If you haven’t been to this park, you must go. What a great park! There’s so much to see here I have to do multiple blog entries. I’m sure you won’t mind though. If you do find yourself in the area, and you plan on stopping, make sure you have at least three hours or more to fully look around. This is a fully self sufficient memorial park. That means, no government funds are sent here. It’s all run by donations and entrance fees, which are very reasonable. Two bucks for parking, yes motor coaches too, and $12 each for admittance.
This is the final resting place for the USS Alabama Battleship. Along with various military planes, tanks and the USS Drum SS 228 Submarine, which is the oldest United States Submarine in the world. But more on them later.
The USS Alabama BB-60 Battleship was commissioned the 16th of August 1942. She normally carried a crew of 2500 men aboard. When you take the self guided tour of this ship, it’s hard to believe 2500 men could fit on this ship, let alone work and sleep on board. The people of this park really do this tour nicely. When you come aboard the gangway on deck, there are three different tours you can take. They are all laid out by color and numbers that you can follow along on your paper tour guide in your hands. So every colored number has a description of what you are looking at and where you are standing. Nice.
On the top deck they have big band music playing in the background, setting the scene. When you enter various sections of the ship, they would have veterans (recorded) reading the ships logs or letters home that the crew had written. Nice touches throughout the ship really made it a nice tour. Lots of memorabilia around the ship trying to give it a more realistic look. Kind of like the crew just up and left, leaving everything were it was.
Touring this battleship took us just over an hour. We could have spent a lot more time, but there was much more to see. Make sure that if you do this tour, sneakers are advisable. There is also lots of ladders and steps to maneuver, if you like.
On to the next tour…