Monday, May 07, 2007

Big Guns in Mobile

This weekend I traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to install a remote broadcast system for Tom Busby, who will begin a new show this evening at 6pm: “The Market Buzz” will feature inside information and strategies for helping you trade better and profit more efficiently.

Tom's one of the big guns in the industry, so the show should be interesting.
I hope you can listen in.

While in Mobile, I took some time to visit the USS Alabama, USS Drum, and the Aviation Pavilion at USS Alamaba Battleship Memorial Park. As I described it to my son, via a text-messaged image, “History Channel Heaven!”

The keel of the USS Alabama was laid in February, 1940, and she was was launched in February of the following year--just two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Alabama sailed in the North Atlantic until the Summer of 1943, when she joined the Pacific Fleet, and participated in bombardments of Japanese strongholds.

Designated BB-60, she earned 9 Battle Stars, and shot down 22 Japanese planes.

She was home to 2,500 crewmen, and could move her 42,500-ton mass through the water at 28-knots (32mph).
There are three large turrets housing nine 16-inch, .45-calibre guns aboard the USS Alabama.

These guns can lob a 2,700-pound shell 21-miles to a target.

Each gun could recycle in 30-seconds with a crew of 140 men operating each turret, which extended 5-levels below deck.

Interior view of 9-inch gun turret on USS Alabama

Combined, Alabama’s guns could propel 24,300-pounds of lethal metal at the enemy in less than a minute. One description stated the guns were so accurate they could hit a dime…but you wouldn’t be able to find the dime!

Interior view of USS Alabama 9-inch gun turret, showing "inspirational artwork" applied to the breach of the barrel

Among the various peacetime uses, Alabama has served as a hurricane shelter.

Hurricane Katrina caused the ship to list (lean) 8-degrees, which has been corrected to only 3-degrees. Such nuances are swallowed by the ship’s massive deck and superstructure.

If you have a copy of the Steven Segal film, "Under Siege," a fictional story about terrorists hijacking the USS Missouri, you're really seeing the USS Alabama, where the film was shot.

View through 9-inch cannon turret gunsight
The amazing thing to consider when touring the battleship is that it was built with 1930’s technology…and is the fifth newest US battleship in existence. Because of the technology of modern warfare, there will be no more battleships built on the scale of USS Alabama.

Tomorrow, I want to tell you the story of a very interesting warbird that's parked abeam of USS Alabama.
See you on the Radio.

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