Exploring the Navy’s heavy weights of old (by Chris)…

The second half of our day trip to Mobile, AL was spent at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

Pinterest Pic

The park is situated on the east side of Mobile right on Mobile Bay.  I learned about this place months ago, as we were researching places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do during our stay in Alabama.  This one peaked my interest right from the start.  I can remember back to my childhood spending hours in the basement building models of battleships, the most involved being The Bismarck which was a German battleship built for WWII and was (along with its sister ship Tirpitz) the largest ever built by Germany.  So to get on board one of these behemoths sounded like a fantastic idea, and the tour did not disappoint.  You have three different self-guided tour options to take through the battleship, each one identified by different colored signs; red, yellow, and green.  The yellow tour takes you around above deck and the other two tours let you explore the guts of the ship.  Checking out the big guns above deck was outstanding, these things were massive (16″ diameter, they can fire shells as heavy as a small car over 20 miles, accurately!)…

20160226_152235

And the number of guns scattered around the multiple decks of this ship were staggering, everywhere you look you see guns of different sizes pointed in different directions, all with one goal in mind…kick butt.

20160226_152103

Exploring below deck was just as, if not more, interesting than above deck.  This ship held around 500 officers and 2,200 crewmen when out at sea for months at a time.  You need all the same basic facilities you normally would on land to support everyone at sea, just a little (or a lot) smaller and compact.

20160226_153238

Captain’s cabin, by far the roomiest accommodations on board…

20160226_153248

Meeting/Dining area for Officers and the Captain…

20160226_161618

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20160226_153144

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typical passageways throughout the lower levels…

Check out the video below for a more in depth look at some of the areas above and below deck…

After the USS Alabama we made our way over to the USS Drum Submarine exhibit.  On our way, we passed through a large building that houses a number of fighter planes from years passed.

20160226_165540

The park has more than 25 different military aircraft on display and is well worth devoting some time to.  Given our time constraints on this day (and our recent visit to the Air Force Armament Museum in Fort Walton Beach, FL in January) we moved quickly through this area to make sure we got time in the submarine.

Pinterest Pic Sub

 

Completed in 1941, the USS Drum saw action in WWII and was responsible for sinking more than a few enemy ships.  We accessed the sub via a porthole on one end and made our way through the tight confines and relatively short distance (compared to the USS Alabama we just came from) to the exit porthole at the opposite end of the sub.  Check out the video below for a glimpse into the world of submarining in the 1940’s…as you can see, Jen loved the tour!

We allowed ourselves just under three hours for Memorial Park which we quickly realized was no where near enough time.  If you are interested in ships, planes, and subs, then plan on devoting an entire day to this exhibit.  You will be glad that you did!

Visiting Tips:

  • Admission price is $15.00 for adults (we found a discount coupon online that gave us $2.00 off each ticket); children 6-11 cost $6.00; children 5 and under are free.  Other discounts available for active duty and retired military personnel.
  • The park is open 364 days per year, only closing on Christmas Day.
  • We hit the park on a Monday in late February and it was pretty empty.  As you saw above, the tours take you from one confined space to another, doing so on a 95 degree humid summer day with people and kids everywhere would be a different experience from what you see in our videos.  Plan accordingly.  As you much as can, visit during the week and get there when the park opens up.

3 comments on “Exploring the Navy’s heavy weights of old (by Chris)…

  1. You’re not the only one who is interested in the big battleships. Wow, I really enjoyed following you on this one.

  2. Enjoyed the tours of the gun ship and submarine! There were some tight quarters in that sub and I am not surprised at Jen hopping into one of the hanging cots to check out how it would feel. Thanks for the info – you make us feel like we are there . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *