Norfolk Naval Shipyard to celebrate 250 years, remember Alabama launch

Image Credit: USS Alabama

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Naval Shipyard is celebrating 250 years of service by remembering the 75th anniversary of the launch of the fourth and final USS South Dakota class battleship, USS Alabama (BB 60).

Shipyard officials say over 3,000 men and women worked 24-hour days for 30 months in 1942 to finish the project nine months ahead of schedule.

After it was commissioned, Alabama joined the fight in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II. It was awarded nine battle stars.

Alabama was taken off the Naval Vessel Register in 1962, 15 years after she was decommissioned. She has since been used as a museum ship at the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama — and is a National Historic Landmark.

The shipyard’s USS Alabama float, a detailed replica of the battleship, will be a part of many events and parades throughout the region this year.

The float has been shown in many parades and community events across Hampton Roads. A Norfolk Naval Shipyard apprentice class built the 55-foot-long float in the early 1980s as a class project.

The shipyard will officially celebrate 250 years of shipbuilding, maintenance and repair Nov. 1.