Just west of Gulf Shores on the shore of Mobile Bay is the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which some say is one of America's best military parks.
In addition to the Battleship USS Alabama (BB-60), you can tour many other military boats and airplanes. Climb aboard the submarine USS Drum (SS-228) and see what it was like to brave the deep sea aboard a navy submarine. If you prefer the air, they've got planes...the "Calamity Jane", a B-52D bomber, or a P-51D Mustang, part of the Tuskegee Airmen's air fleet. Ever hear of the A-12 Blackbird spy plane? They've got one of these also.
Tanks, guns, patrol boats too... If your a military buff, this is a great place to spend a few hours.
The Battleship Memorial Park has an air-conditioned aircraft pavilion, flight simulator ride, historical videos, gift shop and snack bar. So leave the Gulf Shores Beach behind and take a step into history.
Take a day off from the beach, leave your bikini
and beach umbrella behind and visit the Battleship Memorial Park and the USS Alabama.
Map-It! USS Alabama, 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, AL 33601
Directions: Highway 90/98 just off Interstate 10, Exits 27 or 30
USS Alabama Phone: 251-433-2703
Open most days from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but call for seasonal hoursThe History of the USS ALABAMA (BB 60)
There have been many generations of ships assigned the Alabama name. The first gun ship named Alabama... well... was almost assigned the name, was in 1819. This 74 gun battle ship was suppose to have the name Alabama was renamed the New Hampshire just before it was commissioned. A Revenue Cutter, U.S. Steamer, Side wheel steamer and the Legendary Confederate Raider CSS Alabama all were predecessors to the USS Alabama battle ship.
Considering this heritage was the Alabama BB-8, a 1st Rate Class battleship, commissioned October 1900 she was part of the Great White Fleet. After the USB Alabama BB-60 came the USS Alabama SSBN-731, a ballistic missile submarine which still patrols as a deterrent to nuclear attack.
The USS Alabama (BB-60), which is the USS Alabama battleship on display at the Battleship Memorial Park, was built over a two year period at the Norfolk Navy Yard. This South Dakota Class battleship was launched in February 1942. Captain George Wilson, USN, assumed command of this ship when it was commissioned.
The USS Alabama was clearly a fighting name to live up to, the Battleship USS ALABAMA BB-60 did it will. Her shakedown training in November 1942 took her through a series of trials, exercises, and drills which were conducted in the Chesapeake Bay and Casco Bay areas.
In 1943, under the command of Captain Fred Kirtland, USN, the USS Alabama BB-60 cleared the Panama canal and reported for duty in the Pacific ocean as part of the Pacific Third Fleet at Efate, New Hebrides. Through the remainder of WWII, she and her crew were involved in many battles through out the Pacific.