Alabama, Governor George Corley Wallace, Junior, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile, Alabama

The U.S.S. Alabama (BB-60) – Sent To Protect A Soviet Union Fleet During World War II

On February 1, 1940, construction of the U.S.S. Alabama (BB-60) began, during anticipation of the United States being directly involved with military actions during World War II.

On February 16, 1942, the U.S.S. Alabama was was commissioned and placed into a fleet of training marines.

Ariel view of the U.S.S. Alabama (BB-60) with the U.S.S. Drumm (SS-228).

The U.S.S. Alabama was spring into action protecting the Soviet fleet from German attacks. The U.S.S. Alabama was the only ship, during World War II, to receive honors from the Soviet Union for the protection of Russians.

In the 1962, Jimmie Morris, an employee of the Tourist & Visitors Department of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, noticed a story about the scrapping of the South Dakota class of American battleships in the Mobile Register newspaper. Therefore, the U.S. Navy was planning to scrap the South Dakota (BB-57), Indiana (BB-58), Massachusetts (BB-59), and the Alabama (BB-60) battleships. Stephens Croom, then chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Committee for Preservation of Historic Landmarks, agreed with Jimmie Morris that the U.S.S. Alabama should be preserved and began a lobbying effort to transfer the title of the battleship from the U.S. Navy to the state of Alabama.

Photograph of John Malcom Patterson.

Alabama Governor John Patterson agreed with the Committee for the Preservation of Landmarks and had a commission to establish the feasibility of bringing the U.S.S. Alabama to the shores of the state.

Photograph of Governor George Corley Wallace, Junior.

In 1963, the commission reported that the transfer was feasible to the newly elected Governor George Corley Wallace, Junior. In a speech to representatives in 22 Alabama counties, Governor George Corley Wallace, Junior stated to them, “Bring the Alabama home”. The U.S. Navy agreed to transfer the title of the U.S.S. Alabama to Alabama and the battleship become part of the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama.

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