USS Alabama (Images of America)
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Powerful: this single word aptly describes a naval vessel known as a battleship. The USS Alabama (BB 60) was the last of four South Dakotaclass battleships built for World War II. She is well armored and designed to survive an attack while continuing to fight. Her main battery, known as Big Guns, consisted of nine 16-inch guns; each could launch a projectile weighing as much as a small car that could hit a target 21 miles away. Her crew numbered 2,332 men, none of whom were lost to enemy fire, earning her the nickname Lucky A. She served as more than just a battleship: she carried troops, supplies, and seaplanes and served in the Pacific and Atlantic; her doctors treated patients from other ships; she was the wartime home for a major-league ballplayer; the movie setting for Hollywood films; and she traveled home to the state of Alabama with the help of schoolchildren.
the troops took place in American shipyards. The crew building the Alabama sped up work on the country’s newest battleship. More than 3,000 men and women, working 24 hours a day for 30 months, finished the $80 million project nine months ahead of schedule. The USS Alabama (BB-60) was christened on February 16, 1942, by Henrietta Hill, the wife of Sen. Lister Hill. Alabama was commissioned on Sunday, August 16, 1942. Alabama displaced 35,000 tons when she was completed. When fully loaded, she
is joined by the USS Drum, a World War II submarine, as well as a variety of aircraft and military vehicles. All stand in honor of all who have served the United States of America. On June 16, 1964, Capt. Jim Thwing of the Navy Reserves received the decommissioned battleship Alabama from the Navy on behalf of Governor Wallace and the people of Alabama. Captain Thwing served as the state’s West Coast representative during negotiations and then spent seven weeks in Mobile during the ship’s
World War II submarine USS Drum. The air museum hangar features more than 20 different aircraft, including a Blackbird spy plane. Memorials, boats, planes, and monuments to servicemen and women of all eras and service branches are located on the park grounds. (Courtesy of Kent Whitaker.) ABOUT THE USS ALABAMA BATTLESHIP MEMORIAL PARK USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is located in Mobile Bay. The park is home to the battleship USS Alabama, the submarine USS Drum, an aircraft pavilion, and
Alabama 2.Commanding USS Alabama 3.Alabama’s Armament and “Big Guns” 4.Working Aboard Alabama 5.Life on Alabama 6.Faith and Healing at Sea 7.Earning Nine Battle Stars 8.Bringing Alabama Home About the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Bill and I would like to acknowledge the people and organizations that made this book possible. It could not have been written without the service of the World War II crew members of the USS Alabama (BB-60). Over the years, they have
officer with six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars at the war’s end. He served in both the North Atlantic and in the Pacific. Bob Feller (center, facing camera) is seen here with his other 40-millimeter machine gun crew members during a training exercise aboard Alabama. While Feller went to great strides to just be a normal crew member, it was quite common to see him practice pitching on deck during downtime. This photograph from the original USS Alabama war diary is simply captioned,