BB-38 History

A Brief History of the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)

 

Built at the Newport News Navy Yard in Virginia and commissioned in 1916, the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was the lead ship of her Class of United States Navy "super dreadnought" battleships. During WWII, she participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific, from Alaska to Okinawa.  During WWII, she earned 8 battle stars and the US Navy Commendation Award for service.

After WWII, the "Pennsy" was used in two atomic bomb tests in July 1946. The ship was decommissioned in August 1946, but was kept at Kwajalein Lagoon for tests until February 1948. The Pennsy was found to have too much radiation and was not sea worthy. She was towed out to sea and sunk. So ended the life of the gallant fighting ship.  

 

fire The USS Pennsylvania bombards Leyte, Philippines in October 1944

 

Details

  • Builder: Newport News Navy Yard
  • Keel Laid:  October 27, 1913
  • Launched:  March 16, 1915
  • Commissioned:  June 12, 1916
  • Decommissioned:  August 29, 1946
  • Length:  608 feet
  • Beam:  97.1 feet
  • Max Draft:  28 feet 10 inches
  • Displacement:  34,000 tons
  • Max Speed:  20 knots
  • Crew:   1750 to 2000

Wartime Armament

  • 12 - 14 inch/45 caliber guns
  • 16 - 5 inch/38 caliber guns
  • 40 - 40 mm/56 caliber guns
  • 52 - 20 mm/70 caliber guns
  • 8 - 50 caliber guns - PODS