Sunday/ Seafair 2017

It’s Seafair weekend here in the city, a tradition since 1950 : air shows over Lake Washington, a hydroplane race, and warships at the waterfront that are open to visitors. So we went on down to the waterfront to check out the USS Michael Murphy there.

The USS Michael Murphy is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer with guided missiles, heavy artillery guns and up to three helicopters. (Seattle to Bainbridge ferry in the background). She was named in honor of Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. The USS Michael Murphy was commissioned in Oct 2012. The ship is ‘dressed up’ for display, with the colorful flags and pennants from the bow to the main tower and back to the stern. At sea, the flags and pennants can be used one at a time, or in combinations to send visual messages to other ships or aircraft.

This is inside one of the helicopter bays. Everyone on the ship is a firefighter. Any sailor must be able to get fully dressed in two minutes, and at the fire in five. Everything stowed on the racks is tied down, of course.

The view from the bow to the main tower. The radar equipment is behind those light patches. The main gun with the bronze cap is a MK 45 5-inch 62 caliber gun (inset picture shows it firing). The square hatches on the deck right behind the gun is where the guided missiles will come out, vertically, until it is far enough from the ship to start honing in on their targets.

This is the quarterdeck, where visitors first set foot on the ship, and are signed in to the visitor’s log (at the back). The four posts on the corners of the colorful mat, are partly made of empty shells from the 5-inch gun.

We were handed out this little pamphlet that highlights Washington State’s naval history.

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