While in Wilmington, NC for the wedding which was the object of our extensive tour of the east, I toured the U.S.S. North Carolina with my brother. The museum ship is run by the State of North Carolina. The ship was involved in the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II.
It is both very large and yet not as large as I had imagined a battleship must be. As I stood on the deck, I thought being in the Navy might not be so bad. Even below deck I initially thought it wouldn't be bad. Once below deck for an hour, I realized that, no, it would in fact be awful.
My brother manning an AA gun. Normally powered hydraulically, this one was set up for visitors to crank on the manual cranks normally used as a backup. It takes two people to aim the gun, each with his own sight. The right hand seat, being operated here, swivels the gun left and right, rotating the whole contraption. The opposite seat controls the up and down motion of the guns. Loaders would load clips of ammunition and the cartridges would eject down a chute behind the gun.
The tour did an excellent job showing the visitor all the way around the ship, snaking through every room of consequence and offering quotations from men who served on ships usually as comical anecdotes related to particular features, such as the guy who cut a hole in the vent above his bed and used a tin can lid to direct air onto himself while he slept.
These are the big shells used in the big guns. It took teams of men in several different compartments to load and fire the gun. Firing took place in a special room with awesome analog computers lining the walls by men who couldn't even see the fighting.
It was a great tour, and I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Wilmington, NC.