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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-31 USS UTAH
1927 - December 6, 1941


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1909 - 1913
1914 - 1918
1919 - 1926
December 7, 1941-Present


Florida Class Battleship: Displacement 21,825 Tons, Dimensions, 521' 6" (oa) x 88' 3" x 30' 1" (Max). Armament 10 x 12"/45 16 x 5"/51, 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 11" Belt, 12" Turrets, 3" Decks, 11 1/2" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,000 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 20.75 Knots, Crew 1001.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Shipbuilding, Camden NJ., March 15, 1909. Launched December 23, 1909. Commissioned August 31, 1911. Converted and reclassified Target Ship AG-16, April 1, 1932. Decommissioned (War Loss). Stricken November 13, 1944.
Fate: Sunk by Japanese aircraft during attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Her hulk still rests rolled over in her berth, serving as a memorial to this day. 6 Officers and 58 Men were lost with the ship and remain on duty.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Penelope's Song courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
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BB-31 Utah758kUtah (BB-31) in the world's biggest drydock being modernized at Boston Navy Yard. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, (ret.)
Photo added 02/08/13.
BB-31 Utah454kUtah (BB-31) at the Boston Navy Yard, 7 July 1927. View looking at the blister, starboard side looking forward.U.S. Navy photo # 10480. Photo Source: NARA College Park, Maryland, Record group 19.
Photo courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-31 Utah480kUtah (BB-31) at the Boston Navy Yard, 7 July 1927. View looking at the blister, starboard side looking aft.U.S. Navy photo # 10481. Photo Source: NARA College Park, Maryland, Record group 19.
Photo courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-31 Utah188k Detail shot of the Utah (BB-31) showing 5"/51s, 3" A.A. guns, range clocks search light location and other bridge detail after her rebuild in 1927. She was converted to oil burning at this time as well as being strengthened and blistered for better protection. Oil fired boilers, increased protection, and cage main mast elimination were the major items completed.USN photo.
BB-31 Utah75kPhotographed circa the later 1920s, following modernization.USNHC # NH 50227.
BB-31 Utah45kPhotographed circa the later 1920s, after she was modernized.USNHC # NH 67493.
Battlefleet122kWatercolor of a Presidential review during President Hoover's term of office, 1928-32.
Crews line the rails of a Colorado class (BB-45 / 48) battleship as the ships pass in line astern of the reviewing stand with the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3) piercing the clouds accompanied by 9 biplanes.
Courtesy of Michael Schwarz.
Battlefleet56kView of the U.S. Battlefleet from above, possibly from the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3). Photo courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
BB-31 Utah239kPresident-Elect Herbert Hoover on board Utah (BB-31) in late December 1928, while returning to the United States from his South American tour. To Mr. Hoover's right is George Akerson, his personal secretary. Note 3"/50 gun barrel at right. Courtesy of Commander Harold C. Train, USN, 1930.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 49056 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-31 Utah12.57kDetailed view of the Utah (BB-31), circa late 1929. Note the Vickers-type 5-inch director just inboard of the 5in/51 gun on her 01 level. A chart house, which is barely visible, occupied the base of the cage foremast.
The navigating bridge above carried a 3-inch range-finder/altimeter at its after end; it had not yet been mounted at this time. The level above carried 3-inch fire controls and lookouts. The empty sponson was reserved for a main battery director (scope), with spotters in the mainmast. Note the pair of 3-pounder saluting guns at the forward end of the 01 level and the range clocks at both masts.
Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-31 Utah201kPhotographed by George Winstead, probably immeadiatley after her recommissioning on 1 April 1932, when Utah (AG-16) departed Norfolk on to train her engineers in using the new installations and for trials of her radio gear by which the ship could be controlled at varying rates of speed and changes of course maneuvers that a ship would conduct in battle. Her electric motors, operated by signals from the controlling ship, opened and closed throttle valves, moved her steering gear, and regulated the supply of oil to her boilers. In addition, a Sperry gyro pilot kept the ship on course.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-31 Utah151k The Utah (AG-16) following her metamorphosis as a target ship, is now minus all her main armament, her main turrets have been empited of their 12"/45 rifles. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-31 Utah417kThe original Naked Gun:Utah (AG-16).US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-31 Utah142kAnchored off Long Beach, California, 18 April 1935, while serving as a target ship. Three heavy cruisers are in the background, with the city of Long Beach beyond them.Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-416384, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-31 Utah59kRecovering a toroedo after practice. Circa mid 1930's.USN courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
BB-31 Utah856kSeen after dis-armament under the terms of the London Naval treaty of 1930 while serving as a target ship in 1935.US National Archives photo # 80G-1035107 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert, Webmaster & Editor ModelWarships.com
BB-31 Utah116kUtah (AG-16) underway at sea, 10 December 1936, while serving as a target ship. Note timbers arranged on her weather decks to cushion the impact of water-filled practice bombs.Official US Navy photo from the collections of the National Archives. # 80-G-463398.
BB-31 Utah175kSecretary of the Navy Charles Edison wearing communications headphones, on board Utah (AG-16) , 23 April 1940, during an inspection tour of the U.S. Fleet.U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 54736 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-31 Utah58kCDR. William Henry Purnell Blandy was the commanding officer of the target ship Utah (AG-16) between 1938 to 1939 assigned to the task of training the Navy's bomber pilots in offensive work and in developing the fleet's anti-aircraft defenses. He was promoted to Captain in September of 1939. Official US Navy Photographic Portrait of RADM William H. P. "Spike" Blandy, USN, taken in February of 1941, when he was serving as the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.
File number USN OOR-2044 about 1939, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-31 Utah65kUtah (AG-16) photographed circa 1940, after being fitted with 5"/25 guns forward and amidships for gunnery training service.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. / USNHC # NH 80-G-457671.
BB-31 Utah49k Utah (BB-31) as a target/training ship (AG-16), 1941, inboard profile. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-31 Utah61k Utah (BB-31) as a target/training ship (AG-16), 1941, outboard profile. Note the protective covers over her 5-inch guns and her directors, each with a small crane to uncover it. Because the booklet of plans on which this drawing is based does not perfectly match the 1941 photos of the ship, it is not certain that all of the planned directors were fitted. They would have composed 1.1-inch directors on the lookout level, and, below them, a 5in/38 director to port & a 5in/25 director to starboard. The object atop her pilot house in the photo is presumably an antiaircraft range-finder. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-45 Colorado127k Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, View from the west on 25 July 1941, taken from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington. Among the ships present are: Aroostook (AK-44, ex-CM-3), at right, and Prometheus (AR-3), center, alongside the near side of the long pier closest to the camera; Utah (AG-16), in drydock at left; Colorado (BB-45), alongside the middle of the three longest piers; Barnegat (AVP-10) and Biscayne (AVP-11), fitting out on the far side of the most distant long pier; Casco (AVP-12) and Mackinac (AVP-13), under construction in the drydock in the upper left. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. USNHC # NH 84927.
BB-45 Colorado138k Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, View from the south on 25 July 1941, taken from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington. Among the ships present are: Aroostook (AK-44, ex-CM-3) and Prometheus (AR-3), alongside the left side of the long pier in left center; Utah (AG-16), in drydock in the center of the photo; Colorado (BB-45), alongside the middle of the three longest piers; Barnegat (AVP-10) and Biscayne (AVP-11), fitting out on the right side of the long pier in right center; Casco (AVP-12) and Mackinac (AVP-13), under construction in the drydock at right. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. USNHC # NH 84926.
BB-45 Colorado159k Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, View from the north on 25 July 1941, taken from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington. Among the ships present are: Barnegat (AVP-10) and Biscayne (AVP-11), fitting out on the left side of the long pier in left center; Casco (AVP-12) and Mackinac (AVP-13), under construction in the drydock at left; Colorado (BB-45), alongside the middle of the three longest piers; Utah (AG-16), in drydock in the center of the photo; Aroostook (AK-44, ex-CM-3) and Prometheus (AR-3), alongside the right side of the long pier in right center. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. USNHC # NH 84925.
BB-45 Colorado12.57k Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, View from the east on 25 July 1941, taken from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington. Among the ships present are: Barnegat (AVP-10) and Biscayne (AVP-11), fitting out on the near side of the long pier nearest the camera; Casco (AVP-12) and Mackinac (AVP-13), under construction in the drydock nearest the camera; Colorado (BB-45), alongside the middle of the three longest piers; Utah (AG-16), in drydock in the right center of the photo; Aroostook (AK-44, ex-CM-3) and Prometheus (AR-3), alongside the far side of the most distant long pier. Aroostook, at left. is being disassembled. Prometheus (AR-3) is being prepared for recommissioning. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. USNHC # NH 84924.
BB-31 Utah89k August, 1941 photo of the ship at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard being repainted at what was her final refit. Clearly seen is the asymmetrical array of 5"/38 and 5"/25 guns mounted in the old barbettes and along the sides of the ship. At this time, the ship had a dual purpose; as a gunnery training vessel and as a target vessel. In the target vessel role, all of the guns and gun directors were cover with protective wooden sheds which were put in place by the cranes the ship carried. She has been rearmed and partially repainted into "Measure 1" camouflage. Navy lighter YF-233 is alongside, and Aroostook (AK-44) is being disassembled in the background.USNHC # NH 71234.

Utah (BB-31) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Utah (BB-31) Association Web Site Webmaster


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Utah (BB-31) Report of Pearl Harbor Attack.

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