USS Alabama Commission has new chairman
Col. Bill Callender of Mobile was elected chairman of the USS Alabama Battleship Commission at their September 2010 meeting held aboard Battleship USS Alabama in Mobile.
Callender has served on the Commission since 2005. He is an US Army Aviator who flew helicopters during the Vietnam War, retiring with the rank of colonel. He is also a retired public school administrator and served on the administrative staff at the University of South Alabama. He and his wife, Kay, have three daughters and a son.
Callender has been very involved in the Military Officers Association of America and Association of the US Army. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with additional studies at the University of South Alabama and the Army War College. He is a member of several military organizations and led the drive for a veterans cemetery located in Baldwin County. He served as chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee and the Mobile Bay Veterans Day Commission, Inc. for several years. He is an ambassador for Honor Flight South Alabama.
Commission officers also elected include: Vice-Chair – Aubury Fuller of Summerdale, Secretary - Col. Pat Downing, USA (Ret) of Mobile, and Treasurer - Cdr. B. C. Jackson of Hope Hull. Immediate Past Chairman is Col. Barney Gass of Gulf Shores.
Additional Commissioners are: Greg Albritton, Range; Terry Ankerson, Mobile; Barry Booth, Spanish Fort; Ben Brooks and Robert Edington, Mobile; Gary Fitts, Tuscaloosa; William J. “Happy” Fulford, Montgomery; Lee A. Hallman, Tuscaloosa; Herb Malone, Gulf Shores; Hal Pierce, Daphne; Tim Russell, Foley, and; Paul Wesch, Mobile.
The USS Alabama Battleship Commission is an independent agency of the State, whose 18 members are Alabama citizens appointed by the Governor. Created in 1963, the Commission oversees operations at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, which displays the Battleship USS Alabama, Submarine USS Drum, 25 aircraft, and other exhibits.
Established to honor Alabamians who served in all United States military actions, Battleship Memorial Park has hosted more than 13 million visitors since opening in 1965, and is an internationally known major tourist attraction. Since inception, the Park has been self-supporting for daily operations without using any State of Alabama, or Mobile City and County tax funds.