Monday, April 9, 2012
USS Alabama by Isaac
We were on the interstate going through Alabama when we saw a sign for the battleship USS Alabama. We decided to check out, so we exited the interstate and drove to the battleship. When we got there, we parked and checked out a B52 bomber that was on display. Then, we boarded the Alabama and walked aft. There was a catapult that was used for launching seaplanes. Then, when the seaplane landed in the water, a crane would pick it up and put it on deck. There were some anti-aircraft guns on the back as well. As we went forward, we saw some smaller anti-aircraft guns with words on the shields telling the man operating it to lead. There was a large 16 inch turret that we could go into; we didn't, however, as there was a line. We went into the ship and found the main exhibit. We took the yellow tour, which brought us out on deck again. We got to go into the forward two 16 inch turrets and we saw how the guns themselves were loaded. We got out and walked to the very bow of the ship. I turned around and looked back. It was certainly a formidable sight, all 680 feet of it. The tour took us back into the battleship and brought us up the command tower. We came down and got to go into a 5 inch turret. Historical note: the only damage the ship took during WWII was when when a 5 inch gun accidentally fired on another 5 inch gun. We continued down and the tour ended in the main exhibit. We then took the red tour, where we got to go into barbette no. 2. The USS Alabama is the only ship in the world that allows visitors into the barbette! After finishing the red tour, we went through a hangar like building, which had lots of planes from corsairs to blackbirds, some of them having Macy's mannequins dressed as pilots posing beside them. Then, we got on the WWII submarine USS Drum, which is rare. There are few WWII subs left and even fewer (this one included!) have there original layout and equipment. We went down the forward companion way into the forward torpedo room. We started walking aft, and soon we came the navigation room. There was a ladder leading up into the spot that the periscope was in. There was two adults and four kids up there when we got there, so we waited until they came down. We went up and looked through the periscope, where we could see the battleship. We came back down and went into the hallway leading into the galley. An Indian girl, about nine or ten, came running through and said, "Have you seen a yellow tube, that's cool, and has a voice coming out of it?" And, without waiting for an answer, she kept going. A minute later, she came running back the opposite direction. We went into the galley, and then into a bunk room. We got to the aft torpedo room and went up the companion way there. We walked back to the camper and Dad remarked, "I think we've seen enough navy ships for this trip."