We got an early start Wednesday and headed into Mobile to visit the USS Alabama.
I had purchased a Groupon last week to tour this famous ship and it was well worth it. The USS Alabama, the USS Drum, a small aircraft pavilion, an array of battlefield tanks, a Vietnam War Memorial and a Korean War Memorial are all located at Battlefield Memorial Park in Mobile Bay.
The USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942. She is huge. She is registered as 35,000 tons but under battle conditions weighed in at over 45,000 tons. She normally carried a crew of 2500 men. These ships operated like a small city. They had everything.
It housed a soda shop that dispensed over 100 gallons of ice cream daily, as well as Cokes and sodas.
There was a laundry/pressing room. In war, there was no time for the men to do their own laundry and it was essential that men going into battle be in clean clothing to help fight infections in case of wounds.
There was even garbage disposals. Garbage was ground up in these machines and flushed overboard under water so it would not leave a visible trail behind the ship which might be spotted by enemy aircraft or submarines.
The men’s bunks were located all over the ship. In many cases, it appeared that you slept where you worked. The barbershop, for instance, had 5 chairs and 3 bunks. The storage room for the film projector and all the films had a bunk. The bunks were short, narrow and stacked on top of each other. If you were anywhere near ‘tall’ your legs would be hanging off the end.
And, of course, there was the Brig
After touring the ship, we spent some time in the Aircraft Pavillion. Many of these planes were heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina and they are still working diligently to restore this area. This park receives no government funding and relies solely on admission fees and donations.
We concluded our tour with the USS Drum, a 311 foot long submarine commissioned in 1941 and used during WWII. I didn’t take any photos of the inside of the Drum. The space was tight and the area somewhat difficult to maneuver. During WWII, it carried a crew of 65 enlisted men and 7 officers. Talk about tight! It makes a 40 foot motorhome seem positively spacious!
We ended our day with a stop at Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, AL. This is a restaurant famous in these parts for their “throwed rolls”.
We had barely been seated at our table when one of the servers came along with a huge pan of fresh yeast rolls and threw each of us one :) They were warm out of the oven and excellent. The food was good, hot and plentiful. Rick ordered the liver and onions and I ordered an open-faced roast beef sandwich with potatoes & gravy and coleslaw. Rick polished his off, but I had so much food on my plate I was able to bring home enough for a couple more meals! There must have been 1.5# of pot roast on that sandwich :)
That about wraps up another day in this very nice spot in Alabama.