“A Visit to Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

My Son Standing in Front of the U.S.S. Alabama, June 2012

Twelve Cub Scouts, as well as their families, from Pack 582 in Snellville, Georgia visited the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship, U.S.S. Drum Submarine, B-52 Stratofortress, and many other military aircrafts and equipment during the first weekend of June, 2012.  Most of the boys, a few of the boys’ older brothers, and the boys’ fathers “camped” overnight on the ship by sleeping in the ship’s actual bunk quarters. 

My Son Aboard U.S.S. Alabama with it’s “Big Guns,” June 2012

Scouts and their families had the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the battleship, which included viewing the control room beneath the “Big Guns,” as well as seeing two armor-piercing projectiles – or AP projectiles – that can be fired from the guns, with each AP projectile weighing between one to two tons and standing about six feet high.  Scouts and their brothers and fathers who slept overnight on the battleship were awakened early at 6:00 AM, and ate breakfast together in the cafeteria on park grounds prior to continuing their tour.

U.S.S. Drum at Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama, June 2012

Boys and their families enjoyed their self-guided tour of the U.S.S. Drum Submarine at Battleship Memorial Park.  The sub includes many tight and small spaces, though it had enough room to carry about 72 people.  The engine room with diesel-electric engines, torpedo room, control room, mess hall, sleeping quarters, and captain’s quarters were all very interesting and impressive to view.  The sub is in excellent condition, and some minor repair work is being done on it to preserve and maintain it.  

B-52 Stratofortress, Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama, June 2012

The B-52 Stratofortress is one of many military airplanes, bombers, and fighter jets located at Mobile’s Battleship Memorial Park.  Prior to visiting the park, I had never before seen or toured an actual U.S. military battleship or submarine, nor viewed such a huge aircraft in person.  Having taught history and social studies, I had previously been familiar with such military vehicles (but for the U.S.S. Sullivans in Buffalo, New York) only by viewing pictures, TV, movies, or videos.  Seeing these military vehicles on display was breath-taking and extremely impressive. 

The boys enjoyed a fun and educational visit to Battleship Memorial Park, viewing the astouding warcrafts, without receiving any detailed information about the true dynamics of war that may have potentially created a more somber mood and atmosphere for their trip.  Overall, the park is extremely impressive, economically affordable to vist, and well-worth the trip!