USS Nevada commander, crewmen tour state museums

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Sailors from the USS Nevada nuclear submarine were in Carson City on Sunday for tours of the Nevada State Museum and Nevada State Railroad Museum.

Crewmen and family members from the submarine USS Nevada take a seat in the historic McKeen Motor Car at the Nevada State Railroad Museum on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Pictured from left to right are: Chief of Boat Adrian Watkins; Renee Watkins; Missile Technician Anthony Sasnett; Craig Williams, Reno Council Navy League; CDR Gene Severtson; Stacey Severtson; Machinist Mate Alexander Lund; and Ed Legier, Reno Council Navy League. Photo provided by Craig Williams/Reno Council Navy League

The group included Commanding Officer Gene Severtsen and Chief of Boat Adrian Watkins, the ship’s senior enlisted man, as well as other crewmen and their families. The Reno Council of the Navy League sponsored the “Namesake Visit” to Nevada, something it does every two years, said Craig Williams of the Reno Council.

The Nevada State Museum is the caretaker of scores of artifacts from the battleship USS Nevada, BB-36, which distinguished itself in World War II, and memorabilia from the submarine, which is completing its 30th year in service.

The submarine itself, which is based in Bangor, Wash., also holds photos and memorabilia from the battleship.

Peter Barton, administrator of the Division of Museums and History and Myron Freedman, Nevada State Museum director, led the submariners on the tour.

“They were extremely enthusiastic to see the phenomenal silver service set from the USS Nevada battleship, along with many other USS Nevada artifacts preserved in the museum’s collection,” Freedman said. “The silver service set is one of the museum’s prized possessions, created from silver and gold from Nevada mines, and used on the ship after its commission in 1916.”

At the railroad museum, the crewmen and their families were treated to a tour by curator of history Wendell Huffman. The museum features the restored steam locomotives Glenbrook and Inyo, both built in 1875, and the McKeen Motor Car.

Both the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum are participants in the national Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. The program allows free admission to active-duty military members and their families from Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

In addition to visiting the museums, the Nevada sailors and their families also toured the Tesla gigafactory being built east of Sparks and the Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe. Severtsen threw out the first pitch at the Reno Aces baseball game on Saturday.