The light at the end of the tunnel...
The Alabama sailed into active duty in 1942 and worked hard to pull her weight in World War II in the Pacific. She was decommissioned in 1947 and "mothballed". Eventually it was decided that the expense of maintaining ships like the Alabama was too great and she was slated to be scrapped. The people of Alabama couldn't stand for that so fund raisers began and they managed to earn enough to buy her for the state of Alabama. Now she sits in Mobile Bay and is open for tours.
This is standing at the top of the gangplank, looking at the main deck.
Standing at the bow of the main deck looking towards the stern. Notice the chains running down the deck? Those are the tiny little anchor chains.
To give you a size reference:
Here's the view from the top of the tower looking back towards downtown Mobile.
Once we'd seen enough of the USS Alabama that we could manage to peel ourselves away, we headed over to the USS Drum. First launched in 1941, the Drum is one of the top 10 subs from the WWII Pacific theater. She's eighth highest of all U.S. submarines in total Japanese tonnage sunk, and earned 12 battle stars. Here's Ethan and Erik getting ready to head down the stairs into the forward torpedo room.
We thought things on the battleship were crowded, but the sub was crazy! We weren't able to get good pictures of the inside because it was all so darn cramped. This is the galley (aka kitchen). Don't you wish you had a kitchen this huge! (By the way, in order to get the whole thing into the shot, I am standing in the captain's cabin across the hallway with my camera zoomed out as far as it would go. That's how tiny this is!)
Ethan and Erik manning the Conn. Again, I'm standing way back in the corner behind some big piece of equipment I had to practically climb under in order to get far enough away to get this much into the shot. I don't have enough room to turn around, and getting back out of there was tricky!
After we finished on the Drum, we went to the Air Craft Pavilion, where I sat and fed Erik while Ethan wandered the HUGE warehouse full of aircraft. He was pretty impressed by it all.
This whole park was SO cool, I highly recommend it to anyone who's in the area and looking for something to do!
So it seems like a five hour car trip and a three hour tour of Battleship Memorial Park should be enough to fill up a person's day right? Nope! This was just the first of three stops that day, but the rest will have to wait for another blog post.