Nevada Class Battleship
30,500 Tons (WWII)
583 x 95' 2.5" x 28' 6"
10 × 14" guns
21 × 5"
2 or 4 × 21' torpedo tubes
2 × floatplanes
1 × catapult (1942)
USN circa 1916
USN December 7, 1941
USN February 19, 1942
Nevada was the lead ship of the Nevada Class Battleship, the other being the USS Oklahoma BB-37. Laid down 4 November 1912 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Massachusetts; launched 11 July 1914; sponsored by Miss Eleanor Anne Seibert, niece of Governor Tasker Oddie of Nevada and descendant of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert; and commissioned 11 March 1916, Capt. William S. Sims in command.
Nevada joined the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Newport, Rhode Island on 26 May 1916 and operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean until World War I. After training gunners out of Norfolk, Virginia, she sailed 13 August 1918 to serve with the British Grand Fleet, arriving Bantry Bay, Ireland 23 August. She made a sweep through the North Sea and escorted the transport George Washington, with President Woodrow Wilson embarked, during the last day of her passage into Brest, France, before sailing for home 14 December.
Nevada served in both Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in the period between the wars. In September 1922 she represented the United States in Rio de Janeiro for the Centennial of Brazilian Independence. From July to September 1925, she participated in the U.S. Fleet's goodwill cruise to Australia and New Zealand, which demonstrated to these allies, and to the Japanese, US ability to make a self-supported cruise to a distance equal to that to Japan. Modernized at Norfolk Naval Shipyard between August 1927 and January 1930, Nevada served in the Pacific Fleet for the next decade.
On December 7 1941 Nevada was moored in Pearl Harbor off Ford Island and thus had a freedom of maneuver denied the other eight battleships present during the attack. As her gunners opened fire and her engineers got up steam, she was struck by one torpedo and two, possibly three, bombs from the Japanese attackers, but was able to get underway. While trying to flee the harbor she was struck again. Fearing she might sink in the channel, blocking it, she was beached at Hospital Point. Gutted forward, she lost 50 killed and 109 wounded.
Refloated 12 February 1942, Nevada was repaired at Pearl Harbor and Puget Sound Navy Yard.
Nevada sailed for Alaska where she provided fire support for operations off Attu Island May 11-18, 1943.
In June she sailed for further modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard, and in April 1944 reached British waters to prepare for the Normandy Invasion. In action from 6 June to 17 June, and again 25 June, her mighty guns pounded not only permanent shore defenses on the Cherbourg Peninsula, but ranged as far as 17 miles inland, breaking up German concentrations and counterattacks. Shore batteries straddled her 27 times, but failed to diminish her accurate fire.
During the Allied landings in Southern France, Nevada provided gun fire support between August 15 - September 25, 1944. Dueled with shore batteries at Toulon armed with 13.4" guns taken from scuttled French battleships. Afterwards, refit in New York including the relining of her gun barrels, then departed for the Pacific.
On February 16, 1945 arrived off Iwo Jima to provide gunfire support until March 7, 1945.
Okinawa and Japan
On March 24, 1945 participated pre-invasion bombardment of Okinawa, pounding targets including airfields, shore defenses, supply dumps, and troop concentrations. On March 27, 1945 a kamikaze plane killed eleven crewmen and damaged one of the main battery turrets. On April 5, 1945 shore battery fire killed two more crewmen.
Serving off Okinawa until 30 June, from 10 July to 7 August she ranged with the 3rd Fleet which not only bombed the Japanese home islands from the air, but came within range for Nevada's guns during the closing days of the war. Nevada received 7 battle stars for World War II service.
Returning to Pearl Harbor after a brief occupation duty in Tokyo Bay, Nevada was surveyed and assigned as a target ship for the Bikini atomic experiments. The tough old veteran survived the atom-bomb test of July 1946, returned to Pearl Harbor to decommission 29 August.
On July 31, 1948 sunk by gunfire and aerial torpedoes fired by US Navy warships as a target vessel. The shipwreck of Nevada has not yet been located.
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May 3, 2016