MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A member of the Greatest Generation visits one of the Gulf Coast’s greatest attractions. A World War II veteran toured the USS Alabama today.
It’s living history stepping aboard physical history. At 93-years-old, Ron Vogle navigates the steep stairs and close quarters of the battleship with an ease that even seems to surprise him.
“Privileged that I can still do it,” said World War II veteran Ron Vogel. “I don’t know, the people that do that at my age is amazing.” Vogel served aboard the USS West Virginia during the latter part of the war.
“The first thing I noticed was the five-inch guns, and I was a quartermaster and I was on the bridge, being that I was on the bridge, I saw a lot of good things, I saw a lot of bad things,” said Vogel. Ron Vogel is also writing his memoir about his time in WWII and he hopes visits like this help jog his memory.
“There’s many things he’s talking about that he never talked about before, you know specific engagements in battle and some of the things he experienced so it’s enlightening for him to be able to document that now for the family,” said his son and Vietnam War veteran Randy Vogel.
Battleship staff members were also on hand to welcome the Vogels. Each visit by a World War II veteran is recorded as oral history to capture their memories and improve on the park’s historical accuracy.
“It allows us to interpret the ship and the sub in a very authentic manner and tell the stories of the people who fought in World War II,” said Battleship Park Director of Marketing Rhonda Davis.