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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

1920 - 1941

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Delta - Tango

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1914 - 1919
War in the Atlantic 1942 / Casablanca
War in the Atlantic 1943 - 1944
War in the Pacific / 1945
Post War - Sinking

New York Class Battleship: Displacement 27,000 Tons, Dimensions, 573' (oa) x 95' 3" x 29' 7" (Max). Armament 10x 14"/45 21 x 5"/51, 56 x 4 x 21" tt. Armor, 12" Belt, 14" Turrets, 3" Decks, 12" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,100 IHP; Vertical, triple expansion engines, 2 screws
Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1052.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Naval Ship Yard, September 11, 1911. Launched October 30, 1912. Commissioned April 15, 1914. Decommissioned August 29, 1946. Stricken July 13, 1948.
Fate: Target During Atomic Bomb Tests, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. Sunk, 40 miles off Oahu, July 8, 1948, by Naval Gunfire and Aircraft.
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BB-34 New York100kAt Puget Sound in July, 1921 with the wet 5"ers removed (forward) and ports plated over. Eight sided unit on the foremast is for secondary battery and searchlight control.USN photo.
BB-34 New York161kStern view of the ship taken 1922-1923 showing 3" A.A guns, mounted inpairs; on turrets #3 and #4. These two turret tops were quite crowded as the long base range finders were mounted there too. Two more 3" guns are visible on the derrick tops too. Of particular interest is the seaplane on the fantail and the jury rigged crane used to handle it.USN photo.
BB-34 New York28kPort broadside view of the New York (BB-34). Radio antennae are visible and the white "E" on the conning tower stands for excellence on gunnery. Photo taken before the ship was modernized.U.S. Navy Photograph, contributed by Mike Green, courtesy of Leeward Publications.
BB-34 New York69kSan Pedro, California, 1923 Rear Admiral Louis McCoy Nulton made the New York (BB-34) his flagship while serving as the Commander of Pacific Battle Fleet Division 3. Digital ID: ggbain 15809. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-34 New York298k New York (BB-34) in dock, good image of the bow and the concentration dial, or "Clock", circa 1924.
The practice of gunnery at the beginning of the 20th century put a lot of emphasis on shooting first. Radio communications was still in diapers (cumbersome, morse code, slow) and visual signals, light, flaghoist or semaphore, were not much better. When an enemy was detected it also took time to train and elevate the guns to shoot at him. In poor visibility this might give him the first shot. The range clocks, and their companion, the deflection markers, were developed to shorten the time needed to get off the first salvo.
Concentration of fire was also a major consideration, and usually all ships of a division would fire on the same target. Fire control was based on mechanical analog devices that incorporated input from the optical range finders located at several places on the ship. In USN ships this included the top of the cage mast.
Long range visibility under battle conditions was often poor. The heavy black smoke from burning coal just made it worse. But individual ships could be expected to have a reasonably clear view of the next ship ahead in the division line. The flagship was almost always in the lead, and could direct concentration of fire by passing range and deflection data to the other ships. This process was made much faster by simply training the flagships own guns in the direction of the enemy and displaying the ships own average rangefinder results on a circular display.
Trailing ships often did not have as good a view f the enemy as the leader, but could observe where the leaders guns were aimed (and read numbers from the range clock) in order to set initial values for aiming their own guns. That is enough of the background theory.
There was no CIC as we know it today, but there was a central fire control plot on each ship. This plot included a MECHANICAL device for determining and transmitting refined settings for azimuth and elevation of the guns. Initial inputs were often set manually.
Communications between the plot and the gun turrets (and the range clocks) included up to 4 separate and parallel methods.
First, there was a mechanical connection, usually a bicycle chain and sprocket drive to ensure equivalent movement. Second, voice tubes connected the plot with rangefinder positions and guns. Third, when they became available, there were internal communications telephones matching the above circuits. Finally, if other means failed, you could write a note and send it by messenger.
There is an excellent series of articles on battleship gunnery fire control in this era in WARSHIP INTERNATIONAL. vol 38 numbers 1,2,3 (2001) and also vol 41. It is devoted to the plotting instruments, not range clocks. As a final note, I'm sure you already noticed that the range "clocks" are numbered from 1 to 10, not 1 to 12. The figures were usually given in thousands of yards.
Photo courtesy of Jon Burdett. Text courtesy of Aryeh Wetherhorn, (USN & Israeli Navy, Retired).
BB-47 Washington 146k Final moments of Washington(BB-47) on 25 November 1924. Battleship New York (BB-34) in the background. USN photo.
BB-34 New York59kEulogizing the dead before burial at sea., circa 1925. Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-34 New York19k New York (BB-34) in a storm in mid-Pacific, between San Francisco California, and Astoria, Oregon July 1925.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-34 New York24kSome of the gang after coaling ship on the New York (BB-34), July 1925.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-34 New York57kBruno, New York's (BB-34) mascot, gets a swig of O.J., circa 1925.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-34 New York26k New York (BB-34) at coal dock Christobal, Canal Zone. 12 June, 1925.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-34 New York58kTowing for the Colorado (BB-45) in target practice, 1925.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-35 Texas65k Texas (BB-35) in drydock at Norfolk Navy Yard in 1925 as she began modernization. The ship at the right is the New York (BB-34), also undergoing modernization. U.S. Navy Photograph, contributed by Mike Green, courtesy of Leeward Publications.
BB-34 New York118kSanta Claus on the New York (BB-34), 1925.Digital ID # ggbain 23486, LC-B2- 5531-10. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
BB-34 New York80kUnusual fire control device mounted on New York's (BB-34) top turret on Xmas, 1925. Signal flags read "Merry Xmas". Digital ID # ggbain 23485v, LC-B2- 4091-5. Signal Flag source i.d. courtesy of Charles Haberlein Jr. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, from the George Grantham Bain Collection. Text i.d. added 12/21/08.
BB-34 New York58k New York (BB-34) after her major refit at Norfolk Navy Yard 10 April 1927. She still retains her individual secondary battery which would be removed sometime between then and 1932.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-34 New York122k New York (BB-34) undergoing her major refit at Norfolk Navy Yard 10 April 1927.
After the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 which scrapped major naval units, the U.S. used its money and materials in refitting existing fleet units. The New York's forward batteries are trained to port and starboard, and training markings painted on her 14-inch gun turret side. No funnels or control towers are on deck, her cage masts have been removed.
USN photo courtesy of
BB-34 New York164k New York (BB-34) after her 1926-1927 rebuild. She received new fire controls similar to the California/Colorado classes (BB-44-48), new boilers, masts, secondary weapons, and light weight machine guns. Her hull was rebuilt with bulges/blisters for torpedo and gun protection.Official US Navy Photograph contributed by Robert M. Cieri.
BB-34 New York103kXmas card cover from the New York (BB-34), 1927 while at San Pedro, California. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-34 New York93kPage 1 of Xmas greetings from the Captain & XO of the New York (BB-34), 1927 while at San Pedro, California. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-34 New York74kPage 2 of Xmas greetings detailing the menu aboard the New York (BB-34), 1927 while at San Pedro, California. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
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
BB-30  & 34101kPicturesque bow view of the Florida (BB-30) from between the after turrets of the New York (BB-34). A fleet of 41 ships arrived in New York on 5 Feb. 1929 from southern waters for a two week visit fresh from winter manuvers.Courtesy of Stan Svec.
BB-34 New York105k New York (BB-34) viewed through the trees. A fleet of 41 ships arrived in New York on 5 Feb. 1929 from southern waters for a two week visit fresh from winter manuvers.USN photo.
BB-34 New York94k New York (BB-34) leading Nevada (BB-36) and Oklahoma (BB-37) during maneuvers, 1932. The carrier Langley (CV-1) is partially visible in the distance.USNHC # NH 48138.
BB-34 New York212kStarboard side underway, August 1935.
National Archives # 80-G-423350.
BB-34 New York74kLate 1930's circa photo of the New York (BB-34) showing her starboard side in all its glory. Among the many things to note is the rear concentration dial on the tripod mast.
USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-34 New York86k New York (BB-34) in the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal, 1937.Jesse P. Mannix / USN photo.
Kiel, Germany448kDawn in the harbor of Kiel, Germany. Left to right - training ships Gorch Fock and Horst Wessel, [Now USCGC Eagle], New York (BB-34), Wyoming (BB-32) and Arkansas (BB-33). USNIP., Jan.1938. USNI Photo Navy Recruiting Bureau, N.Y.. Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Kiel, Germany509kAmerican Bluejackets in Kiel, Germany. In the background the New York (BB-34), on the right the Wyoming (BB-32). USNIP., Jan., 1938.USNI Photo Navy Recruiting Bureau, N.Y.. Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Coronation Naval Review314kIn 1937, carrying Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President's personal representative for the coronation of King George VI of England, New York (BB-34) sailed to take part in the Grand Naval Review of 20 May 1937 as sole U.S. Navy representative.
HMS Nelson at the Coronation Naval Review with the New York and the French Dunkerque in the background. USNIP., March, 1938.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS. USNI Photo Navy Recruiting Bureau, N.Y.. Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-34 New York184kXAF Radar (Transmitter and Receiver) which was installed on New York (BB-34) by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in late 1938. While mounted on that ship, this experimental 200 megacycle radar was tested at sea during the first months of 1939. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 105852 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-34 New York120kView of the ship's forward superstructure, with the antenna of the XAF radar atop her pilot house, circa late 1938 or early 1939. A cropped version of this image, emphasizing the radar antenna, is 013421a. Note the battleship's foremast, with its gunfire control facilities; her armored conning tower; and the rangefinder atop her Number Two gun turret.Official U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 77350 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Photo courtesy of Chuck Haberlein. Photos added 12/19/08.
BB-34 New York76kAnchored near Annapolis, this photo of the New York (BB-34) was taken sometime during 1939.Courtesy of Ric Hedmen.
BB-34 New York98k Official Postal Cover from the battleship New York (BB-34) commemorating the Midshipmen's Summer Practice Cruise in 1939. Photograph contributed by Robert M. Cieri.
BB-34 New York134kMidshipmen and Sailors boarding a 50-foot motor launch, during the summer 1940 Naval Academy Midshipmen's cruise. Note whaleboat on the midships' davits and Curtiss SOC-3 aircraft of Observation Squadron Five (VO-5) on deck and atop the catapult. The plane at right appears to be Bureau # 1090.USNHC # NH 50303.

USS NEW YORK BB-34 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 Name: Mr. Kenneth C Sparks
Address: 4747 Ormonde Dr Cazenovia, NY, 13035-9348
Phone: 315-655-3842

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.
BB-34 Web Page

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