The USS Alabama Memorial Park is one of the state’s best historical sites that you and your family could see.
It is full of history that tells stories that you will not find anywhere else, and is dedicated to the thousands of veterans that served our country so bravely.
The USS Alabama Memorial Park was founded with one major objective in mind; to honor all the veterans of all or our wars.
There you will find the Korean Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, as well as the Fallen Guardian Memorial, which honors the lives of the members our U.S. Coast Guard.
Both World Wars are also honored, as well as our brave service dogs who served our country at the Service Dog War Memorial.
There is also the Fallen Hero 9/11 Memorial, which honors men and women from Alabama that have given their lives since 9/11.
Along with these beautiful memorials, you and your family will also find some of the finest military equipment in the entire country on display.
The USS Alabama Memorial Park has a very unique history, starting from its very humble beginnings on February 1, 1942.
As the keel of the USS Alabama (BB-60) was laid at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth Virginia, this wonderful vessel has had a remarkable career.
She began her career in World War II in 1943 in the North Atlantic, and then later that year she sailed into the South Pacific.
At her peak, this 45,000 –ton gentle giant was home to over 2,500 Americans.
Her WWII adventures hit a peak when she led the American Fleet into Tokyo Bay on September 5, 1945, the same day the Surrender documents were signed.
She was honored as the “Heroine of the Pacific” for her brief three-year tenure and was awarded Nine Battle Stars and the “Mighty A” award.
She was decommissioned in1947, and was actually scheduled to be scrapped in the early part of the 1960’s.
However, a forward-looking group of Alabamian’s saw it a different way and envisioned this aging warship as the main attraction of a Memorial Park that was being built in Mobile.
On January 9, 1965, the dream became a reality, when the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park officially opened to the public.
Today this Memorial Park has literally hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world, to learn about our nation’s military history.
The Commission of the USS Alabama Memorial Park was extremely important in establishing this memorial.
The Governor of Alabama at the time, George Wallace, signed into the law Senate Bill 152, on September 12, 1963, establishing the Commission as a state agency.
Once this was completed, it allowed the agency to acquire transport, berth, maintain, as well as renovate this memorial.
The law was modified later to make this memorial applicable to all of the Alabamians’ who served in all branches of the military, in all of our armed conflicts.
The Commission still meets almost every month, and the meetings are held aboard the Battleship.
This Commission receives no tax or public money but does accept donations and grants to raise the funds to keep it going.
In the early 2000’s, the Commission started a major fundraising effort for major restorations and renovation programs.
Some of the renovations included removing over 2.7 million gallons of fuel from the Battleship, as well as moving the Submarine USS DRUM from the water to a land base.
There are four major attractions at the USS Alabama Memorial Park, and they include the following.
The USS Drum
Outside of the USS Alabama Battleship, the major attraction of the USS Alabama Memorial Park is the USS Drum.
The Drum, officially titled (SS-228), is the oldest American submarine on public display in the entire country.
At her peak, she had a 72-member crew during her war missions, and this marvelous ship was donated to the Commission on April 14, 1969.
She was officially opened to the public to be toured on July 4, 1969.
Aircraft-The Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion
The next major attraction at the USS Alabama Memorial Park is the Aircraft-Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion.
This attraction is home to a huge aircraft collection, historic vehicles, as well as numerous other war artifacts.
These are all dedicated to the Alabama Medal of Honor recipients, as well as all those that served our country from this great state.
Included in this collection is the Red Ball Express, which honors the men who ran supplies during WWII on a Red-Tail P-51.
These were the same planes that were flown by the Tuskegee Airman, which also made history for the state of Alabama.
There is also Marine One, which is a recently restored VH1-N helicopter, which was used by five different Presidents.
The five Presidents include Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, as well as George H. W. Bush.
The final star of this collection is a super-secret spy plane, the A-12 Black Bird.
It has a wingspan of 65 feet and is a whopping 125 feet in length and flew at speeds of 2,300 miles per hour at over 93,700 feet in height.
Tanks and Artillery
The final displays at the USS Alabama Memorial Park are the Tanks and Artillery that dot its surroundings.
These displays include Tanks, Boats, and Planes, and include artifacts from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, as well as the Coast Guard.
Among this collection are a Pershing M-26 tank, an M-4 Sherman, an M-48A 1 Patton, and an M-60A 1 Tank.
There is also a T-55 Russian/Iraqi tank that was used in Desert Storm, as well as numerous other military pieces.
There are also three other historic vessels inside of the park that include a 26-foot Motor Surf Launch, a 41-foot Utility Boat, as well as a Vietnam-era River Boat.
The newest memorial at the park is called the Recruit, which is a bronze sculpture that symbolizes all of those who enlisted and took the oath of service and was dedicated on July 2, 2016.
The USS Alabama Memorial Park is one of the best day trips you and your family could take, to learn about the history of this great state.
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