Sunday February 19th, 2006|
This weekend is a three-day weekend due to the President's Day holiday on Monday, so Jaime and I used to opportunity to drive down to Mobile to visit my brother and his family. Today we went to visit the USS Alabama Battleship which is set up as a museum on Mobile Bay. The Battleship was really cool. I've visted a few other warships and this was by far the most impressive. For example, the USS Yorktown carrier in Charleston, SC only has the hangar deck and a couple of corridors open. The Alabama is rather open and you have pretty good access throughout a good portion of the ship. There are a few areas of the ship that are setup as mini-museums and there are some interesting artifacts to be seen there.
An astute observer will note that the battleship is leaning slightly to the left. This is apparantly due to Hurricane Katrina. One of the tour guide volunteers told me that it was leaning a lot more before and they've straightened it quite a bit and it's not actually floating. It's actually sitting on sand. My impression was that this was caused by the hurricane and that it was actually floating prior to Katrina.
AAhhhh....ordinance. This was a very impressive show of the firepower available to the Alabama. This is beneath one of the large turret guns (not sure which). This entire structure would apparantly rotate with the gun.
Here's my nephew climbing all over the ship. He had a good time.
This was an interesting artifact in one of the mini-museums on the Alabama. It's kind of blurry, but the placard reads:
"PRAYER STICKS RECOVERED FROM KAMIKAZE'S BODY
AFTER ATTACK ON USS EVANS
DONATED BY CHARLES CORRIE"
More signs that Katrina hit here. This was taken from the deck of the battleship. It's the remains of some sort of pier.
...and now for the most heart-breaking part of the visit.
The Aircraft Pavillion sustained pretty good damage in the Hurricane. They put the more valuable planes in the hangar and moved some of the less rare/valuable ones outside. To the left you see the tail of an A-12. Tucked under the A-12 is a beautiful example of a P-51 Mustang that's missing it's tail.
Of all the aircraft in the hangar, it looks as if the biggest (the A-12) sustained the least damage. Looks like a small section of it got hit and you can see an exposed rib in there. Hey...looks like there's no primer there. ;-)
And now for the aircraft sitting out in the parking lot. I'm not sure what type of aircraft this is, but it definately took the most damage.
Not sure what this one is either...but again tail damage.
The 'little' C-47 looked like it was unscathed...as well as the larger aircraft in the background.