Pennsy getting it done, 75 years ago today
Here we see Pearl Harbor veteran, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) firing her 14″/45cal and 5″/38cal guns while bombarding Guam, south of the Orote Peninsula, on the first day of landings, 21 July 1944. On that day, the 3rd Marine Division launched an amphibious assault to liberate and recapture Guam after over two years of Japanese occupation.
Laid down eight months before Archduke Franz Ferdinand caught a Browning to the chest and the lights started going out over Europe, “Pennsy” commissioned on 12 June 1916, just in time to serve uneventfully in WWI. Her second world war was much more action-packed. Coming out of her meeting with Infamy in 1941 relatively lightly damaged– largely due to her location in drydock in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard– she patrolled off California’s coast in 1942 and was back in active combat starting with the Aleutian Campaign.
In all, Pennsylvania picked up eight hard-won battle stars over the course of 146,052 steaming miles in WWII and ended her proud 31-year career sunk off Kwajalein Atoll after atomic bomb testing on 10 February 1948.
Her only sister, Arizona, had a much more tragic involvement in the conflict.