USS Maryland (BB-46)

Maryland fires a broadside during gunnery drills c.1924-27. Note the cage masts, popular in US warships at the time, which would later be replaced with tripods in 1942. Photo in the collection of the U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation.

Laid Down

Commissioned 21 July, 1921, USS Maryland (BB-46) was one of the few battleships permitted to carry 16" guns under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. Maryland served as flagship of Admiral Jones until 1923, and saw heavy use in a ceremonial role. She visited Brazil in 1922, and Australia and New Zealand in 1925. President Herbert Hoover toured Latin America aboard her in 1928. All this activity left Maryland little time for upkeep, and apart from an overhaul of her AA guns in 1928-29, it wasn't until after surviving the Pearl Harbor attack that Maryland was modernized. She was only lightly damaged by two bomb hits in the raid, and she was back in action by February, 1942. Maryland participated in training and patrol operations off the US West Coast until late 1943, when she was unleashed on Tarawa. Fighting Mary provided gunfire support for Allied landings until she was hit by a torpedo off Saipan in July, 1944. Following repairs, she was back in action, and on 24 October, 1944, she engaged the Japanese battleship Yamashiro during the Battle of Surigao Strait. Maryland was hit by two Kamikazes, on on 29 November, and the second of which, on 7 April, 1945, sent her back to the US for the rest of the war. Post-War, Maryland ran five Magic Carpet missions, and was decommissioned in 1947. She was stricken and scrapped in 1959.

Bonus Photos

Maryland under construction in 1917. Two of her main battery barbettes are in place, with two more to go. Photo from the April, 1919, issue of Popular Science Magazine.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: After the torpedo hit off Saipan, Maryland returned to Pearl Harbor under her own power, but steaming in reverse the entire way.