It’s been a long time since I was able to give a Warrior Wednesday shout to all our past, present and future service members. I really miss doing those on twitter.
There’s no special reason I want to post about the USS Alabama here now though, except that I saw this really cool video and thought it was worth sharing.
Historical facts are interesting, as the USS Alabama (BB-60) launched on April 16, 1942. She served during World War II in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and in British waters to protect supply convoys to the Soviet Union.
In the Pacific, the USS Alabama was involved in the Gilbert Island, Marshall Islands, and Marianas Islands campaigns, and in the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Okinawa. She was awarded nine battle stars for service.
She was decommissioned on January 9, 1947 and her last trip under her own power was to the United States Pacific Reserve Fleet at Bremerton, Washington.
People of Alabama had plans for her though. She wasn’t done yet. After forming a ‘USS Alabama Battleship Commission’ with the aim of raising funds to preserve the USS Alabama, money was raised by school kids, civics groups and corporate donations and the she was awarded to the state on June 16, 1964.
She was then towed to Mobile Bay, Alabama, where she rests in the bay at Battleship Memorial Park. She opened as a museum on January 9, 1965 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Personally, facts are facts, and the fact is, that many times coming down to Florida when I was a kid, we’d see that ship far in the distance from the interstate and I always wanted to go see it- but we never did.
The time finally came a year and a half ago when American Boy and I went for a mini trip up to Pensacola for a special ‘reunion’ banquet. Being only a little over an hour away, I was determined for the boy and I to finally go see the ship up close.
We made a day of it before heading back east, and neither of us were disappointed. The ship itself is massive and impressive.
We explored all over- he went more below and I found going up was more my idea, so I could see out and down.
It was amazing. There are more things than the USS Alabama at the Memorial ‘park’.
There are memorials to all who served during WW2, also Korea, and Vietnam and since 9/11. There are also airplanes and the Gato-class submarine USS Drum, a Vietnam era river patrol boat, tanks and other artillery pieces.
What I loved about the park is that while the USS Alabama proudly is the center of attraction, all branches are honorably represented there.
It was a trip worth waiting for, even if I waited more decades than I’d like to admit. But I am glad I got to take the boy with me.
I’m even more glad and grateful that we have the freedom to- all because of the vigilance and willingness of past and present patriots to keep us free. God bless our Troops, and our Veterans. Thank you all for your service!