Naval Memorial Museum of The Pacific, Bremerton, Washington
This museum will appeal to the salty old dogs who’ve done time in the Navy. Newly located in the restored old Building 50 of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, built in 1896, its purpose is to collect, preserve and interpret the history and heritage of the Navy in the Pacific Northwest.
It illustrates the close ties between the people working in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Naval Base, especially during the boom times during WWII. It was the headquarters of the huge Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
You’ll know when you’re close to this museum because you’ll see the sail of the submarine USS Parche proudly standing outside it.
Over 600 Naval and maritime artifacts include ships’ bells, photographs, videos, model ships, yachts, boats and submarines, a graphotype machine made of metal tags, ship builders equipment and tools, cannon, warship furniture, submarine memorabilia, and the USS John C. Stennis exhibit. Exhibits are still being brought up from the basement for display.
The Stennis carrier exhibit has photographs, flight suits, carrier models, life size cut out deck crew members, and an interesting array of models wearing the different colored uniforms representing the various jobs performed by carrier deck crews. There are 3,200 people, of whom 12% are female, aboard the USS John C. Stennis, which took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Expeditionary Strike Force training and many other maritime operations.
Reader boards telling about life on this 100,000-ton, nuclear powered aircraft carrier. For the kids are a series of “did you know” questions. Allow over an hour to visit this museum. A gift shop has lots of unique maritime items including books and souvenirs. The volunteers and staff at this museum are very helpful, and friendly.
NAVAL MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC (402 Pacific Ave., Bremerton, WA 98337; phone 360/479-7447, www.maritimeheritage.net — select the museum from the attractions pull-down menu). The museum is located within a few minutes walk of the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry Terminal.
Hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m. Admission is free (donations accepted).