Tuesday, May 6, 2014

American Undersea Warfare Center - Seawolf Park - Galveston Island, Texas

Several years ago the Dining Companion and I visited the U-505 submarine exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Not only did we have a great time touring around the sub, I also got my very first Mold-A-Rama on that visit. None of which has much to do with anything other than to say we visited another sub exhibit recently. Sadly, no Mold-A-Ramas were to be found.

The Dining Companion and I made the trip to the American Undersea Warfare Center at Seawolf Park. The exhibit is made up of the WWII Submarine the USS Cavalla and the WWII Destroyer Escort the USS Stewart. Both are open for touring. The tours are generally self-guided but there are people about that can answer some questions.

Sadly, at one time the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart were slated to be scrapped. A concerted public effort was able to prevent that from happening and in 2006 the Cavalla Historical Foundation was able to begin the restoration project to save both vessels.

The inside of the submarine is a warren of tiny rooms and narrow corridors. It's hard to imagine men living in these spaces for weeks at a time.

Those are bunks in amongst the torpedoes!

At least there aren't any torpedoes

Fanciest digs on the boat

It was fun walking through the submarine, making our way down tiny corridors and through all of those hatches. Seeing the spaces and the size of the boat's interior makes me wonder how anyone ever served on a sub. Close quarters doesn't even come close to describing it.

Now onto the USS Stewart, a destroyer class escort ship. Another warren of rooms and corridors, if just a slight bit larger.

Two hundred sailors called this ship their home. It was fascinating to see what life aboard the ship was like.

Sleeping quarters are roomier than on the Cavalla

Large kettles for cooking everything from coffee to soup - "Coppers"

An ice cream maker!
 Of course the ship also has giant guns, depth charges and something called a "hedgehog". It wasn't called a destroyer for nothing.

This is the gunners seat

Besides the submarine and the ship, Seawolf Park also has displays of memorials and  commemorative plaques.

Seawolf Park has areas for fishing and picnicing too. It's a family destination and on the day we were there several families were enjoying the beautiful weather.

If you're interested in the history of WWII, huge ships or submarines you'll definitely enjoy Seawolf Park and the American Undersea Warfare Center. There are tons of things to do in Galveston, this one is worth taking some time out of your schedule to visit.

Happy traveling!

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