Back in March my cousin Brandi and I hopped on a ferry heading towards Bremerton (it was the longer boat ride) with no plans. Our only plans included finding something different to do. Never would we have guessed we’d end up visiting the USS Turner Joy, a retired US Navy Destroyer who served from 1958 until it was decommissioned in 1982. In 1988 she was selected as a Naval Memorial and now is a permanent attraction on the Bremerton Waterfront. She is remembered most by her service during the Vietnam War.
What once was a fully functioning Naval Destroyer has now open to the public for self-guided tours with access to almost the entire ship. It is currently under restoration to be brought back to her active years and eventually opening up the entire ship to tourists.
How it works: For a minimal fee you are handed a self-guided tour map and sent on your way!
We were lucky on the day we went because 80% of the ship was open for visitors to wander around and when I say wander around that’s what you did. We first toured the lower decks of the ship via the steep, long ladders. Once you climb down the first ladder it is like a massive maze that we toured through. We meandered from hallway to hallway, through rooms and down more ladders. I don’t remember how many levels we went down, but it was a lot! We hit a lot of dead ends where we’d have to backtrack and find our way back to a main area. I’m not claustrophobic, but there was one point when we were several decks down that I did begin to panic. We could not find our way back and I did begin to get extremely anxious. In the end we did find our way back up and out, but continued to be amazed that sailors lived aboard this ship for months on end. After about an hour I was ready to get off! I can’t imagine being aboard for that long!
Since we hadn’t planned this adventure earlier I didn’t bring my camera and was stuck with cell phone photos. However, give all the ladders climbed and tight spaces squeezed I don’t think I would have been able to use my big camera. So even with my camera I don’t think it would have made much of a difference!
These photos were taken inside the sonar room, it was “orange-ish” color but not nearly this orange! I thought the photos turned out pretty cool though!
Nearly 60 years later she continues to be “the best Destroyer in the Pacific Fleet” as one sailor once described her.
If you are in the area and looking for something unique to do, I highly recommend visiting and touring the USS Turner Joy in Bremerton!
This post was 100% my opinion. I didn’t receive any compensation for sharing my opinion and/or writing a review.