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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-42 USS IDAHO

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Victor - Xray


New Mexico Class Battleship: Displacement 32,000 Tons, Dimensions, 624' (oa) x 97' 5" x 31' 1" (Max). Armament 12 x 14"/50 22 x 5"/51, 8 x 3"/50 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3 1/2" +2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 32,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1084.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Shipbuilding, Camden, N.J., April 5, 1915. Launched January 25, 1917. Commissioned December 18, 1917.
Fate: Decommissioned 3 July, 1946 and was placed in reserve until sold for scrap 24 November, 1947 to Lipsett Inc., of New York City.

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SizeImage DescriptionContributed
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Keel Laying / Commissioning
1915 - 1917

BB-42 Idaho24k"Miss H. A. Simmons, granddaughter of the Governor Moses Alexander of Idaho, sponsor for the nation's newest sea fighter." Photo by International News Service, courtesy of memory.loc.gov. Text courtesy of N.Y. Times 8 July 1917, Page 2.
BB-42 Idaho138k"The U.S. superdreadnought Idaho (BB-42) launched at yards of the New York Shipbuilding,Camden, N.J., The Idaho is here shown fast slipping down the ways on her baptismal plunge."Photo by International News Service, courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
Text courtesy of N.Y. Times 8 July 1917, Page 2.
Idaho 592k The battleship Idaho (BB-42) as she left the ways at the yards of her builders, the New York Shipbuilding Company. The vessel when completed will add another powerful unit to the American Navy's fighting force. Her sponsor, Miss Henrietta A. Simmons, granddaughter of Governor Alexander, of Idaho, is shown below the vessel upon which she bestowed the name. Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 30 June 1917, Night Extra, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Idaho 363k Like some prehistoric monster loomed the Idaho (BB-42), latest of American dreadnoughts to be launched, as she rested on the ways at Camden, N. J., on June 30. This greatest of fighting machines, for secrecy, was built under a covered shed and few saw it take the water, precautions due to the war. The bows on view shows the platform ready for the launching party. The Idaho's sponsors used both wine and water in naming her. Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN & The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Insert photo from from The Bemidji Daily Pioneer. (Bemidji, Minn.) 1904-1971, 10 July 1917, Image 1 & The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1916-1920, 15 July 1917, Section 4, Pictorial Magazine, Image 32, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Guns 1.10k "U.S. Navy Yard, Washington. Sight shop, big gun section. 1917: Possible future armament for the New Mexico (BB-40 /42) class . Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress Photo courtesy of shorpy.com
1918 - 1934
Carl Theodore Vogelgesang147kOn 9 January 1919, Capt. Carl Theodore Vogelgesang took charge of the fitting out of Idaho (BB-42) at Camden, N.J., and assumed command of her when that battleship was placed in commission on 24 March 1919. He commanded Idaho until June 1920 when he became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet. Photo from the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
BB-42 Idaho516kHeaviest fighting craft afloat, the superdreadnought Idaho (BB-42). Image provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 07 March 1919, Image 24, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-42 Idaho616kThe mightiest superdreadnought of the U.S. Navy at the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, in Camden, ready to move across the Delaware River to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the great fighting craft will officially "join the navy." Image provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 19 March 1919, Image 32, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-42 Idaho 273k Idaho (BB-42) in New York. Photograph by Enrique Muller courtesy of Ronald J. Ferraro.
Idaho 1.14k Worlds Greatest Sea Fighter Reaches New York. Photo by Underwood & Underwood
Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 6 April 1919, Image 4, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Idaho 551k BIG GUNS OF THE BATTLESHIP IDAHO (BB-42)
Three gobs looking out of the muzzles of the big guns on our latest and largest battleship that was recently launched at Philadelphia. The Idaho is the largest ship in the United States Navy.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo & text by The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune.(North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, 02 May 1919, Image 3, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-42 Idaho797kIdaho (BB-42) fitting out at New York Ship Building Corporation on 23 June 1919 as is shown here, the Idaho was the first battleship not to befitted with hull mounted secondary guns. The ports were plated over before she was commissioned; the ports remained as the hull design was identical to her sisters, New Mexico (BB-40) and Mississippi (BB-41). She is equipped with a small bridge which is topped with a "tent" where a main battery range finder will be mounted.
The destroyer across the ways looks to have the number 20 painted on her bow. She is still under construction, and probably hasn't reached the stage where they paint an identification number on the hull. I would guess that the destroyer is either Leary (DD-158) or one of her sisters.
National Archives photo # 19-N-11413, courtesy of David Buell. Photo i.d. & partial text i.d. courtesy of Aryeh Weterhorn.
BB-42 Idaho100k1919 photo of the Idaho (BB-42) basically as completed. Foremast range clock is clearly visible.USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho150kNewly completed and commissioned in 1920, the Idaho (BB-42) is shown at speed. Short flying off platforms are mounted on #2 and #3 turrets and two 3" A.A. guns are mounted even with her derricks. Six more 3" A.A. guns were later mounted on the 01 level. Note semaphore signalman atop her second turret.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Text from USNHC photo # NH 73983.
BB-42 Idaho243kEarthquake Rocks This Mighty Cruiser
The Idaho (BB-42)
The sister ship of the New Mexico (BB-40), which was tossed about in the Pacific waters last Saturday like poplars in a winter blast. While the big ship was heaving from the earthquake, Admiral Rodman on board the New Mexico coolly remarked, "Just what I thought, an earthquake." Each man obeyed orders with marked precision and took their places prepared for whatever might happen. But little damage was reported from the quake.
Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX.
Photo from The Corpus Christi Caller. (Corpus Christi, Tex.) 1918-1987, 04 August 1919, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-43 Tennessee 237k Foreground is definitely Tennessee (BB-43). In the middle is Idaho (BB-42) (darker camouflage note also the fantail catapult) and upper right is Arizona (BB-39), less certain but based on main mast platforms verses the New Mexico (BB-40). Middle background is New York (BB-34) (navigation bridge not over hanging conning tower). The far left background is the Texas (BB-35) (blunt bow, 2 funnels).
The aircraft is a Naval Aircraft Factory / Curtiss / Canadian Aeroplane Ltd F-5L.
The date of Mr. Kreisman's photo has to be 1920-1921. By 1922 all 14' and 16" gunned BB's (except New York and Texas as the 5th turret did not leave enough deck space) had been fitted with a compressed air catapult on the stern. The presence of a stern A/C catapult on only one of the three 1916 program BB's suggest this early in the introduction of this equipment but late enough for the turret top fly-off platforms to have been removed from all ships present. In 1919 the Battle Fleet shifted its base to San Pedro in California where it remained based until shifted to Pearl Harbor. The Texas and New York were assigned to that fleet until they returned east for modernization in 1925. This would suggest that the photo was taken some where in the Pacific. The rich flora onshore suggest a tropical climate and the enclosed by would lead me to guess Panama or Gitmo. If the 1920 or 1921 Fleet problem was conducted in Atlantic waters could explain an Atlantic based aircraft with a Pacific based Fleet.
Photo courtesy of Lance Kreisman via Fabio Pen~a.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Chris Hoehn, Alan Moore & Richard Jensen.
Aircraft i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore via Larkins, William T. US Navy Aircraft 1921-1941/US Marine Corps Aircraft 1914-1959. [The image came from the USMC aircraft section, pg(9).] Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1995. (originally published as US Marine Corps Aircraft 1914-1959, copyright 1959, and US Navy Aircraft 1921-1941, copyright 1961).
BB-42 Idaho115kInspection on the battleship's forecastle, circa 1920. Note her forward triple 14"/40 gun turrets and "cage" foremast.USNHC # NH 53203, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho151kCrewmen running on deck during physical training, circa 1920. Note wooden planking and working gear on her deck.USNHC # NH 53204, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho531kAMERICAN GOBS LOOK DOWN ON RIO
Sailors of the battleship Idaho (BB-42), which recently returned from the South Atlantic and the Panama canal, viewing the wonders of Rio de Janeiro, from a mountain top.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo from The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune.(North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, 12 March 1920, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-42 Idaho1.22k"Queen of the Navy" Is Best Shot In The Pacific Fleet
The Idaho (BB-42), called the "Queen of the Navy," established a record during the Pacific fleet target practice when her gun crews made nine direct hits in 36 shots at long range with the 14-inch guns. The Idaho is one of the very latest of the United States navy's superDreadnoughts. She has a main battery of twelve 14-inch naval rifles and is fitted with the latest antialrcraft and submarine protections.
Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo from The Madison Journal. (Tallulah, Madison Parish, La.) 1888-current, 22 May 1920, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-42 Idaho129kIdaho (BB-42) seen in the Panama Canal, circa 1920's.USNI / USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho 56k Captain Charles Lincoln Hussey was the Commanding Officer of the battleship Idaho (BB-42) in 1920-1921. Photo #18497v courtesy of the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
BB-42 Idaho320kTraversing the Pedro Miguel Locks in the Panama Canal, circa 1920's.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-42 Idaho110kIdaho (BB-42) seen in the Panama Canal, 1920's Stern view.USNI / USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho58kYou are cordially invited to view as the uninitiated crew members (Pollywogs) pass over the equator for the first time, the Shellbacks (those who in the past had undergone the exquisite pleasure of meeting King Neptune's Court) met to decide what to do with the newcomers of Idaho's (BB-42) contingent in 24 January 1921.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho128kIdaho (BB-42) fires her 14/50" guns at a target which the battleship Texas (BB-35) is towing 10 miles away, 16 April 1921.Courtesy of Charles Moore.
BB-42 Idaho43kDependents visiting the Idaho (BB-42), early 1920's.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-42 Idaho278kIdaho (BB-42) starboard view, underway, early 1920's.US National Archives photo # 80G-1035087 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
BB-32 Wyoming551kOne of the Wyoming's (BB-32) boats with the battleship Idaho (BB-42) in the background, circa early 1920's.Photo from the collection of Percy & Bill Fenner submitted by Ann Moss.
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-42 Idaho 219k The time on the Idaho's (BB-42) gunnery clock is circa 1924, viewed from the main deck looking aft near the 2nd main turret. Photograph courtesy of Tony Bellomo.
BB-42 Idaho 155k Looking out from the bridge over the Idaho's (BB-42) helm, 1924 in a Pacific port. Photograph courtesy of Tony Bellomo.
Southern Cruise90kView from the deck of a one of the battleships looking aft of the Battle Fleet and a division of cruisers from the Scouting Fleet cruise to Australia and New Zealand. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Sam Hood 37k Night time stern view of the Tennessee (BB-43), Mississippi (BB-41), California (BB-44) and or Idaho (BB-42) in Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia, 1925. This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection in Flicker.
Sam Hood (1870-1956) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 72-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century.
Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho727kIdaho(BB-42) departs Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, as a Douglas DT-2 torpedo plane from NAS Pearl Harbor bids "aloha" to passengers Cmdr. John Rogers and his crew, 17 September 1925. Cmdr. Rogers and his crew attempted to fly from San Francisco to Honolulu but ran out of fuel and landed at sea. Lost at sea for 10 days, they rigged a sail on their PN-9 seaplane and covered 450 miles before their rescue.Photo USNHC # NH 53201, now in the collections of the National Archives via Bill Gonyo.
BB-42 Idaho143kWardroom of the Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26. Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho136kLaundry room of the Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho133kSickbay of the Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho164kCPO (Chief Petty Officers) Quarters of the Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho83kGallery, 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho94kCarpenter shop, 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho99kAs the uninitiated crew-members (Pollywogs) pass over the equator for the first time, the Shellbacks (those who in the past had undergone the exquisite pleasure of meeting King Neptune's Court) met to decide what to do with the newcomers of Idaho's (BB-42) contingent in 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho115kThe operating room of the Idaho (BB-42) : This is where Doc either kills you or wonders why he didn't in 1925-26.Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho96kBake shop, Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26. Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho75kPrinting Office, Idaho (BB-42), 1925-26. Courtesy of Jon Burdett.
BB-42 Idaho332kThe Idaho (BB-42) possibly entering the dry dock at Puget Sound Navy Yard, March 1926.US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-42 Idaho 278k Sporting a target between her aft cage mast and top rear turret plus maybe a pair of Vought O2U-1 biplanes on the catapults. Photo i.d. courtesy of Richard Jensen.
US National Archives photo # 80G-1035061 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
BB-42 Idaho168kIdaho (BB-42) in dry dock, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, March 1926.Photo contributed by Robert Hurst. Photo taken from U.S. Warships of World War One, by P.H. Silverstone.
BB-40 New Mexico 2.44k Langley (CV-1) with Vought VE-7 aircraft on deck, at anchor off Culebra Island, Puerto Rico on 18 March 1926. In the background are 4 four-stack destroyers and a Tennessee class (BB-43 /44) battleship on the left, and two New Mexico (BB-40 /42) class battleships (center and right).
At the time, the Tennessee's are hard to tell apart. A few years later, Tennessee (BB-43) had the open bridge added around her pilothouse, and even later, California (BB-44) added the enlarged flag bridge. But in the 1922 (or so) period, they were close in config.
The New Mexico's appear to be Mississippi (BB-41) on the left (or in the center) and New Mexico (BB-40) (nearly bow-on) on the right.

The original photo was labeled "Harbinger" to show symbolically how the unimposing Langley was the first of a line of ships which eventually drove the battleship from its primary place into the background.
Photo i.d. & text in italics courtesy of Richard Jensen.
USN photo via collections.naval.aviation.museum.
Almost Unknown709kDifferent angle of the above photo: Langley (CV-1) & Battleships at anchor off Culebra Island, Puerto Rico 18 March 1926.USN photo NARA II 80-G-185902 via courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-42 Idaho340kStarboard side underway, Two aircraft on catapults. 4 June 1927.
Note the anchor on the ship's stern.
US National Archives # 19-N-11008, courtesy of David Buell.
BB-42 Idaho90k Crane ship Kearsarge working alongside, as the battleship is regunned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, circa the later 1920s. Barge YC-279 is in the left background. USNHC # 43459, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho137k Idaho (BB-42) being regunned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, circa the later 1920s. This view shows the crane ship Kearsarge lowering a 14"/50 gun into Idaho's second turret. USNHC # 43457, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho93k 14"/50 gun is lowered in to her second turret, during regunning at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, circa the later 1920s. The work is being performed by the crane ship Kearsarge. USNHC # 43458, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho168kPort side view of the Idaho (BB-42) off the California coast, circa late 1920's. Courtesy of Manuel Tafoya Sr.
BB-42 Idaho 534k Slighly blurry, but showing in detail her starboard side while anchored with another battleship in the distance during the roaring 20's. US National Archives photo # 80G-1035084 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
BB-42 Idaho 238k Smoke's up, anchor down, Idaho (BB-42) in town. US National Archives photo # 80G-1035087 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Battlefleet122Watercolor 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. Battle-fleet from above, possibly from the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3). Photo courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
BB-42 Idaho1.10kIdaho (BB-42) in stero, possibly in Seattle, circa 1929.Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Chris Hoehn.
Photo possibly by Frank Lynch, chief photographer of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, circa 1929.
Photo from the collection of Carrie Schmidt.
BB-41 Mississippi 477k The 3 sisters of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) class
1st is New Mexico (BB-40) (pilot house above conning tower). 2nd is Idaho (BB-42) (pilothouse is wider), 3rd is Mississippi (BB-41) (by default).
The 2 photos appear to be in sequence though one of them is printed with the negetive reversed. The far shore line and the ships in the background beyond the last BB appear to be the same except for what is revealed or concealed by the forward progress of the ships.
Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Chris Hoehn.
Photo possibly by Frank Lynch, chief photographer of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, circa 1929.
Photo from the collection of Carrie Schmidt.
BB-19 Louisiana 3.05k "Son of Fighting Bob".
Lieutenant Evans Seems to Have a Good Deal of Fight In Him Too.
Image and text provided by University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Photo from The Adair County News. (Columbia, Ky.) 1897-1987, 28 October 1908, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 08/22/15.
BB-42 Idaho93kIdaho (BB-42) (foreground) and Texas (BB-35). Steaming at the rear of the battle line, during Battle Fleet practice off the California coast, circa 1930. Idaho's four triple 14"/50 gun turrets are trained on the starboard beam.USNHC # NH 73834.
BB-40 New Mexico 88k Four photos for the 1933 400 KW Turbine Gear Generator Sets for the battleships:
New Mexico (BB-40), Mississippi (BB-41), Idaho (BB-42), Tennessee (BB-43) & Colorado (BB-45).
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 5
Figure 4
Photos courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
BB-42 Idaho1.40kUnderway at sea, circa the mid-1930s.USN photo # USN 1021406, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-42 Idaho 1.39k Idaho (BB-42) during the modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard circa 1931-1934. Photo courtesy of Joe MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho 1.19k Idaho (BB-42) during the modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard circa 1931-1934. Photo courtesy of Joe MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho 1.35k Idaho (BB-42) during the modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard circa 1931-1934. Photo courtesy of Joe MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho66kThe Idaho (BB-42) appears here after her refit at Norfolk Nary Yard, 30 September 1931 - 9 October 1934. The veteran battleship received better armor, "blister" antisubmarine protection, better machinery, and tripod masts during this extensive overhaul, and was readied for many more years of useful naval service. USN photo # NH 5749, courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
1935 - Pre-Pearl Harbor Attack
BB-42 Idaho397k Idaho (BB-42), photographed by J.M. Colasanti probably after completion of modernization on 9 October 1934, when the ship conducted shakedown in the Caribbean before returning to her home port, San Pedro, 17 April 1935. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-40 New Mexico & family242kNew Mexico (BB-40) and her sisters lie in anchor, probably at San Pedro California sometime between October 1934 & 6 December 1940 before she was transferred to Pearl Harbor. The Idaho (BB-42) is the ship top left. Photo i.d. courtesy of Richard Jensen.
USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-42 Idaho800kThe eye's of Idaho (BB-42) were bourne by O2U-1's, circa 1935.Photos courtesy of Alan K. Radecki.
BB-42 Idaho123k Idaho (BB-42) in 1935. USN photo 80-G-466530, courtesy of interwarnavy.org via Bill Gonyo.
BB-42 Idaho289kAwnings indicate hot weather for a unknown four stack destroyer moored alongside the Idaho (BB-42) in this circa mid 1930's photo.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Mississippi 1.00k Idaho (BB-42) in drydock at Boston.
This i.d. is based on the follwing three criteria:
1) Only Idaho lacked the open bridge in front of the pilothouse.
2) Idaho lacked the wind baffles on the lower bridge, the other two had those lower bridge wind baffles and baffles on the open bridge above.
3) The configuration of the second 5" hull embrasure is unique to Idaho. (Check the shape outboard and below the original gun opening, and compare that to the forward embrasure.)
Photo & i.d. text courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via flickr.com.
BB-42 Idaho413k Leading a man of war out of drydock: This odd picture was taken in Boston on 1 March 1935 and shows a fleet of tugs aiding the Idaho (BB-42) as the most modern battleship of the USN was leaving the Boston Navy Yard drydock on its departure for the naval trial course of Rockland ME. Wide World Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, (ret.)
BB-42 Idaho280kIdaho (BB-42) & New Mexico (BB-40) at anchor in Seattle, circa during her participation in Fleet Week, July - August 1935.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Battleship Row1.80kVery large (1.80k.b) 1936 photo of Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor. Among the ships in the harbor are:
The two New Orleans (CA-32) class cruisers on the far left are the Minneapolis (CA-36) nearer the camera with New Orleans (CA-32) behind. Both have the curved-faced turrets, limiting them to the CA-32/34/36 group. Within that group, only New Orleans lacked the glassed-in navigation bridge (below the pilothouse), and minor superstructure variations point to the other being Minneapolis rather than Astoria (CA-34).
The battleships from left to right: Colorado (BB-45), or West Virginia (BB-48), outboard of Idaho (BB-42), Nevada (BB-36), outboard of Mississippi (BB-41), New Mexico (BB-40), outboard of Maryland (BB-46) or California (BB-44).
On the far right is the Hospital ship Relief (AH-1) with two unidentified ships ahead and to her port side.
Text courtesy of David Johnston, (USNR), Aryeh Wetherhorn (USNR) & Richard Jensen.
Photo courtesy of Edward Cwalinski, submitted by Barry Litchfield.
BB-42 Idaho128kShip's company posed on the after deck and after 14" gun turrets, circa 1938. Note Curtiss SOC-3 "Seagull" floatplanes, of Observation Squadron Three, atop the Turret # 3 catapult and on deck to port of the turrets.USNHC # NH 83900, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho212kClose up view of the Idaho (BB-42) after modernization, late 1930's. The three New Mexico's (BB-40-42) were the last to be rebuilt. They could be distinguished by their searchlight platforms. The Mississippi and Idaho (BB-42) had theirs far above their controls, with long struts, but the New Mexico (BB-40) hade her control cabins directly under the lights. Quite unlike their presecessors, they had tower masts supporting Mark-28 5-inch directors, the first to combine range finder and calculator into a single unit. The small cylinders were mark 31 directors, with an armored range finder at the forward end of the bridge structure. Below it, were secondary battery controls and battle lookout stations (note the eye slits), with the navigating bridge below that, then the chart house platform, the radio direction-finder platform, and the conning tower platform. Note the four 0.50-calibere machine guns visible on the latter. The radio direction finder itself was housed between the funnel and the bridge structure. The Idaho, fitted as a flagship, had a flag bridge below her navigating bridge. Her chart house was on the radio direction-finder platform. USN photo. Partial text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-42 Idaho100kIdaho (BB-42) in the lead and other battleships of the Pacific Fleet in line, late 1930's. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho2.29k Idaho (BB-42) takes in a boat from the Pennsylvania (BB-38) during Fleet maneuvers on 3 July 1937.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-41 Mississippi 207k Idaho (BB-42) (NOT MISSISSIPPI!) underway in a pre-war photo.
This i.d. is based on the follwing three criteria:
1) Only Idaho lacked the open bridge in front of the pilothouse.
2) Idaho lacked the wind baffles on the lower bridge, the other two had those lower bridge wind baffles and baffles on the open bridge above.
3) The configuration of the second 5" hull embrasure is unique to Idaho. (Check the shape outboard and below the original gun opening, and compare that to the forward embrasure.)
Photo i.d. courtesy of Richard Jensen.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-44 California452kA lesson in photo identification and never trust everything you see printed on a caption.
The following lengthy repost was in response to the what was believed to be correct in what the caption says: Norfolk VA., 12 April 1939."Fishing boat convoy to pride of the U.S. Fleet, California (BB-44)."
While the California, sleek war craft, lays in the background, frisky little fishing boat, the Marie & Winifred, chugs by on the way to laying her nets.
This contrasting scene was pictured today in Hampton Roads. The California, laden with sailors and shiny warplanes, had just arrived from Fleet maneuver and will remain anchored here until the reviewing ceremony 27 April.
Despite the caption identifying the ship as the California, it is in reality something else.
The 3 sisters of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) class were all assigned to BatDiv 3. VO-3 provided a 3 plane Detachment to each of the ships in the division which were identified by the blue tail surfaces. 3 planes is the standard number of aircraft assigned aboard a battleship. These would be the 3 SOC Seagulls (bi-planes). When a fourth aircraft was assigned it was specifically for use of an admiral (note also the the fourth plane does not carry the blue tail of VO-3) (detail 1). In the photo, the battleship has an admiral's flag flying from the top of the foremast (detail 2). These two details add up to the fact that the ship pictured was the flagship of BatDiv3; from 1937 onward that ship was Idaho (BB-42).
The other interesting detail is the fact that the fourth aircraft is an OS2U Kingfisher, rather than an SOC. The first batch of OS2U's entered fleet service between April and December of 1940. the first being assigned to VO-4 on the Colorado (BB-45). Although it is possible that an admiral pulled rank to get the latest and greatest assigned as his personal mount, the presence of this aircraft more than suggests that the date of the photo is late 1939 at best but more likely some time in early 1940.
The case of this photo I know that the SOC's have blue tails because my reference material tells me that ALL of VO-3's A/C had blue on their tails, irregardless of the ship they were assigned to. Unlike Aircraft carriers, who had a specific colors assigned by ship to designate all A/C assigned to a ship, the A/C of VO squadrons were split up among the several ships of a single BatDiv and the color assignment was by Division and not ship. Thus all three of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) class battleship would have carried blue tail A/C.
The mixed wing is interesting, especially since squadrons usually trained for a specific aircraft. To my mind that reinforces the suggestion that the "odd bird" was not specific to the ship's aviation division but was assigned for a separate function, in this case the Admiral's "Hack" and may in fact be a detachment from a VJ squadron( I've not seen anything that tells me from where the Flag Birds were assigned). With in a year of this photo all SOC's would have been removed from service aboard BB's being replaced by the OS2U. Interestingly, though, the SOC would continue aboard cruisers (especially the inter-war cruiser classes) until after Normandy. This was because that, like most of the first monoplane of a type, the OS2U did not have the ability to fold its wings for better storage in hangers.
I suspect it's the XOS2U-1, which would account for its lack of color (Flag Planes would have been dark blue.) or apparent markings. If it's indeed the XOS2U-1 then it's likely this photo is dated correctly.
Larkins lists the initial deliveries of O2SU-1s beginning in mid-August 1940 with Colorado. Idaho (BB-42) received hers 7-8 October The two Flag Planes were BuAer 1691 going to CinCUS on Pennsylvania (BB-38) 11 October and 1701 to ComBatFor on California 19 November From my reading, Flag Planes were not assigned to, or drawn from, a squadron--the were the admirals' planes.
Unfortunately, this does not help us here as the XOS2U-1 received a similar paint scheme prior going for ship board acceptance trials in the early months of 1939 (official acceptance was 24 April 1939) which were conducted aboard West Virginia (BB-48). So this is not the occasion of the photo. The XOS2U was used for various trials through 1944 so the next question is whether this is the XOS2U or a production aircraft. The 2 primary distinguishing features which distinguish the XOS2U. The forward edge of the canopy of the radioman's compartment is distinctly curved on the prototype and square on the production A/C. The photo is not distinct enough to make a determination from this. The other feature is the struts that connect the main pontoon for the fuselage. Originally the XOS2U had only the 2 forward struts; it did eventually receive a third strut at the rear of the pontoon, but the strut added to the prototype was about half the width of that with which the production A/C carried.
The reason for the difference in pontoons is that the XOS2U was equipped with a pontoon built by Vought (probably based on those used for the O2U and O3) while the production OS2U was equipped with one built by ELCO.
That leaves us with the question of date. Though the first deployment of a squadron detachment to a ship was August 1940 to the Colorado, the first order of production A/C (54 Units) rolled off the assembly line beginning in April 1940 and finishing in December. This means that 5 months passed from the completion of the first aircraft until the first unit was deployed aboard ship. This makes sense as there would need to be a period of time need to train/ transition pilots to the new aircraft. So here is my new theory. The aircraft is from this training squadron and is on board for a cruise during which launch /landing qualification trails, not for the plane but for a group of new pilots.
Of course if the A/C is not an Admiral personal aircraft is there still enough evidence that the ship is a flagship [i.e. Idaho vs New Mexico]. The BB in the first photo is definitely flying from the top of the foremast. To my understanding this is position is traditionally the position for a flag officers pennant.
Actually, it turns out that only one XOS2U-1 was ever built, and at various points it appeared in two schemes, the possible NMF, and a darker, presumably blue or blue-gray.
Regarding the XOS2U-1: its configuration, painting, and subsequent fleet testing aboard the West Virginia. In Al Adcock's US Navy Floatplanes of World War II in Action he states that the XOS2U-1 was, after being painted blue, repainted to aluminum. Attached is the photo and Mr Adcock's caption. Unfortunately he doesn't state when this photo was taken or when the repainting occurred. It does show, however, the third (rear) strut in its initial (narrower) form.
Returning to the markings on the SOCs, it appears in this view (although it's hardly conclusive) that the cowls are lighter than the blue tails, making these aircraft the first section (red) which would be on the Idaho. (Second section would have had white on the cowls, and be aboard Mississippi (BB-41); third would have been blue, aboard New Mexico.)
The adjusted image also brings out what appears to be the name on the stern, and it appears to be too short to read Mississippi or New Mexico.
I can't confirm the admiral's flag but there appear to be two flags flying, one each on the foremast and mainmast. It's my understanding that it's the second position from which an admiral's (or any important dignitary's, like the President's or Secretary of the Navy's) flag would be flown. (You can see examples in the Pennsylvania photos.)
There's a very nice 1940 Carl Mydans LIFE photo of New Mexico's stern showing a Command SOC on her catapult (and possibly a flag at the mainmast) indicating that on at least one occasion she had that status and therefore it wouldn't have always been Idaho. Note, however, how long her name is and compare it to the adjusted image.
These two photos mention an impending fleet review for the 27th. The California AP Wirephotos' captions mention "... after order for a surprise journey, an immediate return to the Pacific coast, came from the War Department...". This happened in 1939 and some details are on the Enterprise (CV-6) in the description for photo NS020603a.
In summary, at this time I believe the two New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) class ships are the Idaho, the fourth airplane is the XOS2U-1, and all images are dated correctly, April 1939.
She was the only one with bridge bulwarks after modernization which did not have the wind baffles as did New Mexico and Mississippi. Her bridge bulwarks were smooth on the forward faces from her rebuilding in the 1930's until she was scrapped after the war. This is the easiest way to tell the sisters apart prewar, although another method is the configuration of the searchlight platforms on their stacks which also in this case help ID these photos as being of Idaho.
A.P. Wirephoto from the collection of Michael Strout, courtesy of Jonathan Eno. 01XOS2U photo courtesy of Alan Moore.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ronald J. Nash.
Text i.d. courtesy of David Buell, Chris Hoehn, David C. Nilsen, CTR USA TRADOC, Alan Moore & Aryeh Weterhorn.
Sources courtesy of Alan Moore. from Larkins, William T. Battleship and Cruiser Aircraft of the United States Navy 1910-1949. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 1996. p249--Appendix 13: Initial Ship Deliveries of New OS2U-1s.
BB-44 California393kNorfolk VA., 16 April 1939. "Implements of war return to home ports."
Looking down the barrel of 14" guns of the Idaho (BB-42) this scene shows officers and sailors serried on deck after orders came from the Navy Department to prepare immediate return to the Pacific coast, the vessel's home port. It happened as ship lay at anchor near here yesterday, awaiting the Fleet Review. Note planes on catapult.
A.P. Wirephoto from the collection of Michael Strout, courtesy of Jonathan Eno.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ronald J. Nash.
Text i.d. courtesy of David Buell, Chris Hoehn, David C. Nilsen, CTR USA TRADOC, Alan Moore & Aryeh Weterhorn.
Sources courtesy of Alan Moore from Larkins, William T. Battleship and Cruiser Aircraft of the United States Navy 1910-1949. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 1996. p249--Appendix 13: Initial Ship Deliveries of New OS2U-1s.
BB-42 Idaho97kThe ship's newspaper, the Idaho Yarn reports the changing of the guard of the Captains of the Idaho (BB-42), Sharp Jr., Alexander, CAPT (06), 12.08.1939 was replaced by McKinney, Stephen Booth CAPT (07). Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
BB-42 Idaho72kIdaho (BB-42) at Puget Sound Navy Yard, 9 February 1940 following her major refit. USN photo, courtesy of Seattle NARA RG-181, submitted by Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-40 New Mexico & family463kProbable front and rear photos here and below showing formations of aircraft flying over U.S. Navy battleships during exercises at sea, circa late 1930's - 1940.
Pictured here is a New Mexico (BB-40 /42) class battleship in the van with other battleships of the Pacific Fleet and a carrier air group, led by the Air Group Commander in a Curtiss SBC Helldiver.
The aircraft following are:
A torpedo squadron of eighteen Douglas TBD-1s;
A bombing squadron of eighteen Northrop BT-1s;
A scouting squadron eighteen Curtiss SBCs;
A fighting squadron of eighteen Grumman F2F-1s or F3F-3s from either the Yorktown (CV-5) or F3F-2s from the Enterprise (CV-6), plus possibly nine additional aircraft.
The Yorktown and Enterprise were the only two carriers whose bombing squadrons were equipped with the Northrop BT-1.
The text for the photo reads:
"The Navy uses enormous amounts of rubber. At least seventy-five tons of rubber, enough to makes 17,000 tires, are used in the construction of each of these battleships. Tons more are needed for the naval planes that are making history over the world. Medical and communication requirements--and countless other needs of the Navy--are met."
The lead BB looks like Mississippi (BB-41) followed by Maryland (BB-46) (rangefinder on Turret II). My first impression of the Tennessee class (BB-43 /44) is the Tennessee (BB-43), but that is not a certain ID from this photo alone. Fourth is the Oklahoma (BB-37) (no birdbath). Aside from the DD now in the lead, I see nothing in the head-on shot aerial that positively differs from the ID's of the first 4 BB's in the first photo. Of course, in the aft aerial shot, BB #5 is the California (BB-44), ID'd by the enlarged flag bridge, lending support to BB #3 in the first photo being Tennessee. Everything I see supports these three photos all being part of the same operation with at least the first 5 BB's remaining in the same order.
Photograph # LC-USE64 - DC-000944 & partial text courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
Battleship i.d. & text courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Aircraft i.d. & text & timeline courtesy of Alan Moore via the following sources: Airplane i.d.: Yorktown Class Carriers (Warship Pictorial No. 9) by Steve Wiper, Tucson, AZ: Classic Warships Publishing, 2000. & That Gallant Ship: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5) by Robert Cressman, Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories Pub Co, 1985. Timeline from Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991.
BB-40 New Mexico & family1.62kProbable front and rear photos here and above showing formations of aircraft flying over U.S. Navy battleships during exercises at sea, circa late 1930's - 1940.
In both photos, one of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) is leading the BB column while the remaining battleships have dual masthead fire control structures.
The air group formation in the two photos appears to be similar. The composition of 18 TBDs, 18 BT-1s, 18 SBCs, and 27 fighters is easier to distinguish in the front/surface view. I'm assuming, based on total aircraft count alone, that the formation in the rear/aerial view is the same. (The perspective makes it difficult to sort the monoplanes and biplanes into their respective types.) The only difference is that in the front/surface view the formation is lead by a Curtiss SBC Helldiver (likely the Air Group Commander) but in the rear/aerial view that lead Helldiver is not present. I suppose it's possible that the photographer was in that Helldiver's rear seat. What stands out for me is the presence of nine extra fighters beyond the normal squadron composition of 18, as seen in the other three squadrons in this formation.
Photo i.d courtesy of Chuck Haberlein, Richard Jensen, Aryeh Wetherhorn, & Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
Battleship i.d. & text courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Aircraft i.d. & text courtesy of Alan Moore.
US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo No. 2008.104.001.234.
BB-42 Idaho187kCrew of the battleship Idaho (BB-42) preparing to fire her 14 inch guns during Pacific Fleet maneuvers.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho107kThe Idaho (BB-42) during US Navy maneuvers off Hawaii.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho126kCapt. Stephen McKinney & Admiral inspecting ship during US Navy maneuvers off the Hawaiian Islands. Note the boats marked with ID for Idaho (BB-42). Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho132kView of the catapult and rear turrets of the battleship Idaho (BB-42) during Pacific Fleet maneuvers.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho176kInspection aboard unident. battleship [prob. Idaho (BB-42) ] during the US Navy's Pacific fleet maneuvers.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho107kCatapult launched SBC-3 scout plane aboard the battleship Idaho (BB-42) during the US Navy's Pacific Fleet maneuvers around Hawaii.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-42 Idaho171kRack of rifles in battleship of US Navy.Photographer: Carl Mydans, courtesy of life.time.com
BB-39 Arizona1.31kBetween 9 & 13 September 1940 the Arizona (BB-39) was under way with other ships of the US Fleet for simulated fleet engagement. She is pictured here in company with other ships of the Pacific Fleet taken during Fleet Ops. and at least one carrier air group.US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2008.104.001.235 courtesy of Alan Moore.

Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore via Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991.
BB-42 Idaho204k Idaho (BB-42), photographed by George Winstead, probably when she at Hampton Roads 6 June 1941 to perform Atlantic neutrality patrol, a vital part of U.S. policy in the early days of the European fighting.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-42 Idaho79kAnchored in Hvaeldefjord, Iceland, October 1941.USNHC # NH 94650, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho1.80kIdaho (BB-42) at Hvaeldefjord, Iceland on 2 October 1941 on White Patrol. USN Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho441kIdaho (BB-42) anchored at Hvalfjord, Iceland in October, 1941. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection by Tomlin, H.W. (Lt), Photo No. © IWM (A 5670) via Mike Green.
BB-42 Idaho503kIdaho (BB-42) and Wasp (CV-7) anchored at Hvalfjord, Iceland in October, 1941. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection by Ware C.J. (Lt), Photo No. © IWM (A 5951) via Mike Green.
BB-42 Idaho489kPort broadside view of the Idaho (BB-42) anchored at Hvalfjord, Iceland in October, 1941. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection by Ware C.J. (Lt), Photo No.© IWM (A 5941) via Mike Green.
BB-42 Idaho305kIdaho (BB-42) in Measure 12 during a Neutrality patrol in the North Atlantic on November 1941. USN Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho114kCover of the Idaho's (BB-42) cruise book. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
WW II
BB-42 Idaho195k Looking aft of the Idaho (BB-42), in January 1942.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho257k Amidships view of the gun directors and stack of the Idaho (BB-42) at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. January 1942.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho224kLooking fwd. from stern. Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. 3 January 1942.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho1.6mLooking aft from above. Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. January 1942. The ship in the left background is definitely a Brooklyn class (CL-40 / 49). (which one I can't say, and I looked at our photos and those on NavSource cruiser pages without any luck, but the ship has to be Brooklyn (CL-40), Philadelphia (CL-41), Savannah (CL-42) or Nashville (CL-43), since the other ships of the type were in the Pacific at the time.
My money would be on it being Savannah based on the camouflage. Photos of the other Atlantic Brooklyn's taken in the spring of 1942 show them wearing a modified Measure 12 camo but the scallops of the lighter gray along top of the hull are all much deeper than depicted in this photo. I have not found any photo of Savannah wearing this camo dated around the time of the Norfolk photo be it does not stretch credulity too much to believe if the other 3 Atlantic Fleet Brooklyn's are all wearing Measure 12 during this time then the Savannah would be also and as the pattern in this photo does not match any of the other 3 ships ergo... The problem with this line of reasoning - DNFS put the Savannah in Recife, Brazil 10 days after the date cited on the photo although a similar problem exists for all the Atlantic Brooklyn's.
USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ronald J. Nash.
Text i.d. courtesy of Charles Haberlein Jr. (USNHC) & Chris Hoehn.
BB-42 Idaho80kPort bow close up of Idaho (BB-42) in Norfolk Navy Yard before she went out to the Pacific War, 3 January 1942. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-42 Idaho191k Idaho (BB-42) firing main battery, May 1942. USN photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho117kThe Idaho (BB-42) at Pearl Harbor, August 1942. She conducted additional battle exercises in California waters and out of Pearl Harbor until October 1942, when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard to be re-gunned. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-42 Idaho268k Marines on the Idaho (BB-42) in 1942 on station at their 20 millimeter guns. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho168kSignal flags flutter from Idaho's (BB-42) mast as she makes her way through Puget Sound in December 1942. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho301kIdaho's (BB-42) forward main turret is trained to starboard during battle exercises when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard to be re-gunned. Upon completion of this work Idaho again took part in battle exercises, and sailed 7 April 1943 for operations in the bleak Aleutians. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-42 Idaho420kStern view of the Idaho (BB-42) on trials in Puget Sound in December 1942. Photo courtesy of David Buell. BuShips #39760.
Task Group 51133kPhoto of Task Group 51, the Attu force, May 1943.
Pennsylvania (BB-38) in the foreground with the battleships Idaho (BB-42) and Nevada (BB-36) in the background. The Nassau (CVE-16) is pictured astern of the Pennsylvania and provided air cover for the occupation of Attu Island from 11 through 20 May.
Photograph courtesy of Ray Daves via Fabia Pena & Carol Edgemon Hipperson author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor & World War II in the Pacific(Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins Press, 2008). Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-38 Pennsylvania672kAttu Invasion Force at anchor in Cold Harbor, Alaska. May 1943. There were 3 Battleships present for the Attu Operation: Idaho (BB-42), Pennsylvania (BB-38) and Nevada (BB-36), while for the Kiska operation the Nevada had been replaced by the Tennessee (BB-43).
The Nevada (moored next to Aux and 2 flush decker DD's) had her top reduced to a single cylindrical structure and carried her Mk 37 directors in tandem with the fore mount being centered atop the bridge and the after mount being much lower and located where the Main tripod mast had originally stood and that mast being much reduced in height was moved to just aft the funnel with fire control station still atop it. To prevent the fire control crew from being smoked out the funnel was extended to the level of the base of the fore fire control station. Also she did not receive her search radars until she got to Norfolk after Attu. Between the director and the funnel extension, a view from the angle of this photo would easily hide the tripod nature of the mast. Operating on the assumption that the picture was taken at Cold Bay in 1943 this is a portion of the Attu Invasion force and therefore the other BB must be the Idaho.
Now lets look at the ship in the foreground. There were ony 4 ships assigned to the Attu Invasion equipped with closed dual mount 5"/38 shown; the 3 BB's and the Santa Fe (CL-60). We have accounted for 2 of these ships leaving only Pennsylvania and Santa Fe. The only other clearly define able object is the 40mm gun director tub to the right of the picture (under the weather shield). This appears to me to be the starboard side aft-most 5" gun mount on the Pennsylvania as the 40mm directors near the 5" turrets on the Santa Fe all seem to be mounted higher that the 5" gun not on the same level.
As this all started by looking at the Auxiliary, so lets go there next. Though the Navy made use of 8 or 9 commercial cargo ships for this operation, the ship in the photo seems to be carrying a pennant number on her bow which makes her a Navy ship. The arrangement of the king posts, height of the funnel and the contour of the deck line convinces me that she is a Cimmeron class Oilier (probably why she is sharing her berth with so many others (note the 2 flushdeckers on her port side). This would make her either the Platte (AO-24) or the Guadelupe (AO-32).
Carol listed the the ship at the far left and the far right as flushdecker DD's. The ship to the left is head(stern?)-on to the camera and can not be identified and the copy of the photo I received was blurred along the right and left edges making the left most ship indistinguishable; if it is a flush decker I can't tell but probably not. The DD's assigned to this operation were a mix of Farragut's, Porter's, Benson's and a single Gleaves class. Most of the active Flushdeckers serving as escorts were in the guarding merchant convoys across the back water's of the war or were converted to other uses. In the case of Attu there were a total of 6 assigned; not one of them as destroyers. Included were a High Speed Destroyer Transport, Kane (APD-18), a Destroyer Seaplane Tender, Williamson (AVD-2), 2 Destroyer Mine Layers, Sicard (DM-21) and Pruitt (DM-22) (assigned as landing craft control vessels) and 2 Destroyer Mine Sweepers, Chandler (DMS-9) and Long (DMS-12). Which of these are nested nest to the Oiler I can't say, not enough detail, but this at least cuts the the possibilities down a great deal.
There is another ship in the picture that is difficult to make out. It is a pale silhouette in the middle background and appears to be PG-51 Charleston.
Photograph courtesy of Ray Daves via Fabia Pena & Carol Edgemon Hipperson author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor & World War II in the Pacific(Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins Press, 2008). Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Chris Hoehn, Ron Reeves,& Aryeh Weterhorn.
SS 158 62k The S-47 (SS-158) off San Francisco, CA., 7 September 1943, following overall. A platform has been added to her conning tower for a single 20-millimeter antiaircraft gun; her gun deck gun is a manually-operated dual-purpose 3-inch 50-caliber. Mounted just ahead of her periscopes is an SJ surface-search and torpedo-control radar. The small tripod forward of the deck gun supports an early type of underwater listening equipment. S-47 displays no identification except her national ensign, and wears dull black wartime submarine finish.
In the left background is the characteristic silhouette of a New Mexico class (BB-40 / 42) battleship. Both the Mississippi (BB-41) & Idaho (BB-42) were there at the time, with the Idaho arriving that day.
USN photo # NH 42192, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
BB-42 Idaho106k Idaho's (BB-42) band in 1943. This photo was contributed by Joe MacDonald, whose father, Ralph MacDonald served as a drummer in the ship's band from 1942-45. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho350k Adak, Alaska on 11 August 1943 during the Kiska campaign. Crew is mustered on the quarterdeck as Rear Admiral H. F. Kingman awards the Distinguished Flying Cross to Idaho's (BB-42) pilot Lt. Harris O. Torgerson for heroic deeds while flying at Attu. Cleveland class light cruiser in the background is Sante Fe (CL-60). USN photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
BB-42 Idaho98kPhotographed from Natoma Bay (CVE-62), shortly after the conclusion of the Gilberts Campaign, September - December 1943. The three battleships, in an anchorage protected by anti-torpedo nets, are (from left to right): Idaho (BB-42); New Mexico (BB-40); and Mississippi (BB-41).USNHC # 80-G-275940, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho106kThe Idaho (BB-42), New Mexico (BB-40) Mississippi (BB-41) at Pearl Harbor sometime after 5 December 1943. All three battleships then proceeded with the Marshall Islands assault force 12 January 1944. Photo courtesy of Joseph Macdonald.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-40 & 42 381k New Mexico (BB-40) & Idaho (BB-42) 7 December 1943, at Pearl Harbor. Note the anti-torpedo net in the foreground. Official USN Photograph # 4-ORD-085-16, courtesy of David Buell.
BB-42 Idaho482k Next on the Pacific timetable was the invasion of the Marshalls, and the veteran battleship arrived off Kwajalein early 31 January 1944 to soften up shore positions. Again she hurled tons of shells into Japanese positions until 5 February, when the outcome was one of certain victory. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-42 Idaho62kIdaho (BB-42) in Espiritu Santo floating dry dock ASBD-1 on 15 August 1944. Idaho was the first battleship to ever enter a floating drydock. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho85kPortside stern view of the Idaho (BB-42) in Espiritu Santo floating dry dock ASBD-1 on 15 August 1944.Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho227kIdaho (BB-42) entering Espiritu Santo floating dry dock ASBD-1 on 15 August 1944 for repairs to her "blisters". Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho158kStern view of the Idaho (BB-42) in Espiritu Santo floating dry dock ASBD-1 on 15 August 1944.USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-42 Idaho90kStanley Dexter Jupp relieves Herbert John Grassie 1944 as CO aboard the Idaho (BB-42). Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
BB-42 Idaho66kOctober 1944 photo of the Idaho (BB-42) anchored at Puget Sound Navy Yard just prior to her refit.USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho138k Close up views of port side showing the 5"/38 caliber single enclosed mounts added to the Idaho (BB-42) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in late 1944.Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho60kClose up views of starboard side showing the 5"/38 caliber single enclosed mounts added to the Idaho (BB-42) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in late 1944. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho103kThe Idaho (BB-42) is shown in it's final configuration.
This photo was taken by Edwin Elden Schroeder, a Seaman First Class in the 5th gunnery division on the Idaho.
He was a sight setter on gun 3 on the starboard side for a time during his tour, which began in December 1944, and ended May 1946.
Edwin E. Schroeder S1C/USN.
BB-42 Idaho902k Port side view of the Idaho (BB-42) as refitted and on post-refit trials on 2 January 1945.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
BB-42 Idaho441kBow view port side of the Idaho (BB-42) at Puget Sound, 2 January 1945. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald & Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-42 Idaho589k The Idaho (BB-42) after her final refit at Puget Sound Navy Yard that took place from 22 October 1944 - 1 January 1945. At this time her open mounted 5"/25 guns were replaced with ten enclosed 5"/38 weapons”. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
Text courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-42 Idaho170k After final refit with single 5"/38 caliber guns. Picture taken 2 January 1945 in Puget Sound, Washington, while ship was on post refit trials.USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho112kIdaho (BB-42) 7 January 1945 Puget Sound, WA, Speed 12 Knots. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald
Iwo Jima76k Photo taken from Vicksburg (CL-86) of the battleships Idaho (BB-42), Tennessee (BB-43), and New York (BB-34) (on right), during the bombardment of Iwo Jima, February 1945. Courtesy of modelwarships.com & submitted by Joesph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho55k Idaho (BB-42) bombarding Iwo Jima, prior to the landings there, circa 16-19 February 1945. Heavy cruiser in the right distance is probably Chester (CA-27). Photographed from Nevada (BB-36). Official USN photo # 80-G-303822.
BB-42 Idaho58kA painting by the artist Wayne Scarpaci entitled "By Dawn's Early Light".
At dawn on the second day of the Iwo Jima operation depicts the Idaho (BB-42) bombarding Mt. Suribachi. The aircraft are SB2C's from VB 17 Yorktown (CV-10). In the background is the Nevada (BB-36).
Drawing courtesy of artbywayne.com
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BB-42 Idaho63kAll of Idaho's (BB-42) guns are trained on Iwo Jima, circa late February 1945.Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho72kBombarding Iwo Jima, circa late February 1945.USNHC # NH 92509.
BB-40 New Mexico 70k Idaho (BB-42) at sea with two other battleships and an amphibious force command ship (AGC), probably at the time of the Iwo Jima or Okinawa operations, circa February-April 1945. Battleship in the center background is Idaho. The one further to the left is Tennessee (BB-43). Official USN photo USNHC # 80-G-K-3706, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho121kSitting among circling landing craft, the Idaho (BB-42) takes up her assigned bombardment station, off Okinawa as the invasion begins. The Idaho was flagship of Bombardment Unit 4 and had been hitting Japanese shore batteries and installations for almost a month before this 1 April 1945 photo.USN photo.
BB-42 Idaho81kFireing the 14"/50 guns of Turret Three at nearly point-blank range, during the bombardment of Okinawa, 1 April 1945.Official USN photo USNHC # 80-G-K-3844, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho86kBombarding Okinawa with her 14"/50 main battery guns, 1 April 1945.Official USN photo USNHC # 80-G-K-3829, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-42 Idaho49kBombarding Okinawa with her 14"/50 main battery guns, 1 April 1945.Official USN photo USNHC # 89368, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-40 New Mexico 245k Where there is smoke, there must be fire: Starboard broadside view of the New Mexico (BB-40) or Idaho (BB-42) underway with company and lots of anti-aircraft fire in the offering. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
Photo i.d. courtesy of David C. Nilsen, CTR USA, TRADOC.
BB-42 Idaho75k Idaho (BB-42) as seen from the Texas (BB-35) about to be hit by a kamikaze on 12 April 1945 off Okinawa. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho22k Damage from a kamakaize attack on the Idaho (BB-42) on 12 April 1945 off Okinawa. Photo from WW II Damage Reports, courtesy of NavSea / dcfp.navy.mil.
BB-42 Idaho 1.28k Description of the repairs made to Idaho (BB-42) in June 1945 by the repair ship Jason (AR-8) after her kamikaze damage at Okinawa in April 1945. Photos courtesy of Joe MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho104k View of her main 14"/50 and 40 mm taken onboard in 1945 either during Iwo Jima or Okinawa campaigns. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho74k View of one of her portside 5"inch mounts & 40 mm taken onboard in 1945 either during Iwo Jima or Okinawa campaigns. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho552kIdaho (BB-42) just before entering a floating drydock. This was either in April 1945 at Guam or July 1945 at Leyte. Those were the only two times the Idaho entered a floating drydock in 1945. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald &
BB-42 Idaho81k Idaho (BB-42) in the floating drydock ABSD-3, August 1945.Courtesy of hazegray.org.
Post War / Scrapping
BB-42 Idaho85kAfter refit, October 1945, Transiting the Panama Canal.Larry Proper / USN.
BB-42 Idaho233kIdaho (BB-42) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard around October 1945. Right below the 5 inch guns, the name Idaho is painted in large white letters. I have seen this in photos of other ships, and it was for the Navy Day celebrations of 1945. That would place the Idaho at Norfolk during or after October 1945. Also, notice how high the ship is riding in the water. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho 309k Three photo PDF taken at Norfolk, Va in 1946 when the ship was being place in mothballs. Photo courtesy of Joseph MacDonald.
BB-42 Idaho85kA line drawing by A.L. Raven of the Idaho (BB-42) as refitted with single 5in/38 guns. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-42 Idaho106k Idaho (BB-42) is put in reserve commission and retired, 25 May - 4 July 1946. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, (ret.)
BB-42 Idaho500k Idaho (BB-42) ties up in Annapolis, Maryland 10 December 1947 on her way to be scrapped. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, (ret.)
BB-42 Idaho193k Three battleships are on their way to Naval Vahalla: New Mexico (BB-40), Idaho (BB-42) , & Wyoming (AG-17) 31 January 1948. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, (ret.)
BB-32 Wyoming361k"Battleship Graveyard" - Three decommissioned battleships, the Idaho (BB-42) (left foreground), the Wyoming (AG-17), (right foreground), and the New Mexico (BB-40), lie alongside a pier at Port Newark, N.J. were they are being scrapped.
Workmen have progressed with the New Mexico which was the subject of considerable controversy between Newark city officials and the scrapping concern. The Wyoming, most recent arrivial, has its gun turrets protected by round white coverings.
Text courtesy of AP wirephoto of 17 December 1947 edition of the Baltimore Evening Sun, submitted by Joe MacDonald. Photo courtesy of Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner & submitted by Robert Hurst.
(NISMF)376kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
World War II Memorial371k A quote made by Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is inscribed on a granite wall at the National World War II Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Fleet Adm. Nimitz was the United States signatory to the surrender terms aboard the battleship Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, Japan on 2 September 1945, thus ending World War II. Established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the memorial honors all military veterans of World War II, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms. On 29 May 2004, the memorial was formally dedicated with an estimated 200,000 people expected to attend, and includes 100,000 visiting veterans of all wars. USN photo # N-0295M-011 by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain, courtesy of news.navy.mil.

USS IDAHO BB-42 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. David Graham
Address: PO Box 711247, San Diego, CA, 92171-1247
Phone: None Listed
E-mail: None


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.
ussidaho.com By David Roye
Back To The Main Photo IndexBack To The Battleship Photo Index Page

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