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Finding the USS Wisconsin's connection to the Badger State

NBC 26 anchor MacLeod Hageman toured the USS Wisconsin and is searching for the ship's connection to the state of Wisconsin.
touring the USS Wisconsin
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 26, 2023

NORFOLK, VA (NBC 26) — Wisconsin sailors have a lot to be proud of when it comes to keeping their country safe.

After NBC 26 anchor MacLeod Hageman connected witha few Wisconsin sailors in Norfolk, Virginia, he stopped by an iconic battleship with ties to the Badger State.

MacLeod Hageman tours the USS Wisconsin

The USS Wisconsin is the last battleship the U.S. Navy commissioned. The ship was built in Pennsylvania and launched on the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid in 1943 and sponsored by Margaret Goodland. She was the wife of Wisconsin Governor Walter Goodland.

Historic look at the USS Wisconsin

Battleship Operations Manager Keith Nitka said several Wisconsin sailors served on the battleship during Desert Storm. He said the ship was a mainstay while the Navy fought in World War II, the Korean conflict and Desert Storm.

Sailors serving on the USS Wisconsin in WWII

Nitka offered a behind-the-scenes look at the ship's engine room and a glance at the exact spot where the ship took a hit from North Korea in 1952 before Navy sailors quickly fired back.

Nitka offers a behind-the-scenes look inside the USS Wisconsin

Nitka says he served on the USS Wisconsin in Desert Storm and often comes to his old bunk to relax and unwind on long days.

"So, to be here now, doing what I do — yeah, it's my dream job. There's no doubt in that. But, to think that I would come back as I was walking down the pier in 1991 and looking at the future out of what was ahead of me. To think that this was my future? Wildest dreams. Beyond! Wildest dreams," Nitka said.

NBC 26 Today anchor MacLeod Hageman is hoping to find more Wisconsin sailors who served on the USS Wisconsin in the coming weeks.

If you know of anyone, please reach out to him.