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June 21, 2011
From journal Mobile - Jewel of the South
by Amber Autumn
November 20, 2010
I've always seen the battleship, USS Alabama, from I-10 when traveling through Mobile to my past destinations of Orange Beach, and Foley. It sits in the Mobile Bay, but I never noticed how big the ship really was until I got to see up close and personal. Off of US 90, past seafood restaurants with incredibly big fish signs, the Battleship Memorial Park is open daily except for Christmas. It opens around 8am, and parking here costs about $2, and to board the USS Alabama to see some real views is an extra $20. In addition to the Battleship, you can find a B-52 bomber named Calamity Jane, Tuskegee Airmen P-51D Mustang, A-12 Spyplane, tanks, a submarine, other armored vehicles, and memorials to the different branches of service. There's even a memorial to the dogs who aided servicemen throughout the wars, and celebrates seven decades of heroism from World War II to Iraqi Freedom. If you get hungry or just want a souvenir, there's a gift shop and concession stand located next to the USS Alabama. (To get onto the USS Alabama itself, you have to walk through here.) The kitchen has several fast food items from pizzas, sandwiches, and nachos and cheese. I kind of found the food to be a little on the greasy side, but I didn't let this get me down. Meanwhile, the gift shop is full of interesting souvenirs with a sea theme. There were mermaids, crabs, seashell wind chimes, t-shirts, paintings and artwork, and much more. A quick tip: if you happen to pass the Alabama Welcome Center (near the Mississippi/Alabama border), be sure you go inside to find the USS Alabama brochures. You can find $2.00 off admission (for up to six adults) brochures and pamphelts.
From journal Must-See Mobile
New York, New York
April 1, 2006
From journal I Reckon I Just Took a Trip to 'Bama
by Wildcat Dianne
April 22, 2005
The USS Alabama is a South Dakota-class destroyer that was commissioned on August 16, 1942. She is 311 feet and 8 inches long, with a 27-foot-wide beam, and weighs 35,000 tons empty (45,000 when full and battle ready). Close to 2,500 men served on the Alabama at a time. The Alabama is armed to the teeth with 48 40mm guns, 52 20mm guns, 20 38-calibers, etc.
My sister and I arrived at the USS Alabama at about noon on a hot Wednesday afternoon. We stopped in the souvenir shop to pay for our way onboard the Alabama, and I was going to buy some postcards and a thimble for my friend Leslie, but Erika suggested we get onboard in order to avoid the crowd of schoolchildren who were also touring the Alabama that day. I put down the souvenirs, and Erika and I got on the ship.
One can easily get lost on the Alabama because it is so huge, but the park makes it easy for visitors to see the ship by giving you a choice of three routes: Route A, red arrows, below decks; Route B, green arrows, forward below decks; and Route C, yellow arrows, upper decks to level 0-8. Erika and I chose the latter Yellow Route to tour. Erika and I had gotten maps of the yellow route to follow on our tour; it guides you all over the ship and through the museum below deck.
The museum has many very interesting exhibits on the history of the Alabama and the US Navy during World War II. There are also exhibits on the enemy navies we faced during the war that are very interesting, too. The ships quarters are furnished with mannequins and shows what life was like for a navy man during WWII. The captain was on call almost 24/7 and rarely was in his quarters. It was so hot in there when we visited it that I couldn't help but say, "It's so hot in here, I can't blame him for wanting to be on deck!" The stairs from deck to deck are narrow and steep, and I was imagining what it was like for the sailors when they were in battle.
It will cost you $10 to tour the USS Alabama; Aviation Museum; and if you want, the USS Drum Submarine nearby. Upon entering the park, you must pay a $2 parking fee, but the steep ticket is well worth it, as the money goes to support the upkeep of the park.
From journal Steel and Magnolias: A Day Trip to Mobile
October 10, 2000
From journal Mobile, Alabama's entry to the sea