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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-38 USS PENNSYLVANIA
1912 - 1916

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Delta - Xray

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Pennsylvania Class Battleship: Displacement 31,400 Tons, Dimensions, 608' 6" (oa) x 97' 1" x 29' 10" (Max).Armament 12 x 14"/45 14 x 5"/51, 4 x 3"/50 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3" +2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 31,500 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 915.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Newport News, Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA., October 27, 1913. Launched 16 March 1915. Commissioned June 12, 1916. Decommissioned August 29, 1946. Stricken February 19, 1948.
Fate: Target During Atomic Bomb Tests, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. Scuttled off Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 10, 1948.
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SizeImage DescriptionContributed
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BB-38 Pennsylvania1.68kTREMENDOUS POWER OF NEWEST SUPERDREADNOUGHT
Battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38) to Show an Advance Over All Previous Vessels of Her Class and to Cost $15,000,000
...Fifteen Minutes May Decide Next Naval Battle
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 22 September 1912, FOURTH SECTION MAGAZINE, Image 49, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 03/07/14.
BB-38 Pennsylvania241k"Proposed B.S. 38 & 39 ... Sketch G".
Preliminary design plan prepared for the General Board during consideration of designs for Battleships #s 38 & 39, which became the Pennsylvania class (BB-38 / 39). This plan, dated 14 February 1912, provides twelve 14-inch guns, turbine machinery and a speed of 21 knots in a ship 630 feet long on the load water line (L.W.L.), 93 feet in beam, with a normal displacement of 31,300 tons. The original plan is in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles Book".
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # S-584-010.
BB-38 Pennsylvania1.68kPENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) TO BE THE BIGGEST BATTLESHIP EVER BUILT BY ANY NATION: TO HAVE A TONNAGE OF 31,000 AND ITS TOTAL COST WILL APPROXIMATE $14,000,000.Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 09 March 1913, FOURTH SECTION PICTORIAL MAGAZINE, Image 36, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania739kTHEFT OF SECRET OF WORLD'S GREATEST DREADNOUGHT AROUSES UNCLE SAM'S IRE
Plans of the Battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38) Missing; Believed Have Been Stolen From the Office
Image and text provided by University of Oregon, Knight Library; Eugene, OR. & Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH.
Photo by The Evening Herald. (Klamath Falls, Or.) 1906-1942, 14 May 1913, Image 1, & The Democratic Banner. (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) 1898-192?, 20 May 1913, Image 7, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania249kStern of the Pennsylvania (BB-38) sometime before launching at Newport News Shipyard.Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-38 Pennsylvania131kPlatform ready for the occasion of Pennsylvania's (BB-38) launching, 16 March 1915. Digital ID: # ggbain 18620v, LC-B2-3406-3. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, from the George Grantham Bain Collection.
BB-38 Pennsylvania882kPENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) AS SHE WILL LOOK WHEN COMPLETEDImage and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo by The Washington Times.(Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, 16 March 1915, HOME EDITION, Image 6, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania2.76k14-Inch Cannon On New Pennsylvania (BB-38)Image and text provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC & Washington State Library; Olympia, WA.
Photo from The Anderson Daily Intelligencer. (Anderson, S.C.) 1914-1917, 20 March 1915, Image 5, & The Tacoma Times. (Tacoma, Wash.) 1903-1949, 27 March 1915, Image 8, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-36 Nevada534kWhat makes a battleship go? Peek here and find out:
Dynamo Condenser Circulating Pump and Turbine for the Nevada (BB-36) & Pennsylvania (BB-38).
Photo courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
BB-38 Pennsylvania962kThe new United States superdreadnought Pennsylvania (BB-38) when ready for action, will have a displacement of 31,400 tons, over 4,000 more than the New York (BB-34). Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo & text by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 21 March 1915, FOURTH SECTION PICTORIAL SECTION, Image 49, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania4.21kMiss Elizabeth Kolb, called by Gov. Brumbaugh, "The sweetest girl in Pennsylvania", naming the Pennsylvania (BB-38).
Note the American flag painted on the bow.
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library
Photo by International News Service, The New York Times.(New York), page 8, 28 March 1915, & The Ogden Standard. (Ogden City, Utah) 1913-1920, 22 March 1915, 4 P.M. City Edition, Image 3, courtesy of memory.loc.gov. & chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania79kMiss Elizabeth Kolb of Germantown, Pennsylvania christens the Pennsylvania (BB-38), 16 March 1915. Photo from The Washington Times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, 11 November 1917, Image 5 via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Christening photos inset courtesy of Ron Reeves.
BB-38 Pennsylvania1.90kLaunching of American Battleships of Latest Types
The U.S. DREADNOUGHT PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38), OF LARGEST AND MOST POWERFUL CLASS STARTING DOWN THE WAYS TO THE WATERS OF NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA 6 APRIL 1915.
THE AMERICAN DREADNOUGHT ARIZONA (BB-39) OF 32,000 TONS TAKING THE WATER. SHE WAS THE FIRST FIGHTING SHIP BUILT FOR ANY NATION EQUIPPED WITH THE ELECTRIC DRIVE.
Photos by Bain News Service & International News Service.
Text courtesy of N.Y. Times, Page 361 from The War of the Nations (New York), 31 December 1919, courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania672kPennsylvania (BB-38) launching at Newport News Shipyard on 16 March 1915.Photo # LC-H261-4980, courtesy of the Library of Congress via Mike Green.
BB-39 Arizona699kUNCLE SAM HAS REAL QUEENS' OF THE SEA
U. S. Dreadnoughts, Arizona (BB-39) and Pennsylvania (BB-38) Will Spurn Submarines
They Have Armor Protection and Armament So Great That Undersea Craft Will Be Rendered Ineffective Against Them
Last Word In Naval Construction After Lessons Of the Present European War
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo from The Ogden Standard.(Ogden City, Utah) 1913-1920, 17 July 1915, 4 P.M. CITY EDITION, MAGAZINE SECTION, Image 16, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania51k Starboard bow view of the Pennsylvania (BB-38) under construction. Superstructure has not yet been started. Photo taken by Kenneth S. Hampton and Helen F. Hampton, at Newport News, Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA. Contributed by their grandson, Kenneth H. Guinn.
BB-38 New York 488k NEW DREADNOUGHT PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) APPROACHING COMPLETION AT NORFOLK.
The great monster, which when in action, will be able to throw more steel at a time than any other ship afloat, was recently taken at the Norfolk Navy Yard to be docked. She is 95% completed and will soon be placed in commission. One of her distinctive features is her single smokestack.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 07 January 1916, Night Extra, Image 20, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania610kPENNSYLVANIA (BB-38), NEW "MISTRESS OF THE SEAS"
The latest addition to the United States Navy and the most powerful battleship afloat, is now on its trial trip undergoing the severest kind of tests. This photograph shows the Pennsylvania on its way to Rockland, Maine.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 19 February 1916, Night Extra, Image 1, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania417kThe Dreadnought Wyoming (BB-32) leading the battleship fleet to sea.
Officers & crew of the super dreadnought Pennsylvania (BB-38), largest battleship ever buit for the US Navy.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo by New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 19 February 1916, Image 16, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-34 New York 1.97k LESSONS FOR UNCLE SAM IN LONG RANGE NAVAL BATTLES
The Queen Elizabeth, heaviest type of British battleship. At the Dardanelles she bombarded the forts with her 15 inch guns at the extreme range of 21,000 yards.
The Pennsylvania (BB-38), heaviest of the United States battle fleet. She carries twelve 14 inch guns and it is a disputed point or not she is outranged for effective fighting by the Queen Elizabeth type, the difference ordnance being offset by the weight of metal thrown in one of her broadsides.
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 09 April 1916, SIXTH SECTION SPECIAL FEATURE SUPPLEMENT, Image 59, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania771kCOULD DEMOLISH VERA CRUZ PROM SIXTEEN MILES AT SEA; PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) CARRIES BATTERY OF FOURTEEN-INCH GUNS
Uncle Sam's newest battleship, the Pennsylvania, has several features new to naval construction. The most striking is her four turrets, each with three guns. She can fire at one broadside nine tons of steel a distance of sixteen miles. The boat is an oil burner and has a speed of 21 knots. Her complement consists of nearly a thousand officers and men.
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo from The Ogden Standard.(Ogden City, Utah) 1913-1920, 25 July 1916, 4 P.M. CITY EDITION, Image 9, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania602kHURLING DESTRUCTION 11 MILES
What the Superdreadnought Pennsylvania's (BB-38) Hitting Power, Displayed in World's Record Feat of Naval Gunnery, Means to the Nation
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Sun. (New York, [N.Y.]) 1916-1920, 24 September 1916, SECTION 5 SPECIAL FEATURE SUPPLEMENT, Image 49, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania423kStern view of the Pennsylvania (BB-38). Harris & Ewing photo courtesy of old-picture.com.
BB-38 Pennsylvania433kGuns of the Pennsylvania (BB-38). USN photo courtesy of e.bay.com.
BB-38 Pennsylvania447kThe Pennsylvania (BB-38) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the 50FT steamer NO 1, with Talbot Boiler, general view, 28 September 1916.Photo No. f1051n3, Brooklyn Navy Yard Archive - courtesy National Archive and Records Administration, Northeast Region - NYC, Record Group 181 via flickr.com.
BB-38 Pennsylvania363kU. S. Fleet Back From Battle Practice With New Records
The Men Behind the Guns Who Sustained the Navy's Traditions
An anti-aircraft gun crew aboard the Pennsylvania (BB-38), which led the fleet in gunnery.
Photo by Enrique Muller Jr.
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 15 October 1916, SECTION 4 PICTORIAL MAGAZINE, Image 33, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania597kBATTLESHIP THAT MADE RECORD IN TARGET PRACTICE
Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ.
Photo from Tombstone Epitaph. (Tombstone, Ariz.) 1887-current, 22 October 1916, WEEKLY EDITION, Image 7, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-34 New York 735k BATTLESHIP FLEET ARRIVING FOR FOOTBALL GAME
PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) LEADS SEVEN BATTLESHIPS IN

Superdreadnought Goes to Navy Yard, but Others Anchor Off the Drive.
Advance guard of the Atlantic fleet as it steamed up New York Day to-day. The ships are in the following order: New York (BB-34), Texas (BB-35), Oklahoma (BB-37), Connecticut (BB-18), Florida (BB-30), Utah (BB-31) and Wyoming (BB-32). The photograph was taken as the battleships passed the Battery, and shows the Statue of Liberty in the background.
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo by The Evening World.(New York, N.Y.) 1887-1931, 24 November 1916, Final Edition, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania190kSailors & motor launches are lowered from the Pennsylvania (BB-38) into NY Harbor. Photo by Edwin Levick from the Edwin Levick Collection, Mariner's Museum via Jim Geldert.
BB-38 Pennsylvania127k Pennsylvania (BB-38) model on exhibit in a museum, probably prior to World War I. It depicts the battleship in her original configuration, as completed in 1916. Other artifacts present include a somewhat damaged model of the airship Shenandoah (ZR-1), overhead, and examples of marine boilers and engines, in the background.USNHC # NH 3019.
BB-38 Pennsylvania50kPennsylvania (BB-38) in a diorama display case in Chicago, Illinois, 1916 - 1917. Photo # DN-0069064, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society & courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
BB-38 Pennsylvania127kCaptain Henry Braid Wilson was Pennsylvania's (BB-38) first commanding officer in 1916. He commanded the Atlantic Fleet's patrol forces during the First World War, and was responsible for the safe convoying of troops and supplies to Europe. For his outstanding service Wilson was awarded both the Navy and War Department Distinguished Service Medals.
Rear Admiral Henry Braid Wilson was Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet and later the Battle Fleet commander following WW I.
Photo from the New York Public Library, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-38 Pennsylvania56kUpon commissioning, Pennsylvania (BB-38) was attached to the Atlantic Fleet. On 12 October 1916. She became flagship of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, when Admiral Henry T. Mayo shifted his flag from Wyoming (BB-32) to Pennsylvania.
In 1916 Mayo was handed full command of the Atlantic Fleet and promoted Vice-Admiral, a post he held throughout his country's involvement in World War One. He traveled to London in August 1917 to discuss Allied naval co-operation, and was an advocate of a convoy anti-submarine policy as well as the construction of the Northern Barrage anti U-boat minefield. For his achievements, Admiral Mayo was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for the outstanding operation of the US Atlantic Fleet in a condition of war.
Admiral Henry T. Mayo was commander of the Atlantic Fleet in World War I and for a time in 1919 commanded the entire U.S. fleet.
Photo from the New York Public Library, courtesy of Bill Gonyo. Info from the USS Mayo Association & spiritus-temporis.com, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-38 Pennsylvania88k1916 photo of the Pennsylvania (BB-38) in New York's East River. Contributed by Roy Thomas.
BB-38 Pennsylvania57kPennsylvania (BB-38) at anchor in the evening, circa 1916. Columbia (CL-12) is in the right distance. USNHC # NH 42730, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-39 Arizona131k"A Sack race".
Recreation on board a battleship, circa 1916-1917. This ship is either Pennsylvania (BB-38) or Arizona (BB-39).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 106273. Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.
BB-38 Pennsylvania447kTHE DREADNOUGHT PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) BIG AS SHE IS, LOOKS ALMOST DWARFED WHEN PASSING IN THE SHADOW OF NEW YORK'S LOOMING SKYSCRAPERS.Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 9 December 1916, Night Extra, Image 18, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 03/07/14.
BB-38 Pennsylvania74kIn Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 10 December 1916. Note that long-based range finders have been built into all four turrets and that the two superfiring turrets carry unarmored range-finders. Note the canvas screens protecting the torpedo defense stations on both masts.USNHC # NH 63562. Text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-38 Pennsylvania227kAs completed, possibly at Hampton Roads on 10 December 1916. She was the first BB to have range finders built into her turrets.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-38 Pennsylvania453kPort bow image of the Pennsylvania (BB-38) at anchor on 13 December 1916. Library of Congress photo # LC-F82-1808 via Mike Green.

USS PENNSYLVANIA BB-38 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. Jess Dennis
Address: 3053 Birchfield Dr, Memphis, TN, 38127-7403
Phone: 901-357-0263
E-mail: jess@usspennsylvania.com


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-38 Web Page By Ken Munro
HyperWar Pacific Theater of Operations.
Pearl Harbor Attack: Commander Battle Force Action Report Naval Historical Center

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