Yesterday there was a discussion avout the aircraft displays at
Battleship Park in Mobile, AL. It grew heated at times so I am
starting another thread with a diierent focus.
Yesterday I visited the park and spoke with Bill Tunnell, the
exective director. The Aircraft Pavillion had about ten feet of
water in it and the planes floated around and bumped into
one another. It's bad, so bad it may be cheaper to tear down
the structure and replace it. Every plane is damaged, some
more than others. For example the A-12 has significant damage
and the SBD has reletively little.
Outside most of the aircraft displays stayed put. The C-47 was
pushed around a bit, the HU-16 was pushed across the park and
stopped by a tree, but the B-52, B-25, and others looked to be
still in place.
We can all agree in a disaster like this people should take preferance over things. Tomorrow I am heading over to Biloxi
with some ice, fuel, clothing, and food for a military collector
buddy who lost EVERYTHING but his life and wife. My goal is
to get him to stay with us until the area is stabilized and safe
for him to return. But he's hard headed and that's why the
supplies are going.
Folks, the Battleship Commission needs help with repairs to the
park infrastructure, the restoration of ths aircraft and other dis-
plays, and, of did I mention Katrina pushed the battleship Ala-
bama to an 8 1/2" list? They went into significant debt several
years ago to repair hull corrosion problems to the Alabama and
the submariune USS Drum. You can read more about this on the
web site. Just the interest on the debt is crushing. They get no
money from the State of Alabama, They get no money from the
County or the City of Mobile. They are solely dependant on gate receits, souvenir sales, and ther lunch counter. Of course with the park closed indefinitely this is a dismal picture. I should also
mention that, on occasion, our Congressmen and Senators do
manage to slip some pork into an appropriation that benefits the
I can assure you all I am going to donate some money. I would
ask each of you to look into your hearts and see if you can spare
some money to go to a good cause. These folks do wonders with
a shoestring annual budget each year. They are really behind the
8ball with the hull repair and hurricane coming so close together.
No gift is too small. They will make the most of each penny.
One phone number at the ship that was working yesterday is
http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/i ... xml&coll=3