The 14th Tallest ‘Building’ in the Yellowhammer State

Here we see have what the locals’ term “Big Grey AL,” the battleship USS Alabama (BB-60), just outside of downtown Mobile near the Austal shipyard at the park she has called home since 1964.

USS Alabama Eger 2.29.20

Note her distinctive large SK3 radar antenna array near the top of her mast. Photo by me on Leap Day 2020

Commissioned 16 August 1942, Alabama‘s entire active career ran just 4 years, 4 months, and 24 days before she was mothballed for another 15 years then stricken from the Navy List and later retired to her home state, with just 22 years on her.

Of note, the top of Alabama’s main mast is 194-feet above baseline to the roof of the truck light and TDG antenna– as is the rest of her class, which includes the scrapped USS South Dakota and USS Indiana, along with the preserved USS Massachusetts (BB-59). In terms of buildings, this works out to right at 18 stories, relatively, making Alabama about the 14th tallest in the state, if she was on dry land.

How does that compare to the later American battlewagons? Post-1980s refit, the Iowa-class battleships ran 216-feet, 5-inches ABL, peaking at the tip of the lighting rod above the newly-installed AS-3240/URN-25 TACAN Antenna.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

6 responses to “The 14th Tallest ‘Building’ in the Yellowhammer State”

  1. Secundius says :

    So I’m guessing because of the qualifier (“not on dry land”), the author is referring from the Keel Up and not the Waterline Up…

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