One Tank Trips - USS Alabama

By: Kevin Wheeler  Bio | Email | Twitter

MOBILE, AL (WDAM) - Over 13 million visitors have been aboard the USS Alabama since it opened to the public in 1965 as part of the Battleship Memorial Park.

The World War II ship was brought to the Mobile Bay after an Alabama State Commission requested it from the Navy.

"It's a battleship that's named for the state of Alabama and of course for the 4 million citizens of the state that's sitting down here we've got something to showcase our state," said Bill Tunnell, director of Battleship Memorial Park.

The park consists of the USS Alabama, a submarine, the USS Drum, and a museum of 24 war planes.  Visitors can take three different routes to view the battle ship.

Pictures line the ships walls, paper work is in the drawers, and some life jackets still hang on the beds.

"This battleship symbolizes American military might and it's not a weapon of war and a weapon of peace and people want to come and see and appreciate the technology that allowed us to win World War 2," said Tunnell.

Tom Mowers and his wife were visiting from Arizona. Mowers says he is very familiar with life on a navy ship.

"It brings back found memories I was out during the Cuban crisis I was on a destroyer tender when Kennedy was President and we went down there to try and stop the Russians from bringing in Missiles and it brings back quite a few memories all good too."

Tunnell said he hopes the park inspires more people to learn about their history.

"I just hope that they know that Americans sacrificed for them, and they need to sacrifice for the next generation that's coming down the line."