MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department is reporting that Friday's fire at Battleship Memorial Park was due to a welding incident.

The fire -- causing quite the scare -- came from the hull of the World War II-era submarine USS Drum, which is a permanent exhibit at the park.

Everyone was able to safely evacuate the submarine before fire crews arrived and quickly extinguished the fire.

No injuries were sustained.

The park was back open Saturday, welcoming visitors for the annual crewmen's reunion for the park's centerpiece exhibit, the World War II-era battleship USS Alabama.

The USS Alabama Living History Crew brought a reenactment to life -- complete with authentic uniforms and flyovers of real World War II planes.

Among those in attendance were six of the ship's original crewmen.

Visitors were blown away.

"It's fantastic," said attendee Peter Standohar. "We got here just in time and watched the plane scrape the deck here and come in on a torpedo run. It was fantastic."

It was the first time this group of World War II aircraft -- known as the Black Ducks -- performed at Battleship Memorial Park.

The World War II veterans and their families were also treated to lunch and the sounds of the Blue Anchor Belles, performing throwback tunes from the 1940s.

Organizers say this weekend is all about honoring the veterans service and legacy.

"Many of them are now in their mid-90s," said the park's executive director, Janet Cobb. "A lot of them live too far away to travel. Some are too ill or infirm. So this is a hardcore group that are still able to come back."

Cobb added, "Every year we have fewer of these gentlemen, and it's important they come back. They shake hands, lock arms and tell some old sea stories one more time. And it is the living history of the embodiement of the crew of the USS Alabama that served during World War II and helped save the world."

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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