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

USS Pennsylvania (BB-38, originally Battleship # 38), 1916-1948

USS Pennsylvania, lead ship of a class of two 31,400-ton battleships, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in June 1916, she served as the Atlantic Fleet's flagship into the early "Twenties". Though her operations during this time were primarily off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean area, Pennsylvania briefly cruised to France in December 1918. Transiting the Panama Canal to the Pacific early in 1921, she became flagship of the newly-organized Battle Fleet. During the next eight years, she led the Navy's battleships in maneuvers in the Atlantic, Caribbean and in the Pacific, including a cruise to Australia and New Zealand in mid-1925.

From June 1929 to May 1931, Pennsylvania received an extensive modernization at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. She emerged with new "tripod" masts, improved combat systems, and an enlarged armored conning tower to better support her mission as fleet flagship. Through the following decade, Pennsylvania continued her pattern of drills, at-sea exercises and periodic major "Fleet Problems" conducted to refine the Navy's war plans.

When Japan attacked on 7 December 1941, Pennsylvania, flagship of the United States Fleet, was in drydock at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. Her relatively light damage was repaired over the next few months, and she operated along the U.S. west coast and off Hawaii until October 1942. Following an overhaul that significantly updated her secondary battery of 5" guns and added many anti-aircraft machine guns, Pennsylvania went to Alaskan waters, where she participated in the recapture of Attu in May 1943 and Kiska in August.

In November 1943, Pennsylvania bombarded Makin during the amphibious assault on the Gilbert Islands. She repeated this role a few months later at Kwajalein and Eniwetok, and in June and July 1944 at Saipan, Tinian and Guam. Her guns supported landings in the Palaus in September 1944 and at Leyte in October. When the Japanese Navy responded vigorously to the latter operation, Pennsylvania helped to destroy part of the enemy fleet in the Battle of Surigao Strait.

In January 1945, Pennsylvania took part in the Lingayen Gulf invasion. Freshly returned to the combat zone after another overhaul, she was seriously damaged by a Japanese aerial torpedo off Okinawa on 12 August 1945, the last major Navy ship to be hit during the Second World War. Too old for retention in the post-war fleet, Pennsylvania was repaired only enough to fit her for target duty. She served in that capacity during the July 1946 Bikini atomic bomb tests. Subsequently moored at Kwajalein for studies of residual radioactivity, USS Pennsylvania was scuttled at sea on 19 February 1948.

This page, and those linked from it, feature selected views concerning USS Pennsylvania (BB-38).

Other images related to this ship:

  • USS Pennsylvania (BB-38, originally Battleship # 38) - On Board and Close Up Views
  • Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941 - Attacks in the Navy Yard Area
  • USS Pennsylvania, Cassin and Downes during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941.

  • Click the photograph for a larger image.

    The following photographs show Yamato as she prepared for participation in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

    Photo #: NH 63562

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    In Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 10 December 1916.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 74KB; 740 x 575 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 42730

    USS Pennsylvania
    (Battleship # 38)

    At anchor in the evening, circa 1916.
    USS Columbia (Cruiser # 12) is in the right distance.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 57KB; 740 x 515 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 63346

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    Leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s.
    The other ships are two of these three: USS Colorado (BB-45), USS Maryland (BB-46) and USS West Virginia (BB-48).

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 104KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 67583

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    Underway off New York City during the Naval Review before President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 31 May 1934.
    Pennsylvania was then serving as flagship of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Admiral David F. Sellers, USN.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 132KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 93548

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    Steaming in Panama Bay with her 14"/45 guns trained out to port, on 21 April 1934, at about the time of Fleet Problem XV.
    Photographed from a U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 161KB; 740 x 585 pixels

     
    Photo #: SC 245169

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    In Adak Bay, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, on 12 August 1943, just prior to the Kiska operation.
    An LST is in the left background.

    Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 90KB; 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-K-2106 (Color)

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)

    Drydocked in an Advanced Base Sectional Dock (ABSD) at the Pacific, circa 1944.
    Note the extensive anti-torpedo "blister" built into her hull side and paravane streaming chains running from her forefoot to her foredeck.

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

    Online Image: 117KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-19943

    Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


    The wrecked destroyers USS Downes (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, soon after the end of the Japanese air attack. Cassin has capsized against Downes.
    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is astern, occupying the rest of the drydock. The torpedo-damaged cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) is in the right distance, beyond the crane. Visible in the center distance is the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37), with USS Maryland (BB-46) alongside. Smoke is from the sunken and burning USS Arizona (BB-39), out of view behind Pennsylvania. USS California (BB-44) is partially visible at the extreme left.
    This image has been attributed to Navy Photographer's Mate Harold Fawcett.

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

    Online Image: 158KB; 610 x 765 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 67584

    USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)


    Firing her 14"/45 and 5"/38 guns while bombarding Guam, south of the Orote Peninsula, on the first day of landings, 21 July 1944.

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

    Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 620 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-156820-A

    USS Pennsylvania
    (BB-38)

    Drawing prepared by the Bureau of Ships for use in preparing camouflage designs, circa 1943.
    This plan shows the ship's starboard side, superstructure ends and exposed decks.

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

    Online Image: 132KB; 1200 x 625 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 104168-KN (color)

    USS Pennsylvania (Battleship # 38)

    "Souvenir Folder", published circa 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, featuring ten halftone reproductions of photographs of and on board the ship. It was mailed from USS Pennsylvania on 12 July 1921, addressed to Mr. W.B. Hammond of Hamburg, New York.
    The first photo in this folder is identical to NH 42730. The others are: NH 104169, NH 104170, NH 104171, NH 104172, NH 104173, NH 104174, NH 104175, NH 104176, and NH 104177.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 70KB; 455 x 765 pixels

     


    The following drawing represents a camouflage scheme (Measure 32, Design 3D) that was prepared for, but not actually applied to USS Pennsylvania:

    Photo #: 80-G-156820

    Camouflage Measure 32, Design 3D


    Drawing prepared by the Bureau of Ships for a camouflage scheme intended for the battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38), circa 1943.
    This plan shows the ship's starboard side and superstructure ends.

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

    Online Image: 122KB; 1200 x 410 pixels

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

     


    In addition to the drawing presented above of the Measure 32, Design 3D camouflage scheme prepared for, but not applied to USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), the National Archives appears to hold at two other images of drawings of that design. The following list describes these photographs:

    The images listed below are not in the NHHC's collections.
    Please do not request them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".


  • Photo #: 80-G-157916
    Drawing of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 3D scheme prepared for USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), showing pattern intended for the ship's port side.
    The pattern seen is broadly similar to Design 3D port side schemes prepared for other ship types, but differs considerably from them in detail.

  • Photo #: 80-G-157915
    Drawing of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 3D scheme prepared for USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), showing the pattern intended for the ship's horizontal surfaces.

    NOTE: These patterns were NOT actually used on Pennsylvania.


    Reproductions of these images should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the NHHC.

    The images listed in this box are NOT in the NHHC's collections and are therefore not available from the Command. Please do no request them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".


  • For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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