March 18, 2023
See the previous post for Part 1.
This post is about our self guided tour of the USS Alabama. This is another picture heavy post.
After we paid, we stopped at the restrooms before following the signs to the USS Alabama.
We walked up the first ramp (there are two ramps). On the side of the ship, were plaques with information about the USS Alabama.
We headed aft (rear) and we’re surprised to find the deck was wood. It had been patched in various spots with metal plates.
The sides bristled with 40mm and 20mm guns. Visitors are allowed to touch them.
We checked out the 40mm guns at the stern (end) of the ship. We also noticed the fantail where the ship’s reconnaissance seaplanes were kept.
The park is doing maintenance on the aft 16”/45 caliber guns. They were covered with white tenting.
We walked to the midship to enter the tours. There are three tours available. If you get there early enough, you should be able to do all three tours.
We chose to do the yellow tour – Main and upper decks, officers’ living spaces, main guns, anti-aircraft guns, ship’s bridge, flag plot room, and the fire control tower.
We had planned to do the other two tours after finishing the yellow tour.
We walked into the ship. It is not for someone who is claustrophobic. The lighting is dim and the ceilings are low, along with fairly narrow corridors.
We started in the main exhibit area. We didn’t stop at the theater to see the 15 minute movie.
We walked through the officers’ wardroom which had couches in it for tourists to rest. It also displayed the silver service for the USS Alabama.
We walked pasted the officers’ staterooms. Notice the picture on the desk in the officer stateroom. It has a picture of Lt. Bundy with his wife.
The tour then took us to back out to the main deck and to the forecastle. The deck has been restored in this section of the ship. We walked to the bow and got a spectacular view of the big guns.
The next stop was the #2 turret, up a ladder to deck 0-1. The turret was very tight to climb into and the space was more like a tunnel with pipes and wires everywhere. I couldn’t figure out how to get a picture of the inside of the turret.
As we walked through the corridors, we had to step over the foot high threshold and duck at the same time to get from one section to another.
We viewed the captain’s cabin/dining room.
We then headed up another ladder, where we passed the spud locker. It just had a plaque on it. We continued to the next ladder to get to the flag locker and flag plot room. The picture I took did not turn out. We could only look through the door the was blocked with a smeared clear window.
I was excited to climb up to the navigation and battle bridge. We also saw the captain’s sea cabin. It was much smaller than the captain’s cabin.
At this point, we climbed up one more ladder and my ankle started to twinge. That shoot of pain told me I needed to stop climbing.
Bruce proceeded up the next two ladders and when he came down, he assured me that I didn’t miss much. The radar director and fire control tower along with a spectacular view was all I missed.
I carefully turned around and climbed down the ladders.
We reached a 5” gun mount that we could enter.
We then descended another ladder to the main deck.
It was an amazing experience! I have a much better appreciation of the brave sailors who fought in World War II.
To take the tours on the battleship, you need to have a somewhat flexible body and the ability to climb ladders.
Since my ankle was aching, we didn’t take the other two tours of the USS Alabama battleship.
7 thoughts on “Battleship Memorial Park – Part 2 – The USS Alabama”
Sorry to hear about the sore ankle – hope it gets better fast!
That was a great tour – thanks for the photos.
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My ankle seems to have recovered now. I knew the tour would have a lot of steps so I wore a very stiff brace to help support my ankle. Once it started bothering me, when we got to the aircraft pavilion, I sat down and let my ankle recover.
As of today, it is not bothering me at all.
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Thanks for checking on me.
I have wonderful memories of visiting the battleship and sub. Great photos!
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Thank you! It was a lot of fun.