Battleship Wisconsin: 1988-Present
Wisconsin was recommissioned on 22 October 1988, as part of President Ronald Reagan’s “600-ship Navy” Over the next several months the ship was upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available, including Harpoon and Tomahawk Missile capabilities.
Wisconsin served in Operation Desert Storm from 15 January to 27 February 1991. This marked the last time that a United States battleship ever actively participated in a foreign war.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the absence of a perceived threat to the United States came drastic cuts in the defense budget, and the high cost of maintaining and operating battleships as part of the United States Navy became uneconomical. As a result, the Wisconsin was decommissioned on 30 September 1991 and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 January 1995. On 15 October 1996 she was moved to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. On 12 February 1998 she was restored to the Naval Vessel Register. She remains berthed adjacent to Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia.
Wisconsin earned five battle stars for her World War II service and one for the Korean War. The ship also received the Navy Unit Commendation for service during the first Gulf War.
PLEASE NOTE: The City of Norfolk has assumed stewardship of the Battleship Wisconsin, which is now included in regular Nauticus admission. Admission fees help preserve and maintain the battleship for future generations.
Text provided by Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS), Vol. VIII, pp. 433-37.