June 10, 2000, one of the stated purposes of the club is set forth
in our constitution: "to install and operate... a licensed
amateur radio station aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin or at
Nauticus Maritime Center... to publicize the presence of the great
warship in our historic seaport."
We enjoyed a warm welcome
from Nauticus National Maritime Center and held our first special
event operation starting on Pearl Harbor Day, 2000, when the USS
Wisconsin arrived at her new home in Norfolk.
The battleship Wisconsin
(BB-64), one of the famous Iowa-class ships was launched on
December 7, 1943 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and commissioned on
April 16, 1944. The warship reported for duty in the Pacific with
the 3rd Fleet when the liberation of the Phillipine Islands was
neutralize Japanese sea, air and ground forces occupying the
islands. BB-64 was reassigned to the 5th Fleet in February 1945
and supported the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The
battleship's World War II career concluded with the transport of
war-weary GI's back to the US.
Wisconsin entered the
Atlantic Reserve Fleet in 1948, only to be re-commissioned in
March 1951 for the Korean War. She steamed to the Pacific and
assumed her station as flagship for the US 7th Fleet. The
Battleship provided gunfire support for American, Korean and other
United Nations Troops on the Korean Peninsula until relieved in
Wisconsin embarked on a
series of training missions in ensuing years. She once again
entered the inactive fleet in 1958, where she remained until 1988,
when she was reactivated The ship carried new Tomohawk and Harpoon
missiles in addition to her 16-inch guns when she steamed to the
Persian Gulf in 1990 for Operation Desert Storm. After effective
use of missiles and high explosives in the desert conflict, the
battleship returned home to be decommissioned for the third time
in September 1991. Wisconsin remains in the Inactive Fleet,
reserved for national emergencies. She is permanently berthed at
Norfolk's Nauticus National Maritime Center.
Length: 887 feet, 3 inches
Beam: 108 feet, 2 Inches Draft: 37 feet, 9 inches Displacement:
57,500 tons Armament: Nine 16-inch/50 caliber guns, twelve
5-inch/38 caliber guns 32 armored Tomohawk missile launchers, 16
Harpoon missile launchers and four Phalanx CIWS
USS Wisconsin Radio Club
first operated from the Nauticus Maritime Center from Dec 7- Dec
10, 2000 to welcome USS Wisconsin (BB-64) to her new home in
Unlike many museum ships,
BB-64 remained in the Inactive Fleet, reserved for national
emergencies until early 2006 when the navy changed the status
making the ship available as a permanent Museum Ship.
The navy has requested the City of Norfolk prepare a plan
that will ensure funds and procedures are in place to support the
USS Wisconsin as a permanent Museum Ship. Because of the earlier
status and now the transition
period we have been unable to establish a permanent station inside
the ship. We initially operated from inside Nauticus Maritime
Center, later from the deck of the USS Wisconsin (weather
permitting) and finally in 2005 we gained access to the
“Educational Space” the only compartment open.
The club will activate the
club call N4WIS for Museum Ships on the Air and other special
events as they occur.
USS Wisconsin facts
provided courtesy of Hampton Roads Naval Museum.