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USS Pennsylvania BB.38 battleship that entered service in 1914 history and images.

CLASS

BATTLESHIP

ENT/SERVICE 

JUNE 12th 1916

BUILT

NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING / VIRGINIA / AMERICA

WEIGHT

31,400 TONS

LENGTH

608 FEET

WIDTH

97 FEET

SPEED

21 KNOTS - GEARED TURBINES - FOUR PROPELLERS

GUNS

12 - 14 INCH / 22 - 5 INCH / 2 - 21 INCH TORPEDOES

ARMOR

13.5 INCH SIDE / 3 INCH DECK / 18 INCH TURRET FACES

Pennsylvania and her sister ship Arizona were the first warships to exceed the 30,900 tons of the Japanese Fuso class battleships. With the US Navy’s flagship Pennsylvania having been fitted with oil fueled steam turbines, she missed joining the British Fleet in 1918 as America only wanted to send their older coal fuelled warships.

On the morning of December 7th 1941, Pennsylvania was being repaired in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese aircraft attacked. Of the eight battleships at Pearl Harbor, only Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Maryland escaped with minor damage. The other ship of this class Arizona was sunk with the loss of 1,117 lives.

USS Pennsylvania image

All but three ships damaged at Pearl Harbor were raised and repaired in time to take part in the war against Japan. The three that could not be salvaged were Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah.

Following the completion of Pennsylvania’s repairs and modernization, she began trials for the war against Japan early in 1942. By May 1943, she had entered the war zone to support troop landings at the Aleutians and Gilbert Islands. From early 1944 until the end of the war, she took part in battles at the Marshall Islands, Guadalcanal, Marianas, Guam, Philippians, and in the South China Seas. Pennsylvania was credited with being the most active battleship of the US Navy during World War Two.

Her demise came in 1946 after being used in atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll/South Pacific. As she survived two such tests, the US Navy scuttled her off the Island of Ofkwajalein.

USS Pensylvania in dry dock image

USS Arizona image

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