Friday, November 25, 2011

The Awesome U.S.S. Alabama!

At our Thanksgiving dinner last night, they had door prizes, and we won a ticket for two admission worth 24.00 to the U.S.S. Alabama Memorial Park near Mobile, Alabama. Not only is there the U.S.S. Alabama battleship there, there's the U.S.S. Drum, a WWII submarine of rare vintage and preserved very closely to its original form, unlike many WWII military ships which have had many parts replaced and reproduced. What's interesting about this park is that this memorial receives ZERO financial aid from the federal and state government to keep running. The park is dedicated to all Alabama veterans who have served in all the  military conflicts of the United States.

The battleship is a self-guided tour of three choices--red, green, and pick up a sheet and follow the instructions to pass through the ship at designated stations, depending on which color tour you take. Each tour takes about 30 minutes. There is no information about each station on the sheet, just the name of what you are looking at--"On your left is the crew's berthing space. Proceed through hatch 18 into the crew's mess area. On your left is the Gedunk stand (ship's soda fountain)." It would be nice to get some info from a tour person, or someone stationed at the entrance if you had questions. But there's no money for that, they are just hanging on with preserving the ships and planes.

The ship is's always amazing to see the ship's structure up close and personal---the guns that shoot 320 rounds a minute, the different quarters of the ship that held a total of 2500 seamen operating the ship...The U.S.S. Alabama earned 9 battle stars and shot down 22 enemy airplanes during WWII.

There's a lot of cool stuff here besides the battleship and the submarine. There is a museum of vintage war planes, the spy plane the A-12...It was sad to see the damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Some of the planes have been repaired, but some haven't and are awaiting for funds to be repaired. All funds to operate this memorial come from schoolchildren, vets, and concerned citizens. Apparently, the museum doesn't have any money to fix the damage to the U.S.S. Drum, the submarine that is outside on the grounds of the Memorial. We toured the sub as well today...amazing all condensed hardware and controls jammed into the smallest of spaces...

We hope that Americans will continue to support the memorial.....this is a wonderful be able to walk the decks of a historical ship, travel through the sub's tunnels to revisit  and FEEL the history--climb all over the 12 decks and steps, sit in the gunner's seat, read about the men and women who served on the ship and sounds so lame to try and explain the importance of being able to do this for all generations to come, but it is very important to never forget our countrymen and women's service. When you can touch it, feel it, and see it, it really makes an impression on you!

Tomorrow we leave for Cedar Key, Florida...See you on the road......


  1. The first warship we visited was the USS Missouri, where the Japanese surrender was signed ... still sends chills down my back.

  2. We LOVED that ship! Paul nor I would ever want to serve on a submarine! What tight quarters. If you ever get a chance, be sure to tour the U.S.S. Texan. AWESOME!

  3. We have enjoyed the Alabama, Drum, etc… for many, many years. This year when we drove by her it was difficult not stopping to see an old friend. Thanks for the great tour and pictures!