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Battleship U.S.S. Alabama, Mobile AL, Jan 2009

Work sent me to Pascagoula MS for a meeting. While there I took the opportunity with a co-worker to go and visit the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile Alabama. I now work for BAE and we build the guns that are placed on board today's ships, so this was a field trip to see one use for the guns we produce. These were probably made by the company that became BAE, and they are similar to the 5 inch guns that we currently make. We got there around 2pm and they close at 5pm. This limited how much we could see and do. We walked around the decks and looked at just a couple of the display areas in the conning tower, we had no time to go below decks and view the entire ship.

In addition to the battleship, the U.S.S. Drum (a submarine), several aircraft and some Army vehicles are on display here. We walked through the display building. There were some photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The building had survived but it was flooded and had damaged some of the displays on the floor.

The U.S.S. Drum is up on blocks out of the water. We climbed a flight of stairs to get to the deck. This boat is open and on display, but like any submarine it is very tight quarters. We only climbed into the forward torpedo room and decided that was enough. From the deck of the Drum we could see the outside aircraft display and across the park.

This was my second visit to this site. Both times now I have only had a short time to explore the exhibits, one of these days, I'll have to plan a longer visit.


Stats
USS Alabama USS Drum
Commissioned:
16 February 1942
Displacement:
35,000 to 44,500 tons.
Length:
680 ft.
Beam:
108 ft. 2 in.
Design Draft:
33 ft. 8 in.
Actual weight when fully loaded:
42,500 tons.
Speed:
28 knots
Range:
15,000 Nautical miles at 15 knots
Crew:
127 Officers, 2,205 Enlisted Men
Armament:
9 x 16"/45 cal. Guns (3 turrets)
20 x 5"/38 cal. Guns (10 mounts)
48 x 40mm Guns (12 mounts)
52 x 20mm Guns
Armor:
Turret faces: 18 inches
Conning tower: 16 inches
Side armor: 12.2 inches, tapering to 1 inch at bottom.
Power Plants:
Horsepower: 130,000 hp
4 engine rooms: each carrying 2 boilers and 2 turbines.
4 propellers: 2 five bladed and 2 four bladed, each weighing 18.2 tons.
Commissioned:
November 1, 1941
Displacement:
1,526 tons surfaced, 2,424 tons submerged
Length:
311 ft. 8 in.
Breadth:
27 ft. 4 in.
Draft:
15 ft. 3 in.
Speed:
20 knots
Crew:
7 Officers, 65 Enlisted Men
Maximum Diving Depth:
400 ft.
Armament; varied during WWII, presently:
1 x 5"/25 caliber gun
1 x 40mm single mount
1 x 20mm twin mount
10 x 21" torpedo tubes (6 forward, 4 aft) 14 reloads, total 24 torpedoes
Power Plant:
Four 1,600 BHP Diesel Engines for surface use at up to 20.25 knots.
Two 1,375 HP Electric Motors for submerged use at up to 8.75 knots.

Stereo view of 20mm gun [gun-stereo]
[Stereo] Stereo view of 20mm gun [gun-stereo]

[pan] View from deck of USS Drum looking at aircraft display [Panorama1_cropped_1]
[Pan] [pan] View from deck of USS Drum looking at aircraft display [Panorama1_cropped_1]

[pan] Dockside view at bow looking to the stern of USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_2]
[Pan] [pan] Dockside view at bow looking to the stern of USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_2]

[pan] Dockside view from mid ship of the USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_3]
[Pan] [pan] Dockside view from mid ship of the USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_3]

[pan] View from boarding ramp of the USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_4]
[Pan] [pan] View from boarding ramp of the USS Alabama [Panorama1_cropped_4]

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Me standing with a 16 inch round, nearly 6 feet tall and weighs nearly 2,700
                pounds