Travels with the Penske Pair: Part IV

We had hoped to stop in the Gulfport MS area to take an airboat tour of an alligator ranch, but the weather had turned downright chilly (a reminder of home!) so we decided to forgo this stop.

Our next stop was in Mobile AL for a tour of the battleship USS Alabama in Battleship Memorial Park. The Alabama was commissioned in 1942 with Captain George B. Wilson in command and

USS Alabama 5-inch/38 cal. Side Gun Turrets

served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. She was decommissioned in 1947, assigned to reserve duty, and was retired in 1962. In 1964, Alabama was taken to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum ship.

The below-decks tour was a fascinating look into history and how the crew of 2,500 men lived, worked, ate and slept. The ship is 680 feet long and 108 feet wide and weighed in at more than 45,000 under battle conditions.

The park included an

aircraft pavilion, and one of the displays commemorated the Tuskegee Airmen who were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces and served during World War II.

Another tour took us through the USS Drum (SS-228), a Gato-class diesel-

USS Drum Submarine

electric submarine and the oldest American WWII submarine in existence. There were 52 submarines and more than 3,600 submariners who made the ultimate sacrifice in WWII.

The inside of the submarine pointed up the need to be young, slender and limber! It’s a good thing I don’t have to do this job.

Inside the USS Drum

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