The main reason why I chose Norfolk was because I wanted to see some Naval vessels. I get to see ships all the time but I don't get to see Naval ships all that often. I really want to go back at some point.
The first ship that I ran across the was the USS Wisconsin. After a long career, she serves as museum ship in Norfolk.
The Wisconsin is the second ship to bear that name and she is the third ship of the Iowa class. Her keel was laid on January 25, 1941 at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. She was launched December 7, 1943 and commissioned on April 16, 1944. Her sponsor was the wife of the Governor of Wisconsin at the time.
After a shakedown cruise, she joined the Pacific Fleet in December of 1944. She did take part in part of the Phillippines Invasion. She then participated in attacks off the Japanese coast. She arrived in Tokyo Bay three days after the official surrender.
In 1948, she was placed in the Reserve Fleet but found herself removed from the Reserve Fleet with the start of the Korean War. After the Korean War, she was used as a training ship. In 1956, her bow was damaged and replaced by the bow of the USS Kentucky which would have been the 5th Iowa Class. She would end up being the last battleship until her placement in reserve in 1958.
She was equipped with 20 5" guns but 8 of those were removed when she was reactivated.
She was also equipped with 9 16" guns. Those were the largest US Naval guns.
In 1986, she was reactivated as part of President Reagan's efforts to expand the US Navy. She was then equipped with Tomahawk and Harpoon Missiles. She would end up serving in Operation Desert Storm. After Desert Storm, she was deactivated along with all her sisters.
Currently she serves as a museum ship, but could be reactivated with some work...if necessary. I wanted to take the tour of her, but time didn't permit.