USS Nevada (BB-36)

Nevada during her trials in 1916. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1912
Launched
1914
Commissioned
1916
Decommissioned
1946
AD/BC
AD
History

USS Nevada (BB-36) was the first super-dreadnought of the US Navy, and the first US battleship to mount triple gun turrets, oil-fired boilers, geared steam turbines, and the "all-or-nothing" defensive scheme, all of which would be used in most subsequent US battleship designs. Nevada deployed to Ireland for the last few months of the Great War, and served in the Atlantic and (predominantly) Pacific Fleets between the wars, undergoing modernization from 1927-30. Nevada was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941, and was the only battleship to get underway during the attack. She was struck by one torpedo and six to ten bombs, but her crew beached her to make salvage easier. Nevada was back in service in October, 1942, after a major refit in the US. In May, 1943, she provided gunfire support for the recapture of Attu in the Aleutian Islands, then headed into the Atlantic for further upgrades in New York. Nevada spent several months on convoy duty, before seeing action again, providing gunfire support during the landings in Normandy and southern France. Transferring back to the Pacific, Nevada continued her shore bombardment role off Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the Okinawa campaign, she was hit by a Kamikaze during preparatory bombardments for the landings, suffering moderate damage. She remained off Okinawa until the end of June, then joined the forces attacking the Japanese home islands, though Nevada did not participate in the attacks herself. Post war, Nevada was briefly assigned to occupation duty, beofre she was allocated to the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests. Designated the ground zero target for the first test, Nevada was painted bright red-orange to make aiming easier, but she was missed by nearly a mile. Nevada survived both the air and underwater detonations, and was kept around for another two years. She was used as a gunnery target for the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), and a cruiser and destroyer, which failed to sink her, so torpedo bombers were called in to finish her off. Nevada went down off Hawaii on 31 July, 1948, after five days of shelling. Her wreck was rediscovered in May, 2020.

Bonus Photos

A modernized Nevada providing gunfire support off Iwo Jima in February, 1945. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.