USS Tennessee (BB-43)
USS "Tennessee" (BB-43), the
lead shipof her class of battleship, was the third ship of the United States Navynamed in honor of the 16th state. [ [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-t/bb43.htm "USS Tennessee (BB-43), 1920-1959", DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER.] ]
Her keel was laid down on 14 May 1917 at the
New York Navy Yard. She was launched on 30 April 1919 sponsored by Miss Helen Lenore Roberts, daughter of Albert H. Roberts, the governor of Tennesseeand commissioned on 3 June 1920 with Captain Richard H. Leigh in command.
"Tennessee" and her sister ship, "California" (BB-44), were the first American battleships built to a "post-Jutland" hull design. As a result of extensive experimentation and testing, her underwater hull protection was much greater than that of previous battleships; and both her main and secondary batteries had
fire-control systems. The "Tennessee" class, and the three ships of the "Colorado" class which followed, were identified by two heavy cage masts supporting large fire-control tops. This feature was to distinguish the "Big Five" from the rest of the battleship force until World War II. Since "Tennessee" 's convert|14|in|cm|sing=on turret guns could be elevated to 30 degrees rather than only to the 15 degrees of earlier battleships her heavy guns could reach out an additional 10,000 yards (9,100 m). Because battleships were then beginning to carry airplanes to spot long-range gunfire, "Tennessee" 's ability to shoot "over the horizon" had a practical value.
After fitting out, "Tennessee" conducted trials in
Long Island Soundfrom 15 October to 23 October 1920. While "Tennessee" was at New York City, one of her 300-kilowatt ship's-service generators blew up on 30 October, completely destroying the turbine end of the machine and injuring two men. Undaunted, the ship's force, navy yard craftsmen, and manufacturers' representatives labored to eliminate the "teething troubles" in "Tennessee"'s engineering system and enabled the battleship to depart New York on 26 February 1921 for standardization trials at Guantanamo Bay. She next steamed north for the Virginia Capesand arrived at Hampton Roadson 19 March. "Tennessee" carried out gunnery calibration firing at Dahlgren, Virginia, and was drydocked at Boston before full-power trials off Rockland, Maine. Two of the original fourteen 5"/51 caliber guns were removed.Breyer 1973 p. 226] After touching at New York, she steamed south; transited the Panama Canal; and, on 17 June, arrived at San Pedro, California, her home portfor the next 19 years.
Here, she joined the Battleship Force, Pacific Fleet. In 1922, the Pacific Fleet was redesignated the
Battle Fleet(renamed the Battle Force in 1931), United States Fleet. For the next two decades, the battleship divisions of the Battle Fleet were to include the preponderance of the Navy's surface warship strength; and "Tennessee" was to serve here until World War II.
Peacetime service with the battleship divisions involved an annual cycle of training, maintenance, and readiness exercises. Her yearly schedule included competitions in gunnery and engineering performance and an annual fleet problem, a large-scale war game in which most or all of the United States Fleet was organized into opposing forces and presented with a variety of strategic and tactical situations to resolve. Beginning with
Fleet Problem Iin 1923 and continuing through Fleet Problem XXIin April 1940, "Tennessee" had a prominent share in these battle exercises. Yet her individual proficiency was not neglected. During the competitive year 1922 and 1923, she made the highest aggregate score in the list of record practices fired by her guns of various caliber and won the "E" for excellence in gunnery. In 1923 and 1924, she again won the gunnery "E" as well as the prized Battle Efficiency Pennant for the highest combined total score in gunnery and engineering competition. During 1925, she took part in joint Army-Navy maneuvers to test the defenses of Hawaiibefore visiting Australia and New Zealand. Subsequent fleet problems and tactical exercises took "Tennessee" from Hawaii to the Caribbeanand Atlanticand from Alaskan waters to Panama. The original 3-inch anti-aircraftbattery was replaced by eight 5"/25 caliber guns in 1929–1930.
Fleet Problem XXI was conducted in Hawaiian waters during the spring of 1940. At the end of this problem, the battleship force did not return to San Pedro; but, at President
Franklin D. Roosevelt's direction, its base of operations was shifted to Pearl Harborin the hope that this move might deter Japanese expansion in the Far East. Following an overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yardafter the conclusion of Fleet Problem XXI, "Tennessee" arrived at her new base on 12 August 1940. Due to the increasing deterioration of the world situation, Fleet Problem XXII, scheduled for the spring of 1941, was canceled; and "Tennessee" 's activities during these final months of peace were confined to smaller scale operations.
World War II
1941 to 1943
On the morning of 7 December 1941, "Tennessee" was moored starboard side to a pair of masonry "mooring quays" on
Battleship Row, the name given to a line of deep water berths located along the southeast side of Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.
Attack on Pearl Harbor, "Tennessee" manned her antiaircraft guns and attempted to defend the harbor as well as she could. "Tennessee" was struck by two armor-piercing bombs which detonated low-order.Wallin, Homer N., VADM USN "PEARL HARBOR: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal" United States Government Printing Office (1968) pp.193-4] The first hit the center gun of turret 2 and made all three guns inoperable. The second went through the roof of turret 3 and damaged the left gun. "Tennessee" was showered with debris when "Arizona"s magazine exploded and the stern was engulfed in flame from "Arizona"s burning fuel oil. After preliminary repairs at Pearl Harbor, "Tennessee" headed for Puget Sound Navy Yardfor permanent repairs.
In addition to repairing her, crews upgraded her antiaircraft abilities and installed search and
fire control radars. Other modifications improved the battleship's habitability.
On 26 February 1942, "Tennessee" departed
Puget Soundwith the work complete. Upon arriving at San Francisco, California, she began a period of intensive training operations with Rear Admiral William S. Pye's Task Force 1, made up of the Pacific Fleet's available battleships and a screen of destroyers.
With the change of naval battles from conventional surface-ship actions to long-range duels between fast carrier striking forces, the older battleships —"Tennessee" and her kin— were simply too slow to keep up with the carriers.
"Tennessee" spent some time with Task Force 1, which streamed areas of the Pacific in the expectation that part of the Japanese fleet might attempt an "end run" raid on the US Pacific coast.
On 1 August 1942, "Tennessee" again sailed from San Francisco with Task Force 1. After a week of exercises the battleships joined "Hornet" (CV-8)—on her way to the South Pacific to support the Guadalcanal operation—and escorted the carrier as far as Hawaii.
Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 14 August, "Tennessee" returned to Puget Sound on the 27th for modernization.By the time "Tennessee" emerged from Puget Sound Navy Yard on 7 May 1943, she bore virtually no resemblance to her former self. The work increased protection against torpedoes, internal compartmentation was rearranged and improved, a new compact superstructure designed to provide control facilities while offering less interference to anti-aircraft guns was installed and upgraded anti-aircraft guns and fire-control radars were installed. The original secondary battery of
5"/51 caliber guns and the anti-aircraftbattery of 5"/25 caliber guns was replaced by sixteen 5"/38 caliber guns in new twin mounts.
On 31 May 1943, she headed to
Alaskaand a fight in the Aleutian Islands. While providing sea protection to the landing forces was a job of major importance, the Japanese Navy did not challenge the American forces. Instead, "Tennessee" found her duty was to use her formidable guns to support the ground troops by bombarding enemy land positions. It was a task she would perform throughout the war.
The Aleutian Islands back in American hands, she headed back home reaching
San Franciscoon 31 August. Tennessee then began an intensive period of training.
"Tennessee" 's next mission was to support the attack of
Betioin the Battle of Tarawa. From 20 November to 23, 1943 the main fighting went on, supported by "Tennessee" 's guns. "Tennessee" also joined other ships in the sinking of Japanese submarine I-35.
At dusk on 3 December, "Tennessee" departed the area for Pearl Harbor and then San Francisco. There she was quickly repainted in a "dazzle" camouflage scheme.
On 29 December 1943, "Tennessee" began intensive bombardment practice, pounding
San Clemente Islandin rehearsal for the invasion of the Marshall Islands.
In the early morning of 13 January 1944, "Tennessee" set her course for Hawaii with Task Unit 58.5.1 and anchored in
Lahaina Roadsoff Mauion 21 January. That day, the ship was inspected by a group headed by Undersecretary of the Navy James Forrestal. On 29 January,"Tennessee", with Forrestal on board, headed for the Marshalls.
Arriving 31 January 1944, "Tennessee" bombarded the islands, helping the ground forces and destroying numerous shore batteries and detonating a Japanese ammunition dump on Namur.
During nighttimes, Army troops called several times for illumination. Destroyers played their searchlights over Japanese-held areas, while "Tennessee" 's five inch (127 mm) guns fired large numbers of star shells.
At times "Tennessee" was firing at so short a range that, during the afternoon of 20 February, she was able to take on beach defenses with her 40 mm guns.
On 23 February 1944, "Tennessee" sailed for Majuro. Here, she joined "New Mexico" (BB-40), "Mississippi" (BB-41), and "Idaho" (BB-42). Under the command of Rear Admiral Robert M. Griffin, the battleships sortied from Majuro on 15 March with two escort carriers and a screen of 15 destroyers.
Their objective was the Japanese air and naval base at
Kavieng, at the northern end of New Ireland. The Bismarck Archipelago, the two large islands of New Britainand New Ireland, lie just to the east of New Guinea. Rabaul, the by-now legendary Japanese operating base, is at the eastern end of New Britain, just across a narrow channel from New Ireland. About 240 miles (386 km) northwest of Rabaul, across the Bismarck Sea, is the small Admiralty Islandsgroup.
Once again "Tennessee" 's big guns pounded away at Japanese positions, destroying shore batteries and helping the ground forces rout the enemy as well as shelling the Japanese airfield and shore facilities.
Operation Forager, the assault on the Mariana Islands, was planned as a two-pronged thrust. Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner's Task Force 51 was organized into a Northern Attack Force (TF 52), under his command, and a Southern Attack Force (TF 53) under Rear Admiral Richard Conolly.
The Northern Attack Force assembled at
Hawaiiin mid-May 1944. After rehearsals off Mauiand Kahoolawe, Fire Support Group One sailed for Kwajaleinwhile the transports staged at Eniwetok. On 10 June 1944, "Tennessee" and her task group departed Kwajalein, bound for Saipan. At Saipan, in addition to providing protection for the fleet, the "Tennessee" began a methodical bombardment of the selected landing area, the southern portion of Saipan's west coast, in support of minesweepers carrying out an assault sweep on the landing zone.
Underwater demolition teams (UDT) approached the beach in small craft to reconnoiter the landing beaches and to plant radar beacons which would provide reference points to the next day's landing. "Tennessee" closed to 3,000 yards of Agingan Point and opened up with 14 inch, five-inch, and 40 millimeter batteries. Some smoldering powder grains from the five-inch guns fell on the port side of the battleship's quarterdeck and burst into flame, but were quickly extinguished.
Japanese guns dropped shells near the UDTs as mortars and
machine guns joined in and projectile splashes began to appear near the supporting ships as batteries on nearby Tinian opened fire. "Cleveland" (CL-55) was straddled, and "California" and "Braine" (DD-630) took hits. "Tennessee" aimed counterbattery fire at the defenders who were opposing the UDTs, and her turret guns fired at Tinian. Shortly before noon, she moved to the northwest to bombard Japanese fortifications on Afetna Point, near the center of the landing zone.
's assault station was off the southern end of the landing beach. During the first wave's approach, her guns enfiladed that end of the objective to prepare the way for the right-hand elements of the 4th Division. She checked fire as the troops neared the beach, resuming it a few minutes later as the Marines fought to establish themselves ashore. Japanese convert|4.7|in|cm|sing=on field guns, emplaced in a cave on Tinian, opened on "Tennessee". The battleship commenced counterbattery fire, but the third enemy salvo scored three hits, all of which burst on impact. One projectile knocked out a five-inch twin gun mount; the second struck the ship's side, while the third tore a hole in the after portion of main deck and sprayed fragments into the wardroom below. An intense fire inside the disabled gun mount was subdued in two minutes by repair parties and men from nearby gun crews; the hit to the hull damaged external blister plating, but was prevented from inflicting further damage by the battleship's heavy belt armor. Eight men were killed by projectile fragments, while 26 more were wounded by fragments and flash burns. "Tennessee" 's damages did not prevent her from delivering call fire to help break up a developing Japanese counterattack near Agingan Point before leaving the firing line to make emergency repairs. During the afternoon and night, she took station to screen assembled transports. Four Japanese dive bombers attacked nearby ships at 1846, and "Tennessee"'s five-inch guns briefly engaged them but claimed no hits. That evening, "Tennessee" buried her dead. Tokyo radio claimed victory in the battle for Saipan, stating that they had sunk a battleship which they identified as "probably the "New Jersey"."
The "sunken" "Tennessee" returned to Saipan Channel early the next day. Several Japanese counterattacks had been stopped during the night, and "Tennessee"
's supporting fire assisted the marines in organizing and consolidating their beachhead.
On the night of 22 June, "Tennessee" got underway for Eniwetok where "Hector" (AR-7) repaired her battle damage as the fight for Saipan ground to its end on 9 July. Her next destination was
On 20 July she joined in a systematic bombardment begun on 8 July, which was carefully planned to soften up the enemy's defenses while avoiding harm to the island's friendly Chamorro population. Once again "Tennessee" delivered supporting fire by day and star shell by night for the troops battling to take the island.
The Palaus were to be "Tennessee"
's next objective. This group was not an atoll, but an elongated cluster of islands just north of the equatorand at the western end of the Caroline Islands.
The battle for
Peleliuwas to be one of the most bitter of the Pacific war, and organized resistance was not eliminated until November, at a heavy cost in lives. "Tennessee" 's target was the smaller island of Angaur, a few miles south of Peleliu. On the morning of 12 September, "Tennessee" and "Pennsylvania", with four light cruisers and five destroyers, began a prolonged bombardment as carrier aircraft did their share.
A prominent masonry lighthouse on the west coast of Angaur was ordered destroyed to keep the Japanese from using it as a gunfire observation point. Twelve convert|14|in|cm|sing=on rounds were aimed at it, scarring the area and scoring three hits, but the tower remained standing. Other targets absorbed "Tennessee"'s attention for the next three days. "Tennessee" stood by off Peleliu during the morning of 15 September in case her guns should be needed to assist the assault landing. When this work was completed, she returned on the evening of 16 September to finish off the stubborn tower before the next morning's scheduled landings.
"Tennessee" weighed anchor on 12 October and set her course for
Leyte Gulf, Under the supreme command of General MacArthur, Vice Admiral Thomas Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet carried two Army corps toward the invasion area.
At 0609 on the morning of 18 October, "Tennessee", with her fire-support unit, entered the channel between Homonhon and Dinagat islands. Paravanes streamed from her bows, and Marines were stationed in her upperworks to sink or explode floating mines. The minesweepers continued their work as the heavy ships moved slowly up Leyte Gulf.
The landings were scheduled for 20 October, and at 0600 "Tennessee" opened neutralization fire on the beaches. "Tennessee" continued her work off the beachhead until her fire support was no longer required and the increasing tempo of Japanese air activity in the area required her to place herself where her antiaircraft guns could assist in the defense of the assembled transports and cargo ships.
In the evening of 21 October, while lying dead in the water in a smoke screen laid to protect the shipping from attacking planes, Tennessee was rammed near the stern by the transport "USS War Hawk" (AP-168). No one was injured, and the battleship's tough hull was little harmed, but her orders for a night fire-support mission were canceled.
While "Tennessee" had been working Leyte, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters had noted the scale of the operation being mounted and had decided to make that island the focus of a decisive naval counterstroke – the
Battle of Leyte Gulf. Under the Japanese plan, dictated by a combination of geography, logistics, and the lack of adequate carrier aviation, four widely separated forces were to converge on the area of Leyte Gulfin an effort to destroy, at whatever cost, the American invasion force.
A relatively small force, commanded by Vice-Admiral
Shoji Nishimura, turned to the south of Palawan and crossed the Sulu Sea to pass between Mindanaoand Leyte. Nishimura's force would meet a number of assorted American ships, the "Tennessee" among them, in the Battle of Surigao Strait.
As they passed the cape of Panaon Island on the evening of 24 October and morning of the 25th, the Japanese forces ran into a deadly trap set for them by the American 7th Fleet Support Force. Rear Admiral
Jesse Oldendorfhad six battleships ("Mississippi", "Maryland", "West Virginia", "Tennessee", "California", and "Pennsylvania", all but the Mississippi having been resurrected from Pearl Harbor), eight cruisers ( heavy cruisersUSS "Louisville" ( Flagship), "Portland", "Minneapolis" and HMAS "Shropshire", light cruisers USS "Denver", "Columbia", "Phoenix", "Boise"), 28 destroyers and 39 Patrol/Torpedo boats.
On board Tennessee, observers had seen distant flashes of gunfire, star shells, and searchlights as the torpedo boats and destroyers engaged the Japanese. Soon explosions could be heard. At 0302, the battleship's radar picked up Nishimura'a approach at nearly convert|44000|yd|m|0 and began to track the lead ship. This was the flagship, Yamashiro. With the cruiser Mogami and destroyer Shigure, she was all that remained of the first Japanese force. At 0351 Oldendorf ordered the flanking cruisers to open fire; and, at 0356, the battleships let fly from convert|20600|yd|m|0.
Radar fire control allowed the American battleships to hit targets from a distance at which the Japanese could not reply because of their inferior fire control systems. Japanese ships "Yamashiro" and "Mogami" were crippled by a combination of 14-inch (356mm) and 16-inch (406 mm) armour-piercing shells. "Shigure" turned and fled, but lost steering and stopped dead. "Yamashiro" sank at 04:19. The Battle of Surigao Strait was, to date, the final line battle in naval history. Japan's "Yamashiro" was the last battleship to engage another in combat, and one of very few to have been sunk by another battleship during World War II. Of Nishimura's seven ships, only "Shigure" survived.
The next several days were quiet ones for "Tennessee", though the Japanese sent numerous land-based air strikes against Leyte Gulf. On 29 October, the battlewagon's crew was told that their next destination was to be the Puget Sound Navy Yard. This refit made no remarkable changes in Tennessee’s appearance. Her main battery directors received improved models of the Mark 8 radar, and the Mark 4 radars used with the five-inch gun directors were replaced by the newer combination of paired Mark 12 and Mark 22 dual-purpose equipment. Tennessee’s usefulness as an anti-aircraft ship was enhanced by the addition of a model SP height-finding radar. Her pattern camouflage scheme was replaced by a dark gray finish which was calculated to provide a less conspicuous aiming point for
kamikazesuicide planes, introduced during the recapture of the Philippinesand becoming more and more of a fact of naval life during the winter of 1944 and 1945.
On 2 February 1945, "Tennessee" headed back toward the western Pacific.
While "Tennessee" was being refitted, landings had been made in the Central Philippines and on Luzon; and the liberation of the Philippines was nearly accomplished. Steaming by way of Pearl Harbor and Saipan, she was just in time to join Rear Admiral W.H.P. Blandy's Iwo Jima bombardment force.
Early on 16 February 1945 the "Tennessee"
's assigned firing course took her along the southeastern shore of Iwo Jima, and her convert|14|in|cm|sing=on guns struck the slopes of Mount Suribachiwhile the secondaries aimed at the high ground at the north end of the beach. While the heavier guns fired from ranges varying between 2,200 and 6,000 yards, the 40-millimeter battery raked other targets on cliffs at the north end of the beach and shot up the wrecks of several Japanese ships beached near the shore; these had been used as havens for snipers and machine gunners at Tarawa and in later landings, and were always treated as potential threats. Several fires were started ashore; an ammunition dump exploded spectacularly and burned for several hours.
The next morning beginning at 0803 "Tennessee", with "Idaho" and "Nevada", closed to 3,000 yards and began firing. The ships were so close that at some point the "Tennessee" was struck by return fire from a Japanese coastal gun. At 1025 the battleships were ordered to the rear to make way for the invasion troops.
It had been found that single-gun salvoes at close range, using "pointer fire" (in which the gun is directly aimed by telescopic sight), were the most precise and effective. The notion of using a convert|14|in|cm|sing=on naval rifle for sniping was rather new, but it seemed to work very well.
Ground fighting on Iwo Jima continued until 26 March, as the stubborn Japanese were slowly rooted out or the positions that they continued to defend to the last. "Tennessee" was a part of this struggle until 7 March, when she sailed for
"Tennessee" left the area having deposited 1,370 rounds of main-battery fire on Iwo Jima along with 6,380 five-inch and 11,481 40-millimeter projectiles. At Ulithi, she began to prepare for the Okinawa operation.
The pattern of life off Okinawa during the grueling weeks to come, as the "fleet that came to stay" battled to see the land battle through while keeping itself alive, consisted of shore bombardment and fighting off kamikaze attacks. Long hours at general quarters kept all hands tense and tired as the ships prowled off the island firing at every likely target while reports of suicide attacks piled up.
The island was not secured until 21 June. In the meanwhile, the Navy battled by day and night against the unremitting kamikaze offensive. On the afternoon of 12 April, "Tennessee", instead of taking up a fire-support station, was steaming in air-defense formation. Five kamikazes picked "Tennessee" and came in through puffs of shell bursts and the heavy smoke from the burning
destroyer"Zellars" (DD-777). Four were shot down, the last three only hundreds of yards from the battleship. The last diver came down on the bow at a 45-degree angle, was set aflame by five-inch fire, and plunged into the water. At the same time, an Aichi A6M Val divebomber, flying low on the starboard bow, headed directly for "Tennessee" 's bridge. Lookouts spotted the "Val" at 2,500 yards, and every automatic weapon that could bear opened up. One of the plane's fixed wheels was torn off, and its engine began to smoke.
Heading at first for "Tennessee"
's tower foremast, the Japanese pilot swerved slightly and crashed into the signal bridge. The burning wreck slid aft along the superstructure, crushing antiaircraft guns and their crews, and stopped next to Turret Three. It had carried a 250-pound (113 kg) bomb which, with what was left of the plane, went through the wooden deck and exploded. Twenty-two men were killed or fatally wounded, with another 107 injured.
This was not enough to put "Tennessee" out of action. The dead were buried at sea, and the wounded transferred the following day to the casualty-evacuation transport Pinkney (APH-2). The ship's company turned to on emergency repairs; and, by 14 April, the ship was back on the firing line. "Tennessee" remained off Okinawa for two more weeks.
On 1 May, Admiral Deyo shifted his flag to a cruiser, and "Tennessee" set her course for Ulithi. Here, the repair ship Ajax (AR-6) made repairs, cutting away damaged plating and installing new guns to replace those lost. On 3 June, the ship sailed for Okinawa, arriving on 9 June.
By now, the worst was over. Army troops were making a final drive to clear the island, and "Tennessee"
's gunfire again helped to clear the way. With the other old battlewagons, she remained in support until organized resistance was declared at an end on 21 June.
Vice Admiral Oldendorf was subsequently placed in command of naval forces in the Ryukyus, and "Tennessee" flew his flag as she covered minesweeping operations in the East China Sea and patrolled the waters off
Shanghaifor Japanese shipping as escort carriers sent strikes against the China coast. This was "Tennessee" 's station until V-J Daybrought an end to the war in the Pacific. When this glad day came, the big ship was operating out of Okinawa and preparing to take part in the planned invasion of Japan.
End of World War II
The battleship's final assignment of the war was to cover the landing of occupation troops at
Wakayama, Japan. She arrived there on 23 September, then went on to Yokosuka. "Tennessee"'s crew had the chance to look over the Japanese Imperial Navy's big shipyard and operating base and do some sightseeing before she got underway for Singaporeon 16 October. At Singapore Oldendorf shifted his flag to the cruiser "Springfield" (CL-66), and "Tennessee" continued her long voyage home by way of the Cape of Good Hope.
On the fourth anniversary of the
attack on Pearl Harbor, "Tennessee" moored at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. During those years, she had fired 9,347 convert|14|in|cm|sing=on rounds at the enemy, with 46,341 shells from her five-inch guns and more than 100,000 rounds from her antiaircraft battery.
Post war and beyond
The process of trimming the wartime Navy down to postwar size was already well underway. "Tennessee" was one of the older, yet still useful, ships selected for inclusion in the "mothball fleet;" and, during 1946, she underwent a process of preservation and preparation for inactivation. The work went slowly; there were many ships to lay up and not enough people to do it. Finally, on 14 February 1947, "Tennessee"'s ensign was hauled down for the last time as she was placed out of commission.
"Tennessee" remained in the inactive fleet for another 12 years. By then, time and technology had passed her by; on 1 March 1959, her name was struck from the
Naval Vessel Register. On 10 July of that year, she was sold to the Bethlehem Steel Company for scrapping.
"Tennessee" earned a Navy Unit Commendation and ten battle stars for
World War IIservice.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Battle of Tarawa
Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Iwo Jima
Battle of Okinawa
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-t/bb43.htm Navy photographs of "Tennessee" (BB-43)]
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/uss_tennessee_bb43.htm Maritimequest USS Tennessee BB-43 Photo Gallery]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/43a.htm NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive BB-43 USS TENNESSEE 1917 - 1929]
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