USS Alabama (Images of America)
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Powerful: this single word aptly describes a naval vessel known as a battleship. The USS Alabama (BB 60) was the last of four South Dakotaclass battleships built for World War II. She is well armored and designed to survive an attack while continuing to fight. Her main battery, known as Big Guns, consisted of nine 16-inch guns; each could launch a projectile weighing as much as a small car that could hit a target 21 miles away. Her crew numbered 2,332 men, none of whom were lost to enemy fire, earning her the nickname Lucky A. She served as more than just a battleship: she carried troops, supplies, and seaplanes and served in the Pacific and Atlantic; her doctors treated patients from other ships; she was the wartime home for a major-league ballplayer; the movie setting for Hollywood films; and she traveled home to the state of Alabama with the help of schoolchildren.
IMAGES of America USS ALABAMA The USS Alabama’s bell is now located at the entrance of the visitor center and ship’s store at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Visitors to the park are welcome to ring the bell. (Courtesy of Kent Whitaker.) ON THE COVER: Crew members are seen on board in this aerial photograph of the USS Alabama (BB-60) early on commissioning day, August 16, 1942, at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The number three turret is located aft. At the time, the turret, like much of
War I, several countries, including the United States, signed treaties that limited the capacity of warships. A 1922 treaty rendered the original South Dakota–class battleships already under construction obsolete, as they were over the limits set in the agreement. Construction was stopped, and the original ships were scrapped by 1923. The scrapped ships were to be named USS South Dakota (BB-49), USS Indiana (BB-50), USS Montana (BB-51), USS North Carolina (BB-52), USS Iowa (BB-53), and USS
Harbor. CPO Feller is seen here taking a turn at bat in a baseball game in the Pacific while serving on the Alabama. Teams were formed on larger ships and bases. They would play each other when possible in organized events, or just for pickup games. Alabama’s team was the fleet champion. Exercise was important while at sea. Various activities ranged from simple modified volleyball games—using a variety of items besides a ball, which could bounce overboard—to organized sports, including wrestling
here leaving on a mission. The USS Alabama patrolled areas around the Marianas and the South Pacific in 1944 and 1945 in order to protect the American landing forces and carriers. On October 6, 1944, Alabama sailed with Task Force 38 to aid in the liberation of the Philippines and then the assaults on Okinawa. Alabama supported aircraft carriers during air raids on the islands of Tinian, Saipan, and Guam in June 1944. This photograph was taken as a splash from a Japanese bomb lands—a near miss
or sank 69 Union vessels during the Civil War. She was built in Liverpool, England, in 1862 and never made port in the states. She was sunk by the USS Kearsarge near France in 1864. The USS Alabama (BB-8) was commissioned on October 16, 1900. She was the flagship for Division I, Battleship Force, the Atlantic fleet during World War I. She was decommissioned on September 15, 1921. She was used as a target by the War Department during the testing of aircraft attempting to sink ships by bombing.