Mobile, AL – Today, we traveled about an hour west to Mobile, AL and visited the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. It’s been almost 40 years since we visited the USS Alabama while traveling back and forth between New Orleans and Savannah when my father was in the Navy. The park has not only the USS Alabama (BB-60), but the USS Drum (SS-228), a number of military aircraft, and other displays. The interior part of the Alabama is looking fine, but the parts of the exterior and entry ways have seen better days; no doubt the park has the same problems many other historic sites do – lack of funds resulting in lack of maintenance. That said, there are parts of the ship that are closed off and undergoing restoration work. The Alabama is still an impressive ship and one worth visiting.
The USS Alabama (BB-60) is 680 feet long and 35,000 tons and had a crew of 2,500 men. Armed with 9 16″ guns, 20 5″ guns, 48 40mm guns, and 52 20mm guns, she was commissioned in 1942 and saw service in the Pacific during World War II, earning 9 battle stars.
The USS Drum (SS-228) is almost 312 feet long 1,526 tons and had a crew of 72 men. She was commissioned in 1941 and 12 battle stars during World War II. Serving in the Pacific Theater, she sunk 15 ships, totaling 80,580 tons over 13 patrols, the eighth highest of US submarines in Japanese tonnage sunk. When we first visited the park 4o years ago, the Drum was in the water by the Alabama but in 2001 she was moved onto land.