Sunday, January 26, 2020

USS Alabama Battleship BB60

This is the largest ship I have been on. It's huge when you get up close. The USS Drum sits on land close to the ship. There is an entrance fee but well worth the price to see the Drum and the Alabama. The self guided tour provides entrance into everywhere but the very top of the ship. I have many photos, far too many for the blog but here are some of the best. I won't try to tell the history but you can read the history at these links.

This link has historical photos of the ship being assembled at the shipyard Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia.

The Alabama weighed about 70 million pounds!

The crane recovered the floatplanes after returning to the ship.

These guns used 16 inch shells and this entire gun platform, called a Barbette,
rotated 120 degrees. There are two gun barbettes, one forward and one aft.

Looking forward from the stern of the ship.

Plenty of guns on all sides of the ship, mostly for anti aircraft use.

There are two scout floatplane launching platforms at the stern of the ship. These rotated to launch the planes into the wind. They floatplanes could not land on the deck so they landed in the water and were hoisted on deck with the crane at the stern of the ship.

Looking toward the bow of the ship. The chains are for the dual anchors.

The anchors drop down through these openings. That's a BIG chain.

The kitchen is huge, feeding 2500 men every day.

Under the main deck you can walk around the walls of the barbette. There are additional photos of the interior of the barbette.

Marines were stationed on the ship in their own area.

I was surprised at the technology they had during the later part of WWII.

One more deck below I could not access.

These are just the "small" shells and powder.

The equipment in this space was quite a surprise. When the ship rocks and rolls, this equipment has Gyros that keep the gun level so their aim is not disturbed. Any slight movement of the guns would make them useless in the sea. I did not expect to find this technology in a WWII ship. Everything is made from thick steel. Of course today, all of this huge space is probably replaced by computers.

As the sign above explains, you can now get into the gun barbette through openings they cut for the stairs. These are photos of the inside platform that rotates the 16" guns above the main deck. These 16" shells weight 2700 pounds each.

These are the powder charges inserted behind the 16" shells. The more powder charges inserted, the further the shell would go, up to twenty miles. That means the aim must be very accurate.

This was an air pump manually operated to supply air to divers. I bet the divers had to trust the sailor operating the pump!

The officers during a battle wer located at the Battle Bridge.
The walls and door are 16" thick armor to protect the Bridge. 
Looking toward the shipyards at the city of Mobile Alabama.

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