Thursday, July 25, 2013

Random Acts of Photography

 A little site-seeing on the way to a funeral last week.

The USS Alabama (BB-60) saw service in the Pacific theater during WWII, decommissioned in1947, is on display at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama since 1964.  She did not lose a single man and never incurred any damage due to enemy action, thus earning it the nickname the "Lucky A".

Back on the '70s my Grandfather was one of the chief designers in a major civil engineering company based in Mobile.  If you've ever driven down I-10 in Mobile and gone through the George Wallace Tunnel...yeah, he designed that.  After the tunnels construction one of his jobs was to do routine inspections of it's inner workings.  Unheard of in this ("safety Nazi") day and age, he'd often take me along with him.  Believe you me, there's a lot more to it than just a what you see...while whizzing through it at 60mph.

At any rate, Grandad was also friends with one of the USS Alabama's historian / curators...they worked for the same engineering company.  The typical tourist can only see so much of the old battle wagon and most of it's engineering spaces are off limits...unless you know the right people.  Grandad and I got several unrestricted / off-hour / guided tours back in the late '70s and early '80s.  Ever sat on the propeller shaft of a 680 foot long, 39,000 ton WWII era battleship?  I have.


  1. Outstanding! I have experienced the solemn privilege of the Arizona Memorial, myself. Very eerie.

    On the lighter side, these are the things lost on future generations. Sure, they can read the history. But you never know, if someone in your family created it. BZ to you!

    1. Yeah...I recall getting a little misty-eyed at the Arizona memorial years and years ago. Stopped in Hawaii on the way to the (now defunct) installation on Johnston Atoll back in the mid-90s. about your eerie places.

      Johnston was the staging / command and control for the majority of the nuclear testing in the Pacific back in the 50s and 60s...later to become the site of an incinerator for chemical weapons.

  2. Yeah, that's pretty cool.

    I've been on the New Jersey twice while she was in commission and once aboard the North Carolina when she was a memorial.

    Those are some impressive ships.

    1. Got a coupla shots of the USS Drum (also there at the memorial park), but for whatever reason didn't post them. Drum had the seventh highest (in tonnage) sinking of Japanese shipping during WWII.