Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-89297: USS Kentucky
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USS Kentucky (BB 66)

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Kentucky (BB-66), 1942-1958

Kentucky, a 45,000-ton Iowa class battleship, was built at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, but never completed. Her keel was first laid in March 1942. Construction was suspended in June of that year and not resumed until December 1944. Work was again suspended in February 1947. The incomplete hull was launched in January 1950 to make Kentucky's building dock available for other uses.


Though several schemes were entertained for completing Kentucky as a guided-missile ship, none were pursued. Her bow was removed in 1956 to repair USS Wisconsin (BB-64), and she was sold for scrapping in October 1958. However, Kentucky's engines remain in service to this day, powering the fast combat support ships USS Sacramento (AOE-1) and USS Camden (AOE-2).