Recently while I was on vacation in Florida, I took the opportunity to drive to Mobile, Alabama to visit the U.S.S. Alabama (BB-60). I have especially wanted to visit the ship since its sister was the U.S.S. Indiana. This is the first time I have ever visited a battleship let alone a naval vessel of its size.
The Memorial Park is made up of several displays obviously with the U.S.S. Alabama, the U.S.S. Drum, an aviation hanger, and an outside display area. Unfortunately shortly after arriving the weather turned for worse. So I did not get any exterior shots of the U.S.S. Drum and close up shots of most of the outside displays.
The Alabama is an impressive ship and over 8 different decks are accessible to the public. My brother & I spent a good 45 minutes to an hour walking through the ship. The outward appearance of the ship is quite striking, but honestly it is not the most attractive ship. In my opinion, it is shortening of the ship's hull compared to the North Carolina Class and later the Iowa Class. Compared to pictures from the exterior & interior of the Missouri, the Alabama is not in nearly as good as shape. This is because the Memorial Park is privately run and funded and not part of the National Park System. As you'll see from the pictures certain parts of the ship are in good shape, but others are not. There at least a half dozen workers stripping paint in different parts of the ship. Part of the foksal has been set up as quarters for the boy scouts, in addition they have converted space for meeting rooms, offices, and for other uses. The wooden deck was in pretty poor shape with sheet metal covering many of the holes in the deck.
Having the opportunity to go inside the Mk 6 16in/45 Turrets & 5in/38 Dual purpose guns was an experience. My brother and I both being over 6'4", it was very difficult to get in and out of both spaces. I definitely would have had a tough time serving on a naval vessel.
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)