Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA

The east coast has some of the most magnificent ports and ships. From early days of arriving on the east coast ships were used. To learn the history of Massachusetts shipping and ports visitors might want to go to Fall River, Massachusetts which is home to Battleship Cove. Battleship Cove is a nonprofit maritime museum. It also has a war memorial. The memorial can trace the routes of crews in World War II such as those on the USS Massachusetts. Veterans are responsible for the decommissioned vessels the Navy has offered to Fall River.

Battleship Cove is on Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay, which is an arm of Narragansett Bay. Many of the ships at the museum are beneath Braga Bridge near Heritage State Park. The USS Massachusetts battleship helps protect the cove and harbor which houses pleasure crafts in summer. There is also the Fall River Yacht Club at a dock nearby. For more fun while visiting the historic site, visitors can drop by the 1920 Lincoln Park Carousel which is actually in North Dartmouth. It was restored by a local high school. They also installed a pavilion in the 1990's at the park.

When the museum first opened they saw 250,000 visitors on the USS Massachusetts. Much of the memorial is for the WWII MA citizens that lost their life, but it also remembers those of the Persian Gulf War. In 1972 the USS Lionfish, which was an attack submarine from WWII was also placed on display.

The same year a camping program was created called Nautical Nights. Children were allowed to stay on the ship during the evening for lessons on sailing and education about the ships. To date the museum has seen 500,000 children. A year after the program began the USS Joseph P Kennedy JR was added to the fleet. It is a Gearing Class destroyer designed for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and is also a memorial for those wars. In 1975 the Mayor christened the site as Battleship Cove. Tin Can Sailors Inc was also founded with 24,000 destroyer veterans to run it.

For a while nothing was added to the museum until 1984. At this time the T-28 Trojan, an aircraft trainer for the South Vietnam Air Force was placed at the site. A new gift shop came a year later for visitors to get souvenirs. Since then a few more relics have been added like the soviet built missile corvette Hiddensee. Several grants have been awarded to keep the ships intact for the visitors. The museum that opened in 1964 has had 5 million tourists aboard to learn the history of the ships and Battleship Cove.

The hours of operation are 9am to 4:30pm seven days a week. They do close for major holidays. Parking is free, but to see the ships one must pay $15 for adults and $9 for children. Children six and under are free. Those who come in military uniform are free as well. There are also other discounts available.

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