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Photo # 80-G-K-3829:  USS Idaho bombarding Okinawa, 1 April 1945

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Idaho (BB-42), 1919-1947

USS Idaho, a 32,000-ton New Mexico class battleship, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Commissioned in March 1919, she steamed to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July and then transited the Panama Canal to the Pacific, where she was based for the next dozen years. During that time, Idaho took part in the Battle Fleet's routine of drills and exercises, which extended from the Caribbean to Hawaii and as far south as Chile. She also cruised to Alaskan waters in 1920 and to New Zealand and Australia in 1925. In September 1931, the battleship entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for extensive reconstruction.

Emerging from the shipyard in October 1934, Idaho's appearance had been transformed. Gone were the "cage" masts that were such a distinguishing feature of American battleships of her era, now replaced with a tower superstructure supporting up-to-date gunfire controls. As one of the Battle Fleet's most modern units, Idaho returned to the Pacific in 1935 to again take up her peacetime work of preparing for possible combat.

With World War II raging in Europe, Idaho was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in June 1941. Based in Iceland during much of the rest of that year, she helped cover convoys against the threat of German raiders during a period of "undeclared war". Following the devastating 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, she was sent back to the Pacific, arriving in January 1942. For the next year, Idaho operated along the U.S. west coast and in the Hawaiian area. In April 1943, she went north to the Aleutians, where she supported the landings at Attu in May and Kiska in August.

Idaho next joined the drive across the Central Pacific, taking part in the Makin landing in November 1943, the Kwajalain invasion in February 1944, a bombardment of New Ireland in March, the Marianas operation in June and July, and the assault on the Palaus in September. Following an overhaul, she returned to the combat zone in time to provide heavy gunfire support for the February 1945 invasion of Iwo Jima. Idaho's 14" guns were again active bombarding Okinawa from late March into May 1945. While off Okinawa, she was damaged by a "Kamikaze" on 12 April, but returned to action after brief repairs.

The end of the Pacific War in August 1945 found Idaho preparing for the invasion of Japan. She was present in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered on 2 September, and shortly thereafter steamed back across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal, arriving at Norfolk, Virginia, in mid-October. Generally inactive from then on, USS Idaho was decommissioned in July 1946 and sold to a scrapper in November 1947.

This page features selected views concerning USS Idaho (BB-42).


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 73983

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Underway in about 1920.
Note semaphore signalman atop her second turret.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 480 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 73834

USS Idaho (BB-42)
(foreground)
and
USS Texas (BB-35)

Steaming at the rear of the battle line, during Battle Fleet practice off the California coast, circa 1930.
Idaho's four triple 14"/50 gun turrets are trained on the starboard beam.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 93KB; 595 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 60632

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Photographed in 1934, following modernization.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 66KB; 740 x 445 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 97330

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Underway at sea, circa the mid-1930s.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 525 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 94650

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Anchored in Hvaeldefjord, Iceland, October 1941.

Collection of Vice Admiral Robert C. Giffen, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92509

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Bombarding Iwo Jima, circa late February 1945.

Courtesy of Bill Jones.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 72KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 53203

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Inspection on the battleship's forecastle, circa 1920.
Note her forward triple 14"/40 gun turrets and "cage" foremast.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 115KB; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 53204

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Crewmen running on deck during physical training, circa 1920.
Note wooden planking and working gear on her deck.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 151KB; 740 x 620 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 100726

USS Idaho (BB-42)


Scene in the battleship's bake shop, circa 1919.

Courtesy of Carter Rila, 1986.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 93KB; 740 x 470 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-3829 (Color)

USS Idaho (BB-42)

Bombarding Okinawa with her 14"/50 main battery guns, 1 April 1945.
Photographed from USS West Virginia (BB-48).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-3844 (Color)

USS Idaho (BB-42)

Fires the 14"/50 guns of Turret Three at nearly point-blank range, during the bombardment of Okinawa, 1 April 1945.
Photographed from USS West Virginia (BB-48).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 81KB; 585 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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Page made 19 September 2000
Link added 31 December 2006