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USS Nevada found

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Biak, May 14, 2020.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    USS Nevada (BB-36) – dubbed the “unsinkable battleship” that served in two world wars – was found nearly three miles below the water’s surface about 65 nautical miles southwest of Pearl Harbor, a team of researchers announced Monday.

    On Dec. 7, 1941, Nevada was the only battleship to get underway during the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After extensive repairs, Nevada returned to service, including firing its 14-inch and 5-inch guns to support the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. In 1945, Nevada assisted the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

    Following Word War II, the Navy deemed Nevada too old for retention. The battleship was used for target practice, surviving two atomic weapons tests at the Bikini Atoll and the Marshall Islands in July 1946. Damaged and radioactive – but still afloat – the Navy formally decommissioned Nevada in August 1946. Two years later, the Navy towed Nevada out to sea near Hawaii. Gunfire from other ships was unsuccessful in sinking Nevada, which was finally brought low by aerial torpedoes strikes, according to NHHC.

    “On a sunny day in 1948, Nevada was towed off the coast of Oahu and used for target practice. After five days of pounding by everything the Navy could throw her, Nevada was dispatched by a torpedo,” according to the book Silver State Dreadnought.

    While Navy officials knew roughly where Nevada rested on the seafloor, the ship’s exact location was not known until it was found more than 15,400-feet below the water’s surface in late April by the team from Florida-based archeology firm SEARCH Inc. and Texas-based underwater mapping firm Ocean Infinity.

    Nevada is an iconic ship that speaks to American resilience and stubbornness. Rising from its watery grave after being sunk at Pearl Harbor, it survived torpedoes, bombs, shells and two atomic blasts. The physical reality of the ship, resting in the darkness of the great museum of the sea, reminds us not only of past events but of those who took up the challenge of defending the United States in two global wars,” James Delgado, SEARCH’s senior vice president and the lead maritime archeologist on the mission, said in a statement.
    “This is why we do ocean exploration, to seek out these powerful connections to the past.”

    [​IMG]
    Aerial photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Battleship row is seen near the top, with, from left to right, USS Nevada (BB-36); USS Arizona (BB-39) with USS Vestal (AR-4) outboard; USS Tennessee (BB-43) with USS West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; USS Maryland (BB-46) with USS Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; USS Neosho (AO-23) and USS California (BB-44). (Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.)

    The search for Nevada was conducted aboard Ocean Infinity’s research vessel Pacific Constructor. Ocean Infinity used a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which can operate in depths greater than 19,600 feet. In November 2018, a team from Ocean Infinity used similar equipment to find the wreckage of the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan (S-42), a year after the German-made TR-1700 submarine with diesel and battery power went missing.

    “We look forward to future collaborations between our companies,” Shawntel Johnson, the director of search and recovery at Ocean Infinity, said in the statement. “It is our hope that by sharing the USS Nevada’s story that it not only honors those who served in the Navy and fulfills an important educational role, but that in these challenging times it also serves as a symbol of perseverance and courage.”

    [​IMG]
    USS Nevada (BB-36) underway off of the U.S. Atlantic coast on Sept. 17, 1944.US Navy Photo

    Nevada, the first of two 27,500-ton battleships, was commissioned in March 1916. Nevada escorted troopships to Europe during World War I and spent much of the time between wars operating in the Atlantic. The battleship underwent extensive upgrades between 1927 and 1930, before moving to the Pacific.

    During the Pearl Harbor attack, Nevada endured one torpedo strike and several bomb hits, according to a first-person account of the battle by retired Capt. Charles Merdinger from his Naval Institute oral history.

    U.S. Naval Institute · 1971 Interview with CAPT Charles J. Merdinger, USN (Ret.), About the USS Nevada at Pearl Harbor
    “I’d just put on one sock and was putting on the second when, all of a sudden, I heard a boom and a rat-a-tat. The whole place seemed to erupt, and a fellow ran by my room saying, ‘It’s the real thing. It’s the Japs’,” he said.

    However, Nevada did not sink during the attack. Nevada‘s crew beached the battleship, and after salvage and repair work they were able to steam to the U.S. West Coast in April 1942 to receive permanent repairs.


    Nevada has a proud place in Navy’s history — commissioned in 1916, she served in both World Wars and was present at the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941; the only battleship to get underway after the attack. During the attack, the ship and crew sustained at least six, and possibly, as many as ten bomb hits and one torpedo hit but remained in the fight. With our sailors’ quick thinking, the crew grounded the ship, preventing her from sinking. The ship was repaired and immediately returned to the fight, proving the resiliency and toughness of our sailors then, as are today,” retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, said in a statement.




    Related
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    Two Sailors Honored for Bravery 76 Years After Pearl Harbor Attack
    December 6, 2017

    In "Military Personnel"

    [​IMG]

    VIDEO: Wreck Discovered of WWII Japanese Carrier Key to Pearl Harbor Attack

    October 18, 2019

    VIDEO: Research Groups Find Wreck of 'Unsinkable Battleship' USS Nevada - USNI News

     
    A-58, Carronade, Class of '42 and 4 others like this.
  2. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Great find Biak,

    I knew about the Bikini tests, but never realized she was sunk by target practice. Seems a shame she would be nuked and treated that way, regardless of her worth. But five days of taking a pounding, that’s a mighty man of war!
     
    bronk7 likes this.
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The white ship at the left end of Ford Island is Solace, a hospital ship. It was from her decks that a doctor shot the footage of Arizona blowing up. This footage is routinely show backwards, with Arizona facing to the left.
     
  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Nevada was the first of our "standard type" battleships and introduced the "all or nothing" protection scheme, a post-Jutland design conceived four years before the battle. She was also our first ship with triple turrets, although the Italians, Austrians, and Russians had them a few years earlier.

    Along with having her Pearl Harbor damage repaired, she received a modern secondary armament, eight twin 5"/38 mounts in superfiring pairs, with four Mark 37 directors in a diamond arrangement. She retained her prewar main battery directors on the tripod foremast and a shortened mainmast.

    At war's end the USN had a superfluity of battleships, including ten new ones and three thoroughly reconstructed and modernized standard types. There was little reason to retain the older BBs.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    As a survivor of Pearl Harbor it would have been nice to preserve as a museum ship, but I suppose as a land locked state, it just wasn't in the cards as Texas was.
     
  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    The upturned M26 Pershing tank in the video is neat.
     
  7. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Sad ending for a great battleship..even Operation Crossroads couldn't sink her..at least some old battlewagons are still around.
     
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    good call ....and never enough $$$$......takes a lot of $$$$ to preserve ships ....and the USS North Carolina
     

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