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NH-55275: USS Colorado (BB 45)

USS Colorado (BB 45)

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USS Colorado (BB-45), 1923-1959

USS Colorado, a 32,600-ton battleship built at Camden, New Jersey, was commissioned in August 1923. She made an initial cruise to European waters in late 1923 and early 1924, then transferred to the Pacific, where she spent most of the remainder of her active career. Prior to World War II, Colorado served with the Battle Fleet, taking part in exercises and training. Among other peacetime operations, she took part in the fleet's 1925 trans-Pacific voyage to Australia and New Zealand, and helped in the search for missing aviator Amelia Earhart in 1937.

Colorado was undergoing overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard when Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor opened the Pacific War. She was stationed on the U.S. West Coast during March-August 1942, then steamed west to Pearl Harbor. From November 1942 into September 1943, she was one of the older battleships deployed to the South Pacific to guard against possible Japanese offensive actions in that area. In November 1943, Colorado took part in the Tarawa invasion. She supported the landings at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in January and February 1944 and the Marianas operation in June and July. On 24 July 1944, while bombarding Tinian, she was hit by enemy shore batteries, suffering serious casualties among exposed personnel topside.

Colorado's next combat duty was off Leyte in November 1944, where she was hit by two "Kamikaze" suicide planes late in the month. Remaining in the combat zone, she supported the Mindoro invasion in December and the Lingayen Gulf landings in January. During March, April and May 1945, Colorado's sixteen-inch guns bombarded Okinawa in support of U.S. troops ashore. In August and September 1945, she covered the occupation of Japan, then departed for the United States. Following transport service in late 1945, she was inactivated. USS Colorado was decommissioned in January 1947. After more than twelve years in "mothballs", she was sold for scrapping in July 1959.