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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-31 USS UTAH
1919 - 1926


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1909 - 1913
1914 - 1918
1927 - December 6, 1941
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 Utah137kUnderway, view from port. Circa 1919.USN Photo by N. Moser, from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
BB-31 Utah735kUtah (BB-31) as flagship of the 5th Division, Atlantic Fleet. Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington D.C.
US National Archives photo # 80G-1035106 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert, Webmaster & Editor ModelWarships.com
BB-31 Utah81kPhotograph of her pilothouse and bridges, taken at the New York Navy Yard, 21 January 1919. View looks aft from atop her forward 12" gun turret, with turret # 2 in the foreground. Note searchlights and concentration dial mounted on Utah's (BB-31) "cage" foremast, and bearing markings painted on the turret base.USNHC # NH 76569.
New York Harbor1.78k"American dreadnoughts & superdreadnoughts steaming into New York harbor 14 April 1919."
The Texas (BB-35) leads the procession with a airplane on her turret catapult. Note the escorting biplane.
The "escorting" aircraft is either a Curtiss HS-1 or HS-2 (note the single engine) can't tell which from the photo. The aircraft on a fly-off platform atop the No. 2 turret of the Texas is 1 of 6 Sopwith Camels purchased from Britain at the end of the war.
The platforms were a British concept designed to provide the fleet with an aircraft capable of reaching the high flying Zeppelins which the German Navy occasionally used as scouts. The Texas was the only US Battleship to be fitted with turret fly-off platforms while in Europe and was the test bed for this program in the US Navy. Not visible in this view is a stripped down (No fabric and no wings) Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter lashed atop the No. 3 Turret. The platforms were eventually mounted on all 14" gun BB's through the New Mexico class (with mixed reviews from their commanders) and carried either a Hanriot HD-1 or a Neiuport 28. Though equipped inflatable floats for water landings, this tended to do a lot of damage not the least of which was dowsing a hot engine in cold salt water. By 1920 a successful compressed air catapult was developed and were being mounted on the aft deck of all 4 turreted battleships and fly-off platforms were removed. The Texas and New York (BB-34), because of their 5 Turrets, lacked the deck space for the catapult and had to make do with a float plane (Vought VE-7) sitting on the aft deck which would be launched by lowering it over the side for a surface take-off.
If you look carefully at the 12th photo from the bottom on the New York 1919-1926 page, you see the VE-7 on the deck and the A-frame hoist used for handling it.
Photo by Paul Thompson.
Text courtesy of N.Y. Times, page 481, from The War of the Nations (New York), 31 December 1919, courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
Text i.d. courtesy of Chris Hoehn.
Atlantic  Fleet975kHow the Atlantic Fleet looked to the camera man in a seaplane flying over lower Manhattan a week ago yesterday morning as the mighty armada came up the bay to anchorage in the Hudson off Riverside Drive for a two weeks' vacation after months of strenuous maneuvers in Southern waters. The destroyers Dale (DD-290) and Flusser (DD-289) are shown leading the column of eight dreadnoughts: Oklahoma (BB-37), Nevada (BB-36), Arizona (BB-39), flagship Pennsylvania (BB-38), Utah (BB-31), Florida (BB-30), North Dakota (BB-29) and Delaware (BB-28) past the Statue of Liberty at a fifteen-knot clip. In addition to the big battleships, the fleet includes thirty-two destroyers, numerous supply ships and several submarines.
The Atlantic battleship fleet is home again. Here are the twelve great first line fighting ships that are paying Father Knickerbocker a two weeks' visit. Over a hundred of Uncle Sam's grim sea warriors gray the North River, while their 30,000 sailor-men are given the freedom of the city in a royal welcome home.
The Battleship Mississippi (BB-41) leading the fleet into the harbor, as photographed from an airplane. Note the airplanes atop the forward and aft turrets.
Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 20 April 1919, Image 48, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-31 Utah69k Halftone reproduction of a photograph showing showing junior officers reading in the ship's ward room, circa 1919. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31). USNHC # NH 104753. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah91kHalftone reproduction of a photograph showing showing enlisted men on the ship's gun deck, circa 1919. Several of the figures in this view have been heavily retouched. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104754. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah82kHalftone reproduction of a photograph showing men at work in the crew's galley on board the ship, circa 1919. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104756. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah83kHalftone reproduction of a photograph showing men working in the ship's General Mess pantry, circa 1919. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104757. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah74kHalftone reproduction of a photograph taken on board the ship, looking forward on the port side from alongside her after twelve-inch gun turret, circa 1919. Note the life rafts mounted on the turret's side. Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken on board the ship, looking toward the bow from her bridge, circa 1919. Note her forward twelve-inch twin gun turrets. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104758. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah51kHalftone reproduction of a photograph taken on board the ship, looking forward on the port side from alongside her after twelve-inch gun turret, circa 1919. Note the life rafts mounted on the turret's side. Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken on board the ship, looking toward the bow from her bridge, circa 1919. Note her forward twelve-inch twin gun turrets.This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104759. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah80kHalftone reproduction of a photograph of men working in the ship's machine shop, circa 1919. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104760. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah90kHalftone reproduction of a photograph showing enlisted men lined up for mess, circa 1919. Note the mess pails carried by several of these Sailors. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104755. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah62kHalftone reproduction of a photograph of men working in the ship's carpenter shop, circa 1919. This image was published in 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning Utah (BB-31).USNHC # NH 104761. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
BB-31 Utah276kPart of 2,000 tons of coal begin to pile on Utah's (BB-31) deck from the adjoining collier when the ship was docked at Hampton Roads, Virginia on 26 May 1919. The coal made it way below decks after a record 5 hour transfer. Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah147kRear turrets of the Utah (BB-31) while in Cuba, circa 1919.Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah141kPart of the Utah's (BB-31) Marine compliment poses for a group shot at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1919. Corporal George Henry Wilson is in the upper right corner.Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah59kUtah's (BB-31) Marines Present Arms while in Cuba, 1919. Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah135kUtah's (BB-31) kitchen crew prepared at least 365,000 meals for the crew of 1001 men over a year. Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah179kUtah's (BB-31) crew of 1001 men line the forward turrets and superstructure at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1919. Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah179kUtah's (BB-31) rowing team in 1919. Photo courtesy of George Henry Wilson via Kent Holsather.
BB-31 Utah196kLate teens - 20's circa photo showing the bearing markings painted on the turret base of the top two forward and aft turrets of the Utah (BB-31), while she was in a warm climate, as is evidenced by the tarp covering her fantail.
USN photo by O.W. Waterman, courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-31 Utah59kFiring her fifth salvo, 26 June 1920, during exercises with her main battery 12"/45 guns. Photographed by A.E. Wells.USNHC # NH 63651
Utah20kCaptain Frederick A. Traut, USN. Recently on duty at Philadelphia.
He has been assigned to command the battleship Utah (BB-31).
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger.(Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 30 December 1920, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 24, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Atlantic and Pacific Fleets49"Combined Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in Panama Bay, January 21st 1921". Right section (of three) of a panoramic photograph taken by M.C. Mayberry, of Mayberry and Smith, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Among the ships present in this image are (from left to right): Sicard (DD-346), Hatfield (DD-231), North Dakota (BB-29), Delaware (BB-28), Brazos (AO-4), Prometheus (AR-3), Utah (BB-31), Oklahoma (BB-37), Bridge (AF-1), Nevada (BB-36), Schenck (DD-159), Arizona (BB-39), Black Hawk (AD-9), Dickerson (DD-157), Dahlgren (DD-187), Herbert (DD-160), Columbia (CA-16), Cleveland (PG-33), Tacoma (PG-32), Semmes (DD-189) and one other destroyer.
Photo # NH 86082-C, courtesy of Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, D.H. Criswell Collection.
BB-31 Utah507kUtah (BB-31) in March, 1921.US National Archives photo # 80G-1035103 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert, Webmaster & Editor ModelWarships.com
BB-30 Florida395kBridgeport (AD-10) and Utah (BB-31) having blisters put on.
Ultimately departing Boston on 9 July 1921, Utah proceeded via Lisbon Portugal, and reached Cherbourg, France, soon thereafter. There, Utah became the flagship for the United States naval forces in European waters. She "showed the flag" at the principal Atlantic coast ports of Europe and in the Mediterranean until relieved by Pittsburgh (CA-4) in October 1922.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via flickr.com.
BB-30 Florida282kUtah (BB-31) in South Boston drydock.Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via flickr.com.
Florida Class538kJackies From Utah (BB-31) Have Great Time in London Image and text provided by Oklahoma Historical Society.
Photo from The Morning Tulsa Daily World. (New York, N.Y.) 1887-1931, (Tulsa, Okla.) 1919-1927, 31 August 1921, FINAL EDITION, Image 33, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-31 Utah83kCrew of a 5"/51 secondary battery gun in action during early 1920s exercises. Note gas masks in use, and breeches of two 3-pdr saluting guns at the bottom of the picture.USNHC # NH 89730.
BB-28 Delaware819kPanoramic photo of the U.S. fleet in Panama Bay (Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal) on 1 March 1923. 70 vessels are viewed; the Battle Fleet consists of all U.S. battleships from the Delaware (BB-28) through the Idaho (BB-42). Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, courtesy of Tom Kermen. Copyright R.G. Lewis, Y Photo Shop, Balboa, C.Z."
BB-32 Wyoming108kThree USN Battleships anchored at Target Bay, Culebra, West Indies, circa Jan-Feb 1924. The closest of the three is a Wyoming (BB-32 / 33) class battleship.
The two ships in the background are the Florida (BB-30) and the Utah (BB-31), but again which is which is anybody's guess.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Photo I.d. and partial text courtesy of Chris Hoehn.
Florida Class38k Florida Class (BB-30 / 31) ship deck piled with coal from her adjoining coalier. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Photo I.d. & text courtesy of Chris Hoehn.
BB-31 Utah52k Utah (BB-31) in 1923, line drawing by A.L. Raven. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-31 Utah50k Utah (BB-31) inboard profile 1923.The engines, boilers and coal-passing scuttles in the bulkhead behind the boilers have been drawn in. The location of the scuttles makes it clear that no coal-burning battleship could really be safe from underwater hits, as the scuttle doors, however secured, could spring open. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-31 Utah84kIn the Gaillard Cut, Panama Canal, 15 February 1923.USN Archives USNHC # NH 73828.
BB-31 Utah132Rescuing the crew from the sinking schooner Margaret M. Wemyso, in in Mid-Atlantic by the Utah (BB-31), 23 November 1924.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-31 Utah153kThe rescued crew and Capt. Johnston of the Utah (BB-31).Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-31 Utah139kThe rescued with the rescuers; crew of the schooner Margaret M. Wemyso, rescued at sea by the Utah (BB-31) 8 p.m. 23 November 1924.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-31 Utah104kLooking toward the stern, the Utah (BB-31) sailing through the Magellan Straits in an undated photo.Library of Congress, LC-B2-6347-9, courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-31 Utah64kNeptune service invitation, 3 December 1924.Courtesy of Jon Burdett
BB-31 Utah103kUtah (BB-31) Band program, 1 February 1925, while in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-31 Utah236kOn manevers off the coast of Maine, 1926.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
Florida class227kBusy harbor scene featuring an assembly of ships with flags flying from stem to stern.
Flat armor on the turret roof makes this a 12" gunned battleship. Torpedo Bilges and single cage mast make this a post 1921 Treaty update leaving us with only the Florida class and Wyoming class ships.
The pole supports for the bridge & and other mast platforms, the size and shape of mid-ship expansion of the main deck to relocate 5"/51 Battery higher and further outboard and the "step-down" where the plating covering the former forward 5" gun casemate (partially obscured by the mooring lines) makes this a Florida class.
I say it is the Utah (BB-31) because the Florida (BB-30) appears to have retained the blast deflector plating around the fighting top while the Utah did not.
US Navy Photograph courtesy of Ric Hedman. Photo i.d. contributed by Chris Hoehn.

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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