USS Massachusetts On Deck
Thank you to Gary Newman of Squadron Signal Publications and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the opportunity to review this excellent photographic tour aboard the USS Massachusetts in Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA. There is a wealth of detail contained in an astonishing number of color photos, all with great descriptive captions.
The book contains no drawings or layouts of BB-59, but that is not the book’s intention. There is a brief introduction describing the ship’s history, a few data tables, and several excellent color renderings. But, in line with Squadron/Signal’s On Deck series theme, this book does indeed give you a virtual tour of the ship. I found myself casually taking notes using a scratch paper deck layout to see if any areas were missed in the photo coverage, but was unable to determine if there were any oversights. Everything on deck is captured! Nearly all of the shots are topside, but there are seven below-decks images and a great view of the props while the Mass was in dry-dock. The author must have been able to get onboard on a closed day, since there are no people in any of the pictures! This ship is in superb condition with fresh paint and bright teak decks. I can’t say if they are recently holystoned, but they sure look nice.
As the author cautions in many captions, the photo views are of the Massachusetts in a specific and restored condition. The author also draws attention to many places in the photos where equipment used to be or is otherwise different from the original configuration. The current condition of the ship may not represent the same configuration a modeler may choose. But, nonetheless, this book is an excellent basis to work from in all cases for researching a BB-59 project. The wealth of the photography makes this a must-have reference. Several times I thought of what the ship must have felt like rolling in heavy weather, seawater rushing across the deck, or the main guns firing.
Thank you again to Gary Newman of Squadron Signal Publications and the IPMS Reviewer Corps! It was fun, and I hope it helps. Now about that Trumpeter kit…