So on Sunday we grabbed
the Oldest Island Boy and my nephews, Zig and Zag, and off we went.
“The USS Alabama saw 37
months of active duty during WWII” participating in campaigns in
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Known as the “Mighty A” she
never suffered any casualties or damage from enemy fire.
After the war she retired
to Puget Sound, where she sat unused for 15 years.
In 1962 the US Navy
announced that the cost of maintaining the war fleet was too high and
that they were going to scrap the Mighty A, as well as many other war
The State of Alabama began
a campaign to bring the Mighty A home. School children raised almost
$100,000 in change and a corporate fundraising campaign raised the
Bringing her from Puget
Sound to Mobile Bay is, to date, the longest non-military ton/mile
tow in history.
Seeing her as you cross
the causeway into Mobile she looks huge but until you've explored her
from bow to stern you don't realize just how massive this ship is.
The first thing the boys
wanted to do was go as far down into the ship as possible so down we
I can tell you that the
men who served on this ship did not need to exercise because the-
amount of stair/ladder climbing and walking to get from one place to
another is better than any workout you can imagine.
It was amazing to see
everything on the ship – which is basically a floating city.
There was a dentist,
barber shop, tailor, bakery, ice cream shop, infirmary, surgical
suite, post office, brig, and just about anything else you can think
At one point we passed an
isolation chamber for the sick and Zag asked why they would need to
be isolated when there was already a good sized infirmary.
The Oldest looked at him
and said “obviously you've never had Norovirus because if everyone
on this ship got that stuff they wouldn't be able to function – at
Which is true. A virus
like that one spreading throughout the ship would totally disable the
I wish I'd taken more
pictures but I was enjoying wandering around the ship and hanging out
with the boys and my dad so my camera stayed in my pocket for most of
After exploring the ship
for a few hours we had lunch in the Galley - which, by the way, has
an amazing chicken salad sandwich.
And then were off to
explore the USS Drum, America's oldest WWII submarine still in
The sub is 311 feet long
and only 27 feet wide and is credited with sinking 15 enemy ships
during the war.
I cannot imagine how those
men managed to live in such tight quarters without going stir crazy.
The USS Drum also serves
as a memorial to the 52 submarines and their crews that never
We also spent some time
wandering through the aircraft hangar that houses many types of
aircraft and some of the vehicles used in all of the wars America has
At one point we were
standing in front of a restored truck and my Dad mentioned that it
sure did look different from the one we spent so much time crawling
under on Eglin Reservation.
I walked around to look at
the sign and was amazed to see that we were looking at a Deuce and a
The difference between
this one and the one on the Reservation is amazing.
We had so much fun and
even though we were there all day we are determined to go back
because there was still so much to see.
A day at the Battleship
Memorial Park is definitely a day well spent so if you're ever in
that area make time to visit the park. You won't be disappointed.