The Battleship USS Alabama was originally commissioned in 1942 and earned nine battle stars for its Asiatic-Pacific operations during World War II. The ship only operated for 37 months during the war and last ran under its power in 1946. It was towed in 1964 to its current location in Mobile, Alabama. Today it is the centerpiece of the beautiful 175-acre Battleship Memorial Park.
When I was a little girl, I remember spending a day exploring the USS Alabama with my parents. Now, I am happy that we still live close enough that I could bring my five children to spend the day at what is billed as “America’s Most Unique Military Attraction.”
Things to Explore
The park is even more exciting now than it was when I was small because there is much more to see. Ranging from the USS Drum submarine, a museum housing the extensive Battleship Memorial Park Aircraft Collection and more. In addition, there are many pieces of military equipment on display.
The kids enjoyed the self-guided tours of each deck of the battleship and had so much fun getting to climb onto artillery decks and bunk beds. Visitors are allowed an amazing amount of access to everything from the brig to the engine rooms. There are quite a few displays behind glass. Including the ship’s galley and original flags. Also, the majority of the USS Alabama is open and available for tourists to meander at their leisure.
Parking and Admission
Upon arrival at the park, there is a $2 parking fee per vehicle. However, there is plenty available parking that is surrounded by displays of military equipment, tanks, and aircraft. Visitors then enter through the gift shop where they can browse through a large selection of patriotic and nautical merchandise. Or if you choose to bypass that area for the ticket counter.
Admission fees are $12 per person for those over 12 and $6 for ages 6 to 11. In addition, admission is free for children under six. There are discounts available for senior citizens and AAA members. Also, all active duty members get in free with their military ID.
Explore Some More
Once you’ve passed through the ticket area, you can walk through a beautifully landscaped area and over a large concrete bridge to board the USS Alabama where you can explore the fore and aft decks, check out the gun turrets, and see some commanding views of Mobile Bay. There are entrances along each side of the main deck, and you can start wherever you wish.
Inside the battleship, there are maps and numbered signs to help guide your tour. There are many levels to explore and displays to view, and it takes approximately two hours to view the whole ship. The interior areas of the battleship are air conditioned, as is the aircraft museum, but the deck area and USS Drum tour can get warm in the heat of the day, so I recommend carrying bottled water with you, or you can purchase some from the gift shop or attached cafe.
The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through September. Also, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October through March. In addition to regular park hours, they will host Overnight Adventures for groups like Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts or other such groups, and the facilities can be booked or rented for events like birthday parties, reunions, military ceremonies, and weddings. Therefore, make sure you plan ahead.
Denise Hoyle is the editor of ShopperStrategy.com. With the release of Universal’s Battleship, this is the perfect time to educate readers about The Battleship USS Alabama in Mobile, Alabama.