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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

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

USS Massachusetts (BB-59), 1942-1965

USS Massachusetts, a 35,000 ton South Dakota class battleship built at Quincy, Massachusetts, was commissioned in May 1942. Following shakedown and training operations, she took part in the Invasion of North Africa, engaging French warships at and off Casablanca, Morocco, on 8 November 1942. Massachusetts transferred to the Pacific in early 1943. Following several months in the South Pacific, she participated in the invasions of the Gilberts and Marshalls in late 1943 and early 1944, raids on Japanese-held islands in February to May and the Hollandia invasion in April 1944.

Massachusetts was overhauled in mid-1944, then returned to the Pacific war zone to take part in raids on Okinawa and Formosa in October, the Battle of Leyte Gulf later in that month and attacks in the Philippines area during the rest of that year. Her operations with the fast carrier striking forces continued in 1945 with further attacks in support of the invasion of Luzon in January, Iwo Jima in February and Okinawa in March-June. During July and August 1945, Massachusetts twice bombarded the Japanese home islands with her sixteen-inch guns.

Following a late 1945 overhaul, Massachusetts was stationed along the U.S. Pacific coast until April 1946, when she returned to the Atlantic. The battleship decommissioned in March 1947 and remained in the Reserve Fleet until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in June 1962. Three years later, USS Massachusetts began a second career as a memorial and museum ship at Fall River, Massachusetts, and remains in that role to the present day.

This page features selected views concerning USS Massachusetts (BB-59).


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 97254

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


Entering Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, after leaving the Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, 12 May 1942.
Photographed from an altitude of approximately 400 feet.
Note harbor defense net system at top, with a Net Tender (AN) in attendance.

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

Online Image: 166KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-416 (Color)

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)

Seen from the after deck of USS Alabama (BB-60), in Casco Bay, Maine, January 1943.
The muzzles of Alabama's after 16"/45 guns are in the foreground.

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

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 610 pixels

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

 
Photo #: NH 97255

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


Underway at 15 knots off Point Wilson, Washington, on 11 July 1944.

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

Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 58573

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


Coming into Ulithi Anchorage on 24 November 1944, during a break in operations off the Philippines.
Photographed from USS Wasp (CV-18).
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz has autographed the original print.

Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 118KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 46430

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


Under way at six knots in Puget Sound, Washington, after her final overhaul, 22 January 1946.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 72672

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


Laid up at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, on 3 January 1963. At that time she had been stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, but was awaiting preservation as a memorial.
USS Uvalde (APA-88) is at right.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 130KB; 740 x 615 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-2133 (Color)

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)

Maneuvering off Casablanca, Morocco, during the North Africa invasion, 8 November 1942.
Photographed from USS Mayrant (DD-402).
Note that Massachusetts is flying two very large national ensigns.

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

Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 525 pixels

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

 
Photo #: 80-G-38832

Invasion of North Africa, November 1942


Anti-aircraft fire chases four French fighters away from an American spotting plane, during the early morning hours of the Battle of Casablanca, 8 November 1942.
Photographed from the after deck of USS Massachusetts (BB-59).

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

Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 615 pixels

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

 
Photo #: NH 84534

USS Massachusetts (BB-59)


View looking forward from the ship's after deck, during a lull in the Battle of Casablanca, 8 November 1942.
Note: 16"/45 guns of her after turret; 20mm gun at left with "Lead, Dammit, Lead" printed on its shield; FC & FD radar antennas atop her gun directors; two large National Ensigns flying from her masts.

Collection of Rear Admiral Clifford Van Hook, 1972.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-339333

Bombardment of Kaimaishi, Japan, August 1945


USS Massachusetts (BB-59) opens fire on Kaimaishi, in the last battleship bombardment of World War II, 9 August 1945.
Photographed from USS Indiana (BB-58).

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

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 610 pixels

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

 


Related image: Photo # 80-G-157914 represents drawings of a Measure 32 Design 1D camouflage scheme prepared for, but not used on, USS Massachusetts.


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


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Page made 22 February 2000
New image added 30 June 2007