Battleship Memorial Park is a military park located along the shores of Mobile Bay, on the Battleship Parkway in Mobile, Alabama. It has a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum.
In May 1962, the USS Alabama (BB-60)
had been ordered scrapped along with her South Dakota-class
sister ships, USS South Dakota (BB-57)
, USS Indiana (BB-58)
, and USS Massachusetts (BB-59)
. Citizens of the state of Alabama
had formed the "USS Alabama
Battleship Commission" to raise funds for the preservation of Alabama
as a memorial
to the men and women who served in World War II
’s school children raised approximately $100,000 in nickels
from lunch money and allowances to help the cause. The ship was awarded to the state on 16 June 1964
, and was formally turned over on 7 July 1964
in ceremonies at Seattle, Washington
was then towed to her permanent berth at Mobile, Alabama
, arriving in Mobile Bay
on 14 September 1964
and opening as a museum ship on 9 January 1965
. She was joined in 1969
by the submarine USS Drum
which was moored behind the Alabama
until it was damaged in Hurricane Georges
, resulting in its move to an onshore display.
Hurricane Katrina caused more than $7 million in damages to Battleship Memorial Park on 29 August, 2005 when it came ashore. It almost completely destroyed the aircraft pavilion and gave the USS Alabama an eight-degree list to port and shifting at her permanent anchorage. This forced the park to temporarily close. The park reopened 9 January 2006, with the ship still having a three-degree list which has since been corrected. Most of the damage to other exhibits has also been repaired.
The park is owned by the state of Alabama
and is run by an independent government agency, the USS Alabama
Battleship Commission. The commission consists of eighteen members from over the entire state appointed by the governor
, it has oversight of all operations at the park.