tv American Artifacts CSPAN October 16, 2016 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT
largest battleships built the u.s. navy, was launched in 1943 and saw service through the gulf war. it is now decommissioned and ed in norfolk,th virginia. >> welcome aboard the battleship wisconsin. we are here in norfolk, virginia. we are going to go below to look at the navy life and how some of the sailors lived here and reacted during the gulf war. will also be joined by matt palmer, a veteran of the gulf war era. follow me. matt: my name is matt palmer, i'm a former crew member of the battleship wisconsin. i served in the navy for 30 years. the battleship wisconsin with my fourth duty station. i was stationed overboard from
1990-1991. i had the honor and privilege of working with the crewmembers onboard this magnificent township. after years in the navy, my wife and i decided to settle in norfolk. now i have the honor and privilege of being a volunteer docent. i would like to welcome you to one of the hotbeds of activity when deployed. this is the post office. back in the day, snapchat, instant messenger, all of those things we are accustomed to -- they did not exist. your lifeline to everything back in the states came through the post office. it was very excited when we would have a mail call. a helicopter would drop off a cargo net. we would form a working party to pass the packages to the post office. our postal clerks with great excitement and energy would sort them out for the different
divisions on the ship. each department would send representatives to pick up the mail for that department. when that person got back, they would get mobbed because everybody wanted their mail to find out how the kids were doing, was the dog potty trained? a lot of fun and excitement and our lifeline to the states when we were deployed. one of the things i find most interesting about the battleship wisconsin is its service to our nation. three different time periods of service. world war ii, the korean war, and desert shield/desert storm. if we think about technological changes from the 1940's to the 1990's, it is amazing the evolution of the ship and how spaces were repurposed. the post office was a hub in world war ii when there were 2900 sailors aboard. the same for the korean war when it was around 2000. /desert desert shield
storm, around 1500. the ship is not a cruise ship. where the sailors sleep is not a priority, compared to the navigation ability, the war ability, and the survivability of the ship. the way it is configured is as it was in 1990. i would like to show you some of those racks right now. follow me, please. if you were a junior sailor, you had a rock this close to the post office, you knew that it would be noisy. watch out for this anklebiter. these were the racks installed. these were installed in the 1980's when the ship was recommissioned. they are coffin racks. they look like a coffin. it opens up.
up, this isn it where the sailors would store everything they needed for deployment. whether that was three months, six months, or eight months, this is your storage area. your skivvies, dress uniforms, and we change uniforms from summer to winter so you have to have a couple of those, and you're working uniform. not a lot of room. sailors are inventive and they learn how to pack well. there would be a little bit of privacy afforded to the sailors in these racks with blue curtains. not noise reducing. but at least it keeps it a little more quiet. not a lot of privacy. the good news is you did not spend a lot of time in a rack. you had so made different things you had to go to and tend to. by the time you got to your
tiredmost sailors were so to did not matter what noise was around. they could sleep pretty well. in world war ii, these were not here. cramped conditions. maybe six high. so close together you had to decide if you were sleeping on your back or your stomach because you could not roll over. in addition, some people had to share their bed with a suge shipmate. hopefully, a different ship. you would turn the mattress over and you are good to go. your bunkmate is now in a workcenter. additionally, they issued hammocks. you might be able to do that as well. as you can imagine, this was luxury accommodations in the early compared to what wwii and 1990's, korean soldiers had to
go through. one of the things i think is very interesting is the number of people. it was like a small city. a ship had to have everything that a small city would have. you have seen the post office. now you see our hotel accommodations. we have a number of restaurants, we call them galleys. we have a bank, dispersing, we have a newspaper. a chapel, a hospital, and a dental clinic. i had the privilege of being the junior dental officer. i would like to show you where that is. my ship nickname was "tooth fairy." a term of endearment. very proud to be the tooth ferry. it cost me money sliding coins when we would take wisdom teeth. let me show you the dental clinic.
oh, by the way, i'm wearing my original hat from then. please follow me. this is what i called home for 8.5 months for desert shield/desert storm and the two years i served aboard the wisconsin. in the navy, only large ships have dental officers. frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and submarines generally do not have dental offices. i feel right at home at to this chair because my team and i treated 4000 patients. coalitionm from 16 countries an additional 2014 patients. when only the large ships have services like dental, you offer this up your battle group partners and provide services for fellow sailors and in the case of desert shield and desert storm, the coalition.
in the history of the battleship, these dental spaces were here for world war ii and the korean wars. dentistry changed a lot. mostly, it was intervention type things during world war ii and the korean war. dentistry changed and the advent of fluoride things dental folks find interesting but perhaps the general public does not. we shifted towards a preventative nature. we would do a lot of fillings. we did over 4000 fillings. we did root canals. we did surgeries. a full-service dental clinic here. as i said, i was the junior dental officer. my senior officer is a retired captain. he is a dear friend of mine.
we worked hard and diligently in these spaces. we had five dental assistants. they made sure we kept on our schedule. they cleaned up after us. they help us with all of the procedures and they were great. they were very focused on providing the highest dental care for the world's most deserving patients. the men and women serving in the united states military. i think it is important to understand that the mission of a warship is important. when a ship has another major operation going on, dental care took second place. if i had scheduled patients and we went to general quarters, general quarters comes first. doing other things, that is where the patient needed to be. the mission of the ship comes
first and making sure that the sailors are ready to do their mission is a paramount focus. i would like to show you a little bit about our normal days. we had normal routine hours and were subject to change depending on the emission of the ship and events for the day. let's check out main street usa and see what the sailors did. please come with me. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the head of main street. this is the chapel. this was originally a galley. another restaurant. was for the chief warned officers aboard the battleship. in the 1980's, it was repurposed and made a permanent chapel. we had chaplains who would lead services here. for special events and holidays,
the crowd would be too big to fit here. this served as the home base. additionally, the band would practice in here. every ship oevery space on a shs multiple purposes. i want to thank you all for visiting. i'm going to turn you over to mr. clayton allen. allen: welcome back to the battleship wisconsin. today, we want to unpack main street navy life. to some degree this is confused , by the fact that we are a war-fighting machine. however, the sailors that run the ship still have to live their lives. that includes legal affairs. legal affairs may provide advice on wills, powers of attorney, and reviewing cases the captain might bring against sailors who may have made some kind of
offense. this is a legal affairs office. wisconsin is a city at sea. for all of the sailors, you have seen several items including the chapel, legal affairs, public affairs, a newsroom. it determines what type of materials are let off the ship and in what form. pictures, letters, or articles sent to newspapers. here, we find ourselves in the dispersing office. essentially our bank. , money is important to sailors. they cannot spend a lot on the ship. we do have ship stores which allow them to buy personal items as well as food items they could rack areaeir bac although they are not supposed to. as well as replacement clothing and toothbrushes. it is personal and allows the sailor to have some semblance of
morale and a home life away from home. next, we are going to go to the education office where sailors could sign up for correspondence courses, college courses, or sign-up to the test that would allow for promotion. follow me. welcome to the educational services office. a place for advancement. here is where the sailors would come in and request to sign up for college courses, correspondence courses, and advancement tests, which can be proctored in the library by other personnel. it is not uncommon to have a professor brought to the ship. he would be able to teach several disciplines in just a few weeks. sailors would have to make arrangements to be off and allowed to go to class for eight hours a day for several weeks until they could knock out that credit course.
library, we have several key features, including our digital dewey decimal system. some people remember the drawers . we also have the carousels on my far right which could be used to study for the test. it would not be uncommon for the chaplain to be assigned to take care of the library. sailors would say that they were impressed that we had a library on board. this is an undesignated area. we don't have to have a library to fight war. if something happened to the radio room, we could throw all of this overboard and turn this into a radio room, which is not uncommon when you have casualties, flooding, or combat. we find ourselves in the machine shop. like every good city, you have to have a maintenance
department to help the city continue to run. some of the equipment in this space is from world war ii. some of it was updated as years went by. but much of it was built in place and cannot be removed without drastic improvements. we leave it here. it is still usable. it could be used. that said, this is a small family in a large city or small city in a large family. we are shipmates. we have to work together. you have lots of monuments that honors that which has been accomplished in past years. for sailorscommon to create artwork. sailor art is not authorized suit needs to be tastefully done. in the machine shop, we have a plaque the sailors from the gulf war made. it is over here to my left.
we are in another part of the machine shop. we have a large lathe. over me we have an i-beam that threads its way through the ship. large equipment could be sent up, repair, and sent back down. other ships do not have this. if they have parts that need to be repaired, they can send them over by hi-line and have them repaired. it is like the dental office, where we can bring other sailors over and have their teeth fixed. we have a 20-bed hospital below. every city has a hospital and a dental office. we have a machinery space that can accommodate other ships in the battle group. we are at the head of a serving
line. this city has four restaurants. this particular restaurant served the bulk of the enlisted men in the galley aft. we were passing through a single door passageway. now there are two doors. those two doors allow men to stand in line for their food. that line would extend out onto the deck, especially in world war ii when you had 2900 men on board. even in the gulf war there would , be men on deck waiting for food. when they got to this space, they would pick up their tray. we have an example of world war ii and the gulf war trays. one is metal and one is plastic. however note the food portion , size. we are coming out of the depression and men are small. we want them to take in a lot of calories. they are working hard on a non-air-conditioned ship.
they are burning a lot of calories so we need them to eat more. when i come into the service, they will want me to eat less. as we leave, we will pass by a doughnut shop. it used to be a butcher shop, processing beef and hog. in the gulf war era, things come prepackaged. we don't need the butcher shop so we turn it into a donut shop. donuts go good with coffee, the fuel that runs the navy. let's go to the serving line. follow me. here, we are able to see the entire enlisted galley. it is difficult to see but on the far side, there is another serving line. depending on what your are you served, the lines would shift back and forth. the one we are on now is
typically given over to a traditional meal which includes starch, vegetable, meatloaf, chicken, things of that nature. another serving line, you may have fast food such as sliders, pizza slices, junk food. you might think most sailors would go to that lane. however meal time is your , personal time. you're trying to get back to your job. you choose the shorter line that would allow you to get caught up on sleep or study. additionally, some sailors may have to get back to their watch quickly. they might be awarded a chip that lets them get to the front of the line. the front doors allow them to get out of the space and back to their job. suppliesot have enough for all of the meals in this space. they are stored on the third and second floor aft. enough food is brought up to be
able to serve the next we do 24 hours. have a walk-in cooler. or 2:00 in the morning, they would do a fire brigade and bring enough food for the next day up. pressure cooker's. a turkeytake eight and it would be done in a couple of minutes. the steam does this. we have ovens for both sides. french fry makers as well as prep tables. the dichotomy of old versus new present itself again in the galley. the ship is steam powered so we are able to use that steam to run the entire ship. next to me are what we call coppers. in the early days, that was the only metal soft enough to hammer out a cauldron.
these are stainless steel. they are double jacketed. that allows us to make large quantities of food, rice, beef stew, and we cannot burn it. they are a double boiler with the ship steam. it is in theory a closed loop. we do lose some. it is reheated in the boilers. is brought back through the system. hotel steam is everywhere. today's ships are no longer using steam. it is effective. we can propel this ship at 33 knots. however, it is not very efficient. motions today this size would be nuclear. other ships are using diesel turbines. we have gotten our food. now we need to go sit down and enjoy our food. follow me as we go into the mess area.
we passed by the all important salad bar. more importantly, the bakery would provide cookies, cakes, pies on the desert rock. desert roack. the messirst step into deck area you would get your , silverware and a glass for your drinks. then go through the drink bar. you may have things on the morning shift that would include things like orange juice, grapefruit juice, milk. the other thing that might come into play at lunch and evening meals would be bug juice or kool-aid. it is kept cold and ready to go. and of course, the all-important fuel that runs the navy, the coffee mess.
follow me. here we have one of our very large coffee urns. i want to talk about the tables where the men would sit. four-manrea, we have tables i would like into mcdonald's chairs. in world war ii and the korean war, i understand there would have been picnic tables. those tables between meals would be hoisted into the overhead and that would allow the stewards to clean the place out to make it spic and span. one of the worst enemies on a ship is illness. we have to keep the ship extremely clean at all times and guard against vermin and rodents. in world war ii, there was also
a bar all around the mess deck. this is one of two mess decks. today, there are 310 swivel chairs available. even in the gulf war with 1000 eating at any meal, you only had 15-20 minutes to partake. if your fork is moving, you are fine. if your mouth is moving, it is time for you to move out. this is not a sit and get happy place. you need to go back to your job. from here, you would continue into the area where you would drop your dishes off and go back to your job. follow me. now, we have come to the end of the food service line. the scullery, where you drop off your dishes and silverware. and then return to your job. the floor is called a deck. these walls are called
bulkheads. the ceiling is the overhead. kind of like the bathroom is not a bathroom. it is a head. there are so many unique names on a ship. it is hard to learn the language of the navy. continuing with our theme of a city at sea, there are areas we will not have time to see. we have a brig, a master at arms, and laundry room. we also have a barbershop. everybody has to get a haircut every 10 to 14 days. that is one of the ways we keep the ship clean. to recap, we have seen a lot of this battleship wisconsin. the post office where men would increase their morale through mail and other forms we have seen the dental office. we have seen the chapel. we have seen the public and legal affairs office.
we have been to our disbursing office where the bank is out. we have also seen education and a couple of the restaurants on the ship. all of these things were essential to help the city at sea stay alive and run. all ships have these things today. however, this ship is still a stalwart ship. it is 72 years old today. these things have been used throughout three wars. we are glad they are here. coming alongfor and being part of this tour. >> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website. >> on monday night. saferffic can become much and more efficient. >> we are talking with the director at the university of mission mobility transformation
center and the senior program manager at the ann arbor connected vehicle test environment about connected cars they can communicate with the road, traffic signs, and other cars, and how the technology can keep us safe. >> they see the vehicle in front of you but that is the only information they know. this is transmitting over the air. it transmits a minimum of 300 meters. for fiver a car vehicles ahead so i will get a nice warning i need to look out and potentially brake. we are not communicating with a tower. we directly talk with everybody. that is within a short range, within a thousand feet basically. everybody in this range will hear us immediately with no delay. delay is very fatal. >> watch monday night 8:00 eastern on c-span2.
>> every four years, the presidential candidates turn at thelitics to humor memorial foundation dinner to raise money for catholic charities. at new york's historic waldorf-astoria hotel. ronald reagan: i have traveled the banquet circuit many years. i've never quite understood the logistics of dinners like this and how the absence of one individual can cause three of us to not have seats. [laughter] >> vice president, i'm glad to see you here tonight. you have said many times in this campaign you want to get america back to the little guys. [laughter] . vice president, i am that man. [laughter] >> it is an honor to share this with the descendent of the great al smith. your great-grandfather was my they were kind of governor. [laughter] the kind who ran for president and lost.
[laughter] >> you are right. paign to require a lot of wardrobe changes. blue jeans for the morning, suits for a fundraiser, a sport coat for dinner. it is nice to finally relax and wearwhat ann and i around the house. >> watch the dinner with hillary clinton and donald trump thursday night. listen at 9:00 with the c-span radio app. >> each week until the 2016 election, we bring you archival coverage of presidential races. next, from 1984, the second and final debate between incumbent president ronald reagan and his democratic challenger, warmer vice president walter mondale. the candidates answered questions from a panelist of journalists on defense and
foreign-policy issues including involvement in c.i.a. activities in central america negotiations with the soviet union on stockpiles, and strategic weapons systems and fighting terrorism in lebanon and the broader middle east. the republican team of ronald reagan and george h.w. bush defeated walter mondale. winning the popular vote 59/41%. this debate from kansas city is just under an hour and a half. [applause] ms. ridings: good evening. good evening from the municipal auditorium in kansas city. i am dorothy ridings, the president of the league of women voters, the sponsor of this final presidential debate of the 1984 campaign between republican ronald reagan and democrat