Normally I like to use my own photos in posts but since I can't go back in time to take these, I will have to rely on the US Navy Historical Archives.
Today is the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This was the action that finally drew us into World War II although I am still of the opinion that the United States would have been in the war within 6 months to year of Pearl Harbor had it not happened. As it was, the United States was slowly inching its way to war with Germany.
There were eight battleships docked at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941. Seven of these ships were in what was called Battleship Row. The other ship, the USS Pennsylvania was in drydock at the time but she wasn't spared from attack. Of the seven ships that were docked in battleship row, only one of them managed to get underway on that fateful morning.
The morning of December 7th, 1941 was like any other morning for the nation prior to her entry into World War II. As the sun rose over the Hawaiian Islands, the USS Nevada raised her colors and her band played the Star Spangled Banner. The end was sped up as the Japanese planes started to drop bombs on the harbor. The USS Nevada was not alongside any other ships and this led her to her special place in history.
But first....let's go a little further back in time....
Her keel was laid at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts in November 1912. She was launched in July of 1914 and her sponsor was Miss Eleanor Anne Seibert who was the niece of Governor Tasker Oddie of Nevada. There were also several other people in attendance including the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In the between the two wars, she would serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1930, she was modernized, and given the superstructures in the picture above. She also received scout planes and her armament was improved. She would then serve in the Pacific for the next 11 years.
She was able to get underway around 8:40 in the morning, by that time her gunners had shot down four planes. Ensign Joe Taussig lost his leg during the fighting but played a large role in all of this.
As she made her way towards the channel to leave Pearl Harbor, she attracted the attention of Japanese pilots who tried to sink her there in an attempt to bottle up the harbor. It probably wouldn't have worked as the channel was too wide and water was too deep. After taking several bomb hits, it was decided it would be better to beach her rather than lose her in deep water. Over the course of the morning, she lost 60 men and another 109 were wounded.
She was refloated in February of 1942 and temporary repairs were made so that she could sail to Puget Sound Naval Yard for permanent repairs and modernization. In 1943, she sailed up to Alaska where she was used for shore bombardment in the retaking of Attu. In June of 1943, she sailed to Norfolk, Virginia for further modernization.
Later in 1944, she was used to support the Allied Landings in Southern France. There she participated in a battle against one of the French Fortresses and defeated it. She then returned to New York to have her guns relined.
In March of 1945, she was used as fire support for the Okinawa invasion. It was during that battle, that she was hit by a kamikaze which killed 11 men and wounding another 49. She also lost a turret. She remained on station though. In August of 1945, she was positioned off the Japanese mainland but never bombarded them. After the war, she returned to Pearl Harbor and was declared too old to continue service.
She was later towed to Pearl Harbor and decommissioned on August 29, 1946. In July of 1948, she was used as target practice for the Iowa and two other ships but was not sunk. She was administered the final blow by an aerial torpedo on July 31, 1948. She quietly slipped beneath the waves.