Battleship Memorial Park

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Quick Summary

Location
30°40'54"N
088°00'53"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
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Description

Battleship Memorial Park is a military history park and museum located on the western shore of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. It has a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum. USS Alabama and USS Drum are both National Historic Landmarks; the park as a whole was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage prior to that time, on October 28, 1977.

History

In May 1962, USS Alabama had been ordered scrapped along with her South Dakota-class sister ships, USS South Dakota, USS Indiana, and USS Massachusetts. Citizens of the state of Alabama had formed the "USS Alabama Battleship Commission" to raise funds for the preservation of Alabama as a memorial to the men and women who served in World War II. Alabama's school children raised approximately $100,000 in nickels and dimes from lunch money and allowances to help the cause. The ship was awarded to the state on June 16, 1964, and was formally turned over on July 7, 1964 in ceremonies at Seattle, Washington. Alabama was then towed to her permanent berth at Mobile, Alabama, arriving in Mobile Bay on September 14, 1964 and opening as a museum ship on January 9, 1965. Alabama was joined in 1969 by USS Drum, a World War II Gato-class submarine, which was moored behind her until 2001, when the submarine was moved onto land for preservation in a permanent display. In 2003 a replica of a Confederate submarine that was built in Mobile, CSS H. L. Hunley, was moved to the park.Hurricane Katrina caused more than $7 million in damages to Battleship Memorial Park on August 29, 2005 when it came ashore. It almost completely destroyed the aircraft pavilion and gave Alabama an eight-degree list to port and shifting at her permanent anchorage. This forced the park to temporarily close for repairs; it reopened on January 9, 2006.

Administration

The park is owned by the state of Alabama and is run by an independent government agency, the USS Alabama Battleship Commission. The commission consists of eighteen members from over the entire state appointed by the Alabama governor. It has oversight of all operations at the park.

Features

The World War II-era battleship USS Alabama (BB-60). The World War II era submarine USS Drum (SS-228). Bombers and fighter planes ranging from a B-52 from the Vietnam War, a P-51 Mustang flown by the Tuskegee Airmen to an A-12 spyplane. A PBR (River Patrol Boat) used in the Vietnam War. Military equipment ranging from items such as a Skysweeper M51 anti-aircraft gun to a M4 Sherman tank. A Redstone MRBM (medium range ballistic missile). Korean War Memorial Vietnam War Memorial

Recreation

The 2001 USA Cross Country Championships were held at a cross country running course in the park.
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