Saturday, January 27, 2007
The picture on the left is my dad, Al, with his older brother, Tom. My dad was about 2 years old in this photo. I just love the little lace collars!
The photo on the right was taken nearly 15 years ago. Amazingly, he looks pretty much the same today! This photo was taken in the plotting room of the USS Alabama. My dad was Chief Fire Controlman and he is standing in front of the switches for the main battery (the big guns). Normally, to prevent tourists from disturbing and possibly damaging things, this control panel is behind locked mesh walls and doors. We asked one of the security men on board if he could open it up so that we could take a picture of my dad "where he worked".
The USS Alabama, BB-60, is presently located at Battleship Park, in Mobile AL. When my parents lived in Florida, they visited the ship each April for the annual crewman's reunion.
The USS Alabama, commissioned 16 August 1942, served with the Atlantic Fleet and with the British Home Fleet in the North Atlantic until mid 1943. The Alabama earned 9 battle stars in the Pacific. The Alabama was decommissioned on 9 January 1947. In July 1964 she was donated to the state of Alabama and now rests in her permanent berth at the head of Mobile Bay.
This photo was taken in Florida. After building the Minoan my folks owned another sailboat. They purchased it in Miami and sailed it to it's home port in Dunedin. This shows my dad at the helm, just off the coast from their home. Eventually this boat was sold and they purchased a traditionally styled "down east" lobster boat, outfitted for pleasure, called the Alibi.
Happy 85th Birthday, Dad