New Mexico by way of Guam, 75 years ago
“14-inch guns of the USS New Mexico (BB-40) opening fire on Guam, 18 July 1944, during the pre-invasion bombardment.”
The lead ship of her class of Yankee dreadnoughts, she was laid down at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1915 and commissioned in the waning days of the Great War. Modernized in 1931, she was in the Atlantic on neutrality patrol duty during Pearl Harbor but rushed to the Pacific where she was one of the few operational battlewagons available to Nimitz in early 1942. She earned six battlestars the hard way, supporting the island hopping campaign from the Aleutians to Okinawa, plastering suicide boats, shore positions and kamikazes.
Scrapped in 1948, two of her bells are preserved in her namesake state, for which she was the first ship to be named.