, museum, and a visit, here on the USS Kidd website).

DSC_0634_275Definitely a must-stop if you are heading across I-10!

*this post is linked to Friday Postcards.

Lilla Rose

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Comments

  1. Such an interesting and educational tour for families! That’s the kind of history lesson that will stay with them far longer than reading about battleships in a textbook!

  2. What an incredible experience! My boys would love it, not to mention my husband. I’ve been dying to explore Louisiana. Maybe this is my latest excuse? :-) Thanks so much for linking up!

  3. We’ve been on battleships and aircraft carriers but never a destroyer. The museum looks first rate. I’m sure my kids would also have a blast exploring the ship and trying out those anti-aircraft guns. Not much privacy in that latrine, is there?

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