Emerging from the mud

I am on the road this week and too short on time for a proper Warship Wednesday. However, with Memorial Day on the horizon, and the fact this is an 80-year-old shot today, it seems appropriate.

Official caption: “Damaged USS Oklahoma (Battleship No. 37) raised after capsizing. She is shown being pulled to an even keel. The photograph was released on May 24, 1943.”

 Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. 80-G-41598

Oklahoma received one battle star for her World War II service, at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

As detailed by DANFS:

Twenty of Oklahoma’s officers and 395 of her enlisted men were either killed or missing, 32 others wounded, and many were trapped within the capsized hull, to be saved by heroic rescue efforts.

While her able-bodied survivors were reassigned immediately to other ships, on 29 December 1941, Oklahoma was placed under the Base Force and placed “in ordinary” [a non-commissioned status].

The difficult salvage job began in March 1943, and, finally righted in a herculean effort, Oklahoma entered dry dock on 28 December. Decommissioned on 1 September 1944 and made available by the Bureau of Ships to CinCPac as a hulk on 28 October 1944, Oklahoma was stricken from the Navy Register on 22 November 1944.

Stripped of guns and superstructure, she was sold on 5 December 1946 to Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif., but while en route from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco, ex-Oklahoma parted her tow lines and sank on 17 May 1947, 540 miles from her destination.

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