In front of the U.S. Navy Museum, Bldg 76., and to the left of the Cold War Gallery, Bldg. 70., sits Willard Park, which over looks the Anacostia River. The park was named for Admiral Arthur Willard, commandant of the Navy Yard from 1927-30. Willard Park is home to an array of naval artifacts from different eras. The majority are naval ordnance captured by the U.S. Navy. Willard Park also provices visitors and employees with a small picnic area.
Interesting artifacts in Willard Park include:
- Spare Propeller Blade from USS Maine.
- Bathsycaphe from DSV-2 Alvin, an undersea exploration vehicle. A replica of Alvin is on display in the Undersea Exploration exhibit area of Bldg. 76.
- Civil War Test Armor Plates. View one. View two.
- 16-inch, 50 Caliber Gun, Mark II.
- 16-inch projectiles from USS New Jersey (BB-62) , fired during gunnery trials as part of her reactivation for duty in the Vietnam War. Another view.
- Civil War 100 pounder cannon from CSS Atlanta captured by U.S. monitor Weehawken.
- Japanese Depth-Charge Thrower.
- 26-inch Armor Plate from a Japanese Yamato-class battleship. Another view.
- Propeller from the nuclear ballistic-missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSBN-598).
- 36,000-pound propeller from battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57). Another view. To view 16-inch armor plate removed from South Dakota, please click here.
- 14-inch Naval Railway Gun. Another view. To read about the use of the Naval Railway Gun in France during World War I, please click here.
- Further down the park are two 4", 40 Caliber Guns. One from USS Puritan and one from USS Topeka, both ships served during the Spanish-American War.
- Also further down the park, in front of Bldg. 179, is the conning tower to USS Balao (SS-285). Another view. To read a description panel at the tower, please click here.