Battle Ship Park, Mobile, Alabama

Day 533

     Battle Ship Park is located on Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama, and hosts a tribute to those who served in WWII. It houses an aircraft museum, the Battleship USS Alabama, and the submarine USS Drum. We toured all.

     The USS battleship Alabama was launched February 16, 1942, therefore it was not at Pearl Harbor. The battleship was in 9 battles, 6 bombardments, and shot down 22 enemy airplanes. This was the sixth navy ship named for the State. 

     In all those encounters, it was never damaged from the enemy. However on February 21, 1944, during the Asiatic-Pacific Raids, one 5-inch gun mount accidentally fired into another mount killing 6 and wounding 11 men. 

     Some short people probably could not serve on this ship, as they couldn’t see over the deck. 

     Barbara thought she could have been a gunner.

     The Alabama carried a detachment of 75 marines. They were responsible for shipboard security, and manned the anti-aircraft guns. 

     Tidbit of Information: The marines wore a leather collar to guard against neck cuts, and hence the name “Leathernecks”.

     Like most submarines, the USS Drum was named after a fish. Drum is a large sea bass found off the North Atlantic coast.

     The USS Drum was built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, launched on May 12 , 1941 and commissioned on November 1, 1941. She did not arrive at Pearl Harbor from the East Coast until April 1, 1942. 

     The Drum had 10 Torpedo Tubes, 6 forward and 4 aft. When leaving port all 10 tubes were loaded and they carried 14 reloads for a total of 24 torpedoes. 

      The Drum was in 12 battles and sunk 15 Japanese ships. It is interesting to note that the crew claimed they sunk 27 ships. 

     Tidbit of Information: The United States had 254 submarines in WWII. 52 were lost during the war, with 3 by friendly fire and 2 by their own torpedoes.