Friday, April 14, 2017

Adventure time! USS Alabama.

So I skipped work today and headed off to Mobile, Alabama to visit Battleship Park and the USS Alabama, (BB-60).

This beautiful South Dakota class World War Two vet is open to the public and in great shape. Here's the view aft from the bow, looking at two of her three turrets, each of which houses three 16"/45 cal. Mark 6 guns.

Here's one of the projectiles that they fire. 2,700 pounds and accurate out to 21 miles. Nice!

Now THAT is a rifle. Times 3.

Inside the turret...because I go these places for you all.
And look at this breech.
Note the ladder running down behind the breech. On another battleship I won't name, I once managed to get into this shell-hoisting shaft with a little help from a Leatherman tool and descended to the bottle of the barbette, several decks below, my way lit only by a mini-mag flashlight held in my mouth. Best self-guided tour ever! But I was well-behaved on this trip.

Here's a look into the aft turret, which is not as well restored.
Outside the aft turret.

Lots of smaller guns, too. Here's one of the many twin 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns of the main deck.

Another row of Oerlikons (port side). Once the Kamikaze threat became clear, they were putting these guns everywhere on every ship.

Here's a couple of the twin 40mm Bofors Anti-aircraft gun mounts.

Got lots more pics to post...but I'm tired now and it's past the dogs' bedtime too. More to follow.


  1. Excellent! Last of that class, and then the Iowa class came out.

    I don't think we have any radio buddies on here, as I don't think they have a full-time radio club.

    Looking forward to seeing more pix!

    1. I took some below decks specifically with you in mind...

    2. Thanks, Murph!

  2. Thank you for the tour of the grand old lady.

  3. I think they've painted over the splinter shields on the deck 20mm guns. They used to say, in red stencils "LEAD DAMMIT LEAD". I might have a photo somewhere.

    1. Three still say that. I messed up that pic.

  4. It was going onboard this ship in 1970 when I was 9 years old that made me decide to enter the Navy when I was old enough. :) It's a wonderful place for a 9-year-old to play.

  5. Thanks.

    I was there the year before Katrina and the Waves played Mobile. The damage to the Air Park was heart-wrenching. I'll be back there soon to see how they've recovered. And to reconnect with the grand old lady.

    Thanks for the pix.

    And for the Murph and Belle stories. German Shedders Forever!

  6. Anonymous4:55 PM

    That is a lot of firepower

  7. Just in case there are kamikaze's around, here is a Oerlikon up for auction in a few days. Functional too.

  8. Thanks for the info. I'm planning to stop there when I get down that way this fall.