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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 Missouri (BB-63), Grounding, January 1950

This page features views of USS Missouri's accidental grounding in January 1950, and related activities.
On 17 January 1950, while steaming out of Norfolk, Virginia, through Hampton Roads, Missouri went hard aground on Thimble Shoals. Her momentum forced her well into the shallows, raising her hull several feet above its normal waterline. Freeing the ship involved offloading ammunition, supplies and fuel and the concentrated efforts of many tugs, dredges and divers. Missouri finally returned to the channel on 1 February. After repairs and reprovisioning, the battleship was again ready for service in mid-February 1950.

For links to further picture coverage on USS Missouri, see the ship's cover page: USS Missouri, Selected Views.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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

Photo #: 80-G-K-14925 (Color)

USS Missouri (BB-63)


Aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, 21 January 1950, as several harbor tugs attempt to free her. She went aground on 17 January and was refloated on 1 February.
Note minesweepers and other ships in the shipping channel beyond Missouri's stern. Their apparent closeness indicates that the photograph was taken with a telephoto lens.

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

Online Image: 87KB; 585 x 765 pixels

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

 
Photo #: NH 96787

USS Missouri (BB-63)


With tugs pushing from alongside and pulling from astern, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free the grounded battleship after she ran onto Thimble Shoals, Virginia, on 17 January 1950. Missouri was finally freed on 1 February after dredging alongside and astern opened a path for her to return to the shipping channel.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 82KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 96788

USS Missouri (BB-63)


Tugs pushing from alongside, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free the battleship after she ran aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, on 17 January 1950. Missouri was finally freed on 1 February after dredging alongside and astern opened a path for her to return to the shipping channel.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 117KB; 600 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-707571

USS Missouri (BB-63)


Aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, with tugs alongside and astern attempting to pull her off, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free her after she ran onto the shoal on 17 January 1950. She was freed by the fifth attempt on 1 February, following dredging to open up a path between her position and the main shipping channel.

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

Online Image: 103KB; 595 x 765 pixels

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

 
Photo #: NH 96789

USS Missouri (BB-63)


View of the ship's stern, showing how far it was raised above her normal waterline while she was aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, 17 January - 1 February 1950.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 63KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-413972

Kentucky (BB-66)


Is moved from her building dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, circa 20 January 1950.
The ship, completed only up to her second deck, was launched to clear the drydock, so that USS Missouri (BB-63) could undergo repairs there following her 17 January 1950 grounding.
Note that Kentucky's upper bow section is stowed on her deck, immediately in front of her forward barbette.

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

Online Image: 106KB; 740 x 615 pixels

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

 
Photo #: 80-G-413973

Kentucky (BB-66)


Is moved from her building dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, circa 20 January 1950.
The ship, completed only up to her second deck, was launched to clear the drydock, so that USS Missouri (BB-63) could undergo repairs for damage received when she went aground on 17 January 1950.

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.

 

For links to further picture coverage on USS Missouri, see the ship's cover page: USS Missouri, Selected Views.

Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

23 January 1999