Sunday, December 18, 2011

USS Alabama Memorial Park

Well, it took me a couple weeks, but I finally processed and reviewed all the pics I took when I went to Alabama with Russel for his company holiday party.  We drove to Mobile on Sunday, Dec. 4, and spent all day Monday seeing a couple of places.  I had seen the USS Alabama long ago in 1976, but it is now surrounded by a lovely veterans memorial park.  Before it was just the battleship and the USS Drum, a diesel submarine.  So, off we went, into a cloudy misty morning.

First, we stopped to admire a B52D, Stratofortress, one of the old “tall tail” models.  I grew up around B52’s on SAC bases with my Dad in the Air Force.  They were so pretty before they covered over the silver and white with camouflage for use in Vietnam.  The one in the park is called “Calamity Jane” and she made lots of bombing runs.  The planes’ nickname is “BUFF,” for Big Ugly Flying Fortress.  That’s the PC name.  Click on any of the pics for a bigger look.

Next, we went up onto the Alabama.  With Russel’s knees we couldn’t climb all the way to the bridge or very far down into the ship, but we wandered all over the main deck.


Russel tried his hand with the 10mm machine gun.  They had these all over the ship and they were used mostly to shoot down Kamikaze planes.

10 mm and Russel

Each of these 10mm guns had signs on both sides reminding the gunners to shoot ahead of the diving planes.  According to one of the plaques, they got pretty good at shooting them down.

10 mm sign 

The Alabama had some pretty dam big guns on her.

Turrets 16 Inch 45 cal Turret Plaque

From the deck we took a picture of the BUFF and the Huey helicopter, back grounded by the Mobile skyline.

Calamity Jane

These next two pics are a smaller version of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C.  This one has the names of the men and women lost from Alabama in Vietnam. 

AL Vietnam wall

The poem on the backside was particularly moving.  Click on it to read it, then back to return.

AL Vietnam Wall poem

This was a memorial to war dogs in Vietnam.

War Dogs Memorial

I used to have a T-shirt that said this.  “I’d fly 10,000 miles to smoke a camel,” a popular saying after Desert Storm.

I'd Fly 10K

Next to the Alabama in the Air Museum was what I wrongly assumed was an SR-71 Blackbird.  One of the guides said that was a common misconception.  This was an A-10, spy plane, made for and flown by the CIA.  Seated only one pilot and flew higher than the SR-71.  Never had US Air Force painted on the side.

That’s it for Alabama pics.  We backtracked to Florida that afternoon.  I’ll blog those tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by. Comments always welcome.

(-: ¸.·´* .·´*¨¨)) –:¦:- *** ((¸¸.·´*~Kathy~.·´*)****¨¨)) -:¦:- ·· ((¸¸.·´* .·´*((¸¸.·.·´ *-:¦:- ... :-)

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