Tag Archive | BB-59

SoDaks representing, 73 years ago today

Artwork by John Hamilton from his publication, “War at Sea.” Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Gallery:

89-20-Z: U.S. Navy battleships firing guns on the Japanese mainland, July 1945.

“Believed to detail the first naval gunfire bombardment of the Japanese mainland on July 14, 1945, by Task Unit 34.8.1. (TU 34.8.1) ships included the battleships: USS South Dakota (BB-57), USS Indiana (BB-58), Massachusetts (BB-59) along with the heavy cruisers: USS Quincy, USS Chicago, and nine destroyers.”

The tale of U.S. battleships at sea in WWII is often focused on the bookends of Pearl Harbor vets and the Iowa-class, with the four ships of the South Dakota class often forgotten (although two endure as floating museum ships), so it is nice to see them remembered.

Great painting.

Here is a Kodachrome of the actual event:

Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-6035 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command

Bombardment of Kamaishi, Japan, 14 July 1945: The U.S. Navy battleship USS Indiana (BB-58) fires a salvo from her forward 16″/45 guns at the Kamaishi plant of the Japan Iron Company, 400 km north of Tokyo. A second before, USS South Dakota (BB-57), from which this photograph was taken, fired the initial salvo of the first naval gunfire bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. The superstructure of USS Massachusetts (BB-59) is visible directly behind Indiana. The heavy cruiser in the left center distance is either USS Quincy (CA-71) or USS Chicago (CA-136). Due to the Measure 22 camouflage, the cruiser is probably Quincy, as Chicago is only known to have been painted in Measure 21.

Volunteering to clean some of the largest guns in New England

The 16″/45cal guns on the USS Massachusetts were used to plaster enemy ships and troops during World War II but are in need of some attention to last another 75 years.

Decommissioned in 1947, she has been on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts, since 1965 and an all volunteer group from the museum has spend a good deal of time cleaning the accumulated rust and layers of paint off one of her nine 16-inchers, bringing it down to the bare metal for the first time in some 75 years, then priming and painting the tube to protect it from the harsh Massachusetts weather and salt air.

11 Volunteering to clean some of the largest guns in New England (10) 12 Volunteering to clean some of the largest guns in New England (11) 7 Volunteering to clean some of the largest guns in New England (3) 6 Volunteering to clean some of the largest guns in New England (4)

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