Tuesday, August 2, 2011

USS Alabama

Newest adventure in Alabama, close to Gulf Shores, was a trip to the USS Alabama that is permanently on display in Mobile. It is located in the Battleship Memorial Park and your ticket admission gets you onto the ship and you can walk all over the ship, the Submarine USS Drum and the Aircraft Pavilion......well worth the price. And of course you can get discount coupons in all of the tourist guide pamphlets!!

The ship was commissioned August 16, 1942 and fought all during World War II. She earned 9 Battle Starts and shot down 22 enemy airplanes during WWII. Here is the plaque that is displayed on the ship of her journey as a battleship:
I've just recently retired from education and I love these kinds of trips! It's important to remember and to understand our history and these kinds of memorials are just the ticket! There is so much more than the battleship......the displays in the Aircraft Pavilion are just as awesome although not near the scale of the ship, planes, and submarine.
Here are some other pictures that I got while visiting.
Me in front of one of the propellers of the ship!

The big guns that could shoot with accuracy to 21 miles!

 In addition the Battleship Memorial Park is devoted to recognizing all Alabama veterans who have participated in all conflicts of the United States Armed Services, with displays of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and even a small display in honor of 9/11 victims from Alabama.
Loved this quote by a Vietnam Vet that is inscribed on the granite wall honor Alabama Vietnam veterans

When I saw this I thought they have C in sculpture for me!! Not really, it's a life-size example of the MIA/KIA bracelets that were made in honor of those serving in Vietnam. I remember these as a teenager and many of my friends had them. It was inscribed with the name of the individual that was Missing and the date they went missing. The idea was to wear them until the individuals came home, one way or another. This was probably the best promotional idea that came out of the Vietnam War, since there was so much animosity toward the young vets returning to the states, who were only doing their duty, but the war was so incredibly unpopular.

As we were making our last stop into the bookstore and perusing the shelves that mainly contain the ghastly souvenirs, lo and behold there was a book signing going on. Retired Col. Glenn D. Frazier was busy signing his book, Hell's Guest

I was so excited and grabbed a book and had him sign. Haven't read the book yet, but looking forward to it. He lied about his age and signed up for the military at age 16 and within 3 years was sent to Japan and was captured and was an unfortunate participant in the Baatan death march. He was a very big contributor to the Ken Burns documentary, The War. Have a look at his website that is very interesting and has clips of the documentary that he specifically helped advise.

It was such an awesome day to be able to see a little piece of our history and remember the fallen heroes that remind us that liberty is our most important possession and costs us a very precious price.


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