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List of US Navy ships sunk or damaged in action during World War II

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Dec 15, 2021

This is a list of US Navy ships sunk or damaged in action during World War II. It also lists United States Coast Guard losses.

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. . . List of US Navy ships sunk or damaged in action during World War II . . .

USS Utah (AG-16) was hit by two torpedoes dropped from B5N “Kate” bombers at the onset of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She immediately began listing and capsized within ten minutes. Fifty-eight men were lost on Utah during the attack. Attempts to salvage the old ship were abandoned and today her wreck lies in Pearl Harbor as a war memorial.

USS Nevada (BB-36) was the only battleship to get underway during the Pearl Harbor attack. She was hit by a torpedo, several 250 kg bombs, and possibly a 800 kg bomb. Afire and taking on a list, she maneuvered and was deliberately beached near Hospital Point to prevent her sinking in deeper waters. Nevada lost sixty men killed and one hundred nine wounded in the attack. She was repaired and overhauled by October 1942. While bombarding Iwo Jima she was hit by a kamikaze which crashed into the main deck near turret number three. Eleven men were killed and forty-nine wounded but damage was minor. After the war Nevada was used as a target ship, first in Operation Crossroads, then sunk by naval gunfire and torpedoes in 1948.

USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was consecutively hit by at least five torpedoes during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She capsized within ten minutes and lay upside down in the shallow harbor with hundreds of men trapped inside. Four hundred twenty-nine crewmen died when Oklahoma capsized but thirty-two men were rescued from the overturned ship. The ship was righted, refloated and sunk while under tow to California for scrapping in 1947.

USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was struck by a single 250 kg bomb which caused minor damage. She was also set afire from nearby ships sharing the drydock with Pennsylvania. The ship was also targeted by strafing aircraft. fifteen men were killed and 38 wounded in the attack. On 12 August 1945, just off the coast of Japan, a lone Japanese torpedo bomber penetrated the Allied defense to hit Pennsylvania with its warhead. The torpedo opened a thirty-foot hole in the side of the ship, killed twenty men and wounded ten more. Pennsylvania was the last major US ship damaged in the war. She survived Operation Crossroads with minor damage, to be scuttled in 1948.

USS Arizona (BB-39) was hit by at least two 800 kg (1,800 lb) armor-piercing bombs dropped by B5N “Kate” bombers during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Moments after the bombs struck, Arizona was torn apart by a gigantic magazine explosion that disintegrated most of the forward part of the ship. Arizona sank into the shallow water of the harbor, taking one thousand one hundred seventy-seven of her crew with her. Today she lies where she sank just under the surface of the water. A memorial and shrine to her crew was constructed in 1962.

USS New Mexico (BB-40) was taking part in the pre-invasion shelling of Lingayen Gulf on 6 January, 1945. During the bombardment, she came under heavy attack by kamikaze aircraft, one of which hit the bridge, killing her captain, twenty-nine others and wounding eighty-seven. Also killed in this attack was Lieutenant GeneralHerbert Lumsden, the most senior British Army combat fatality of World War II. On 12 May, she was attacked by two kamikazes. One of them plunged into her; the other managed to hit with its bomb. She was set on fire and fifty-four crew were killed, while a further one hundred nineteen were wounded. After the war, New Mexico was sold for scrap in 1947.

USS Mississippi (BB-41) suffered an explosion in her number two turret during bombardment of Makin Island on 20 November 1943 which killed forty-three men. On 9 January 1945 she was struck by a kamikaze while operating in Lingayen Gulf, receiving minor damage, but suffered twenty-six dead and sixty-three wounded. She was hit again off Okinawa by a kamikaze on 5 June 1945 with light damage and one man killed. She was scrapped in 1957 after a lengthy, prestigious career.

USS Idaho (BB-42), on 3 May 1945 off Okinawa, was attacked by two Vals and three Kates at 1452. She shot them all down, but one exploded close off her port quarter. Another crashed close aboard her port quarter and exploded, flooding her blisters. Shrapnel was sent flying over the deck but the ship had taken only minor damage. She was scrapped in 1947.

USS Tennessee (BB-43) received two 800 kg bomb hits during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both weapons caused minor damage to Tennessees gun turrets while scattering shrapnel across the ship, killing several men including the captain of the West Virginia. The ship was showered with burning debris, falling iron, and burning oil when USS Arizona exploded just to the aft of the ship. Tennessee suffered four killed and twenty-two wounded in the attack. On 12 April 1945, Tennessee was hit by a low-flying kamikaze on the starboard bow, crashing into the signal bridge. The burning wreck slid aft along the superstructure, crushing antiaircraft guns and their crews, stopping next to Turret Three. Its 250 lb bomb, with what was left of the plane, went through the wooden deck and exploded. twenty-two men were killed or fatally wounded, with another one hundred seven injured. However, damage was slight and Tennessee was back to duty two days later. She was scrapped in 1959 after years in mothball.

USS California (BB-44) was hit by two torpedoes and an 800 kg bomb, leaving her sunk in shallow water during the Pearl Harbor raid. She was raised and underwent major reconstruction to modernize the ship, rejoining the fleet in May 1944. While underway on 23 Aug, USS Tennessee collided with California after a steering malfunction. Seven men died in the accident on California. On 20 November 1944 a pair of Zero kamikazes approached the ship; Californias gunners shot one of them down, but the other struck her on the port side abreast of the mainmast. Gasoline from the plane’s fuel tanks started a fire and a 5-inch shell from another ship accidentally hit one of Californias 5-inch guns, exploded inside the turret, and started another fire. Both fires were out within twelve minutes, but forty-four men were killed and another one hundred fifty five were wounded. The ship was scrapped in 1959.

USS Colorado (BB-45) was damaged by counter battery fire during the bombardment of Tinian on 24 July. Forty-three men were killed, and one hundred ninety eight wounded by twenty two shell hits from Japanese shore batteries; however, she continued shelling the island and providing fire support for the invasion troops. On 27 November 1944 she was hit by two kamikazes. The first crashed into a port side five-inch gun turret and inflicted numerous casualties among personnel in two 40mm mounts. Nineteen were killed and seventy-two wounded. A friendly fire incident on 9 January 1945 accidentally hit her superstructure with gunfire, killing eighteen and wounding fifty-one. Colorado was scrapped in 1959.

USS Maryland (BB-46) suffered light bomb damage and four men killed at Pearl Harbor. She was repaired, refitted at Puget Sound, and rejoined the fleet in 1942. She was torpedoed by a lone G4M during the Battle of Saipan, which killed two men and necessitated repairs at Pearl Harbor. She was damaged on 27 November 1944 by a kamikaze near Leyte Gulf which hit between her Number 1 and Number 2 turrets, killing thirty-one of her men and wounding another thirty. On 7 April 1945, Maryland was struck by a kamikaze again, which landed onto a 20 mm gun mount located on top of turret number 3. She suffered thirty dead and thirty-six wounded. Maryland was repaired and placed in reserve after the war until she was scrapped in 1959.

USS West Virginia (BB-48) was extensively damaged by as many as seven torpedoes, and two 800 kg bombs at Pearl Harbor. The first bomb hit the port side and penetrated the superstructure deck, causing extensive damage to the casemates below. Secondary explosions of the ammunition stored in the casemates caused serious fires there and in the galley deck below them. The second bomb struck the rear superfiring turret roof; it penetrated but failed to explode. She sunk on her keel in shallow water at Pearl Harbor. West Virginia was raised and sent to Puget Sound for major reconstruction. She rejoined the Pacific fleet on 23 September 1944. During the Battle of Okinawa she was hit by a kamikaze “Oscar” that struck her superstructure deck, killing four men and wounding twenty-three, but luckily the plane’s bomb was a dud. After the war West Virginia was placed in mothball and scrapped in 1959.

USS North Carolina (BB-55) was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-19 on 15 September 1942, 150 miles southeast of Guadalcanal, the same spread of torpedoes which also hit and sank USS Wasp. She received emergency repairs at Tonga and proceeded to Pearl Harbor for permanent repairs. On 5 April 1945, while participating in the Okinawa campaign, she was hit by a 5-inch shell in a friendly fire accident during a massive kamikaze attack on the fleet, killing three and wounding forty-four. Today she serves in North Carolina as a battleship memorial museum.

USS Washington (BB-56) was damaged when she collided with USS Indiana during refueling maneuvers during the Marshall Islands campaign in 1944. The collision caused extensive damage to her bow. Repairs were made at Pearl Harbor. USS Washington never had a fatality on board nor damage taken from enemy action. She was scrapped in 1961.

USS South Dakota (BB-57) was grounded on an uncharted coral reef near Tonga while initially deploying to the South Pacific on 6 September 1942. After receiving temporary patches at Tonga, she steamed to Pearl Harbor for permanent repairs. During her participation in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, she was hit by one bomb during a dive bomber attack which landed on the roof of the main turret. Two men were killed and over fifty were wounded by fragments from the bomb. On 30 October 1942, while maneuvering to avoid a submarine contact, South Dakota collided with the destroyer Mahan, receiving significant damage that needed repairs in Nouméa.

During Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the ship lost power right as combat was initiated with a Japanese surface task force. South Dakota was illuminated by burning ships and fired upon by the Japanese task force, including battleship Kirishima. It is estimated she was hit by one 14″, one 5″, six 6″, and eighteen 8″ caliber shells. Most of the enemy shells were aimed at the ship’s superstructure, thus not threatening the ship’s survival. Forty men were killed and one hundred eighty wounded from this action. The ship returned to the states for repairs shortly afterward.

During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, a D4Y dive bomber hit South Dakota with a 500 lb bomb, disabling a 40 mm mount, killing twenty-four and wounding another seventy-seven men. After receiving repairs at Puget Sound, she rejoined the fleet. During the Okinawa campaign in 1945, she suffered her final wartime damage from an explosion that occurred while loading ammunition which killed three men. She was scrapped in 1962.

USS Missouri (BB-63): On 11 April, a low-flying kamikaze Zero, although fired upon, crashed on Missouris starboard side, just below her main deck level. The starboard wing of the plane was thrown far forward, starting a gasoline fire at five-inch Gun Mount No. 3. The battleship suffered only superficial damage, and the fire was brought quickly under control. The remains of the pilot were recovered on board the ship just aft of one of the 40 mm gun tubs. The dent made by the Zero in the Missouris side remains to this day. Missouri was the only Iowa-class ship that was damaged in the war. Today Missouri is a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, watching over the sunken USS Arizona.

. . . List of US Navy ships sunk or damaged in action during World War II . . .

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. . . List of US Navy ships sunk or damaged in action during World War II . . .