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USS Drum

Marching to the beat of their own Drum

Story by
posted January 5, 2019
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There will be a celebration in 2019 at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama, as the attraction recognizes the 50th anniversary of having the USS Drum, a National Historic Landmark World War II submarine, at the park.

On June 15, the USS Drum Living History Crew will perform reenactments on the oldest American submarine on display, and a new kiosk featuring photos and biographical information on the submarine’s crew will be unveiled.

The park’s director of sales and marketing, Rhonda Davis, says by using the self-guided tours aboard the USS Drum and the USS Alabama, visitors can experience what life was like as a sailor during World War II.

“Along with the battleship and submarine, we also have our Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion which houses military aircraft, like an airplane just like the Tuskegee Airmen flew. You will find vintage military vehicles, like a 1921 Model T in the WWI exhibit, ‘The Great War,’” she says.

“For those interested in Vietnam artifacts, there is a PT boat and other military installations. The park is indeed a memorial to our military—all branches of service and all modern wars.”

The diver’s exhibit is the park’s newest addition, featuring a newly restored diver’s suit and the ship’s first hologram. They’re also in the process of installing sound effects in 27 compartments of the ship.

“The goal is to create an environment that tells the story of the day-to-day jobs of a sailor as well as telling the combat story. When you visit the ship’s post office you will see letters and packages with reproduction V-mail postage. In the Gedunk, our ice cream parlor, you can see how important the simple pleasure of ice cream would have been to the men. The authenticity is amazing,” Davis says.

There will also be WWII reenactments on select dates in 2019, where visitors can experience a call to the battle stations to defend the USS Alabama against aerial attacks by vintage airplanes.

For more information, contact Davis at rdavis@ussalabama.com or go to ussalabama.com.

Top photo: USS Drum
Photo by ussalabama.com

 


Support for Courier articles provided by:
Coral Castle
The National World War II Museum
U.S. Space & Rocket Center