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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-48 USS WEST VIRGINIA
1920 - 1932

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Delta - Golf

To Additional Pages

1933 - 1941
Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor Repair & Rebuild / 1942 - April 1943
Reactivation / May 1943 - 1945
1946 - 1959


Colorado Class Battleship: Displacement 32,600 Tons, Dimensions, 624' (oa) x 97' 4" x 31' 4" (Max). Armament 8 x 16"/45 14 x 5"/51, 4 x 3"/50AA 2 x 21" tt.Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3 1/2" + 1 1/2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,900 SHP; Turbines with Electric Drive, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1080.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA, April 12, 1920. Launched November 19, 1921. Commissioned December 1, 1923. Decommissioned January 9, 1947. Stricken March 1, 1959.
Fate: Sold August 2, 1959 and broken up for scrap.
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Maryland 597k GIGANTIC PROJECTED AMERICAN WARSHIPS WILL OUTCLASS WORLD'S GREATEST VESSELS
With the picture of the battle cruiser (upper picture) is shown that of the new projected battleship of the Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), West Virginia (BB-48) and Washington (BB-47). They will be vessels of 32,600 tons, With twenty-one knots speed and carrying eight sixteen inch guns each. There will be twenty-two smaller guns besides four anti-air craft guns and torpedo tubes. Big as these ships will be they will be outclassed by the three still newer battleships already authorized, the ships of the 49, 50, 51 class.
Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH.
Photo from The Democratic Banner. (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) 1898-192?, 26 December 1916, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-48 West Virginia140k Keel of the West Virginia (BB-48) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA., on 7 August 1920. USN photo from the Mariners Museum, courtesy of Myron J. Smith Jr, from his book "Mountainer State Battlewagon", from Pictorial Histories Publishing, Missoula, Montana.
BB-48 West Virginia188k Construction of the West Virginia (BB-48) on 2 May 1921. She is about 30% built at this stage. USN photo from the Mariners Museum, courtesy of Myron J. Smith Jr, from his book "Mountainer State Battlewagon", from Pictorial Histories Publishing, Missoula, Montana.
BB-48 West Virginia173k The West Virginia (BB-48) about to be launched Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA,, on 19 November 1921.USN photo from the Mariners Museum, courtesy of Myron J. Smith Jr, from his book "Mountainer State Battlewagon", from Pictorial Histories Publishing, Missoula, Montana.
BB-48 West Virginia 1.30k Miss Alice Mann about to christen the super dreadnought West Virginia (BB-48), the newest addition to Uncle Sam's navy and the seventh of the electric battleships, launched at Newport News last Saturday and destined to grace the scrap pile with in a few months under the naval reduction program. If the American plan is agreed to, the new $40,000,000 dreadnought, now 60 per cent complete, will never be finished. Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 27 November 1921, Image 68, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
BB-48 West Virginia310kMiss Alice Mann and her family (I believe) stand in this uncut photo before West Virginia (BB-48) was christened.US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-48 West Virginia484kThe unfinished West Virginia (BB-48) stands before christening.US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-48 West Virginia742kText reads "THE LEVIATHAN, the world's second largest vessel, safely tied up at Newport News; ready for reconditioning to again enter the trans-Atlantic service. The mammoth vessel, soon to be renamed the President Harding, made the trip down from Hoboken, where she had been tied up for three years, without mishap. A radio phone in each stateroom will be a feature of the liner when she again goes into passenger service. In contrast to the Leviathan is the dreadnought at the right in process of scraping."
Clearly, the ship is West Virginia (BB-48) fitting out (not being scrapped). She would have been at Newport News when Leviathan arrived for reconditioning in April 1922.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Chuck Haberlein & .
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo by New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 30 April 1922, Image 65, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 03/15/14.
BB-48 West Virginia101kNewport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company Shipyard's pier area, February 1923. West Virginia (BB-48) is fitting out in the left center. In right center is S.S. Leviathan refitting for commercial service. US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 93533 submitted by Robert Hurst.
BB-48 West Virginia283kWest Virginia (BB-48) bearing indicator MK IV MOD 4.Photo No. f1029n21, Brooklyn Navy Yard Archive - courtesy National Archive and Records Administration, Northeast Region - NYC, Record Group 181 via flickr.com.
BB-48 West Virginia88k The West Virginia (BB-48) on 2 November 1923. She would be the last battleship built until the North Carolina (BB-55) was started in 1940, due to restriction imposed by the 1922 Washington Conference on Limitation of Naval Armament. USN photo from the Mariners Museum, courtesy of Myron J. Smith Jr, from his book "Mountainer State Battlewagon", from Pictorial Histories Publishing, Missoula, Montana.
BB-48 West Virginia179kThe bow of West Virginia (BB-48) in dry dock at Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1924.Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
BB-48 West Virginia58kBow view of West Virginia (BB-48) anchored, possibly at Hampton Roads after the morning of 16 June 1924 when she experienced a loss of power and lost headway due to an engine casualty, and grounded on the soft mud bottom.
After repairs had been effected, West Virginia became flagship for the Commander, Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet, on 30 October 1924, thus beginning her service as an integral part of the "backbone of the fleet" - as the battleships were regarded.
USN photo by Abrahams from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1924 submitted by Robert Hurst.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-48 West Virginia58k Stern view of West Virginia (BB-48), 1924. USN photo by Abrahams from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1924 submitted by Robert Hurst.
BB-48 West Virginia80kThe silhouette of the West Virginia (BB-48) by moonlight. Taken about 1924. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-48 West Virginia82kSailors aboard the West Virginia (BB-48) hoist a 16"/45 inch shell on board ship, circa 1924.Photo courtesy of Wendy Chandler via Bill Gonyo.
BB-48 West Virginia82kSailors aboard the West Virginia (BB-48) posing on the fantail next to one of the ship's scout planes, circa 1924.Photo courtesy of Wendy Chandler via Bill Gonyo.
BB-48 West Virginia184k Post card photo of the West Virginia (BB-48) going through the Panama Canal in October 1924. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
BB-48 West Virginia427kWest Virginia (BB-48) transiting the Panama Canal in October 1924. Photo courtesy of Wayne McLaughlin via Fred Willshaw.
BB-48 West Virginia55kWest Virginia (BB-48) transiting the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal in October 1924. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-48 West Virginia23kThe forward guns of the West Virginia (BB-48) in high seas between 1924 and 1925.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-48 West Virginia37kDeck of the West Virginia (BB-48) awash in high seas between 1924 and 1925.USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
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. U.S. Navy photograph courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-48 West Virginia155k Sailors "man the rails" in honor of the President of Haiti and the U.S. Sec. of the Navy who were reviewing the fleet off the coast of Haiti, circa 1925. USN photo from the Mariners Museum, courtesy of Myron J. Smith Jr, from his book "Mountainer State Battlewagon", from Pictorial Histories Publishing, Missoula, Montana.
BB-48 West Virginia117kCaptain Thomas J. Senn was the commanding officer of the West Virginia (BB-48) at her commissioning. He was captain from 1 December 1923 to 5 May 1925. He was promoted to Rear Admiral and served as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations from 1925-1928. Photo from the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
BB-48 West Virginia197kCaptain Arthur J. Hepburn took command of the West Virginia (BB-48) on 5 May 1925 and was relieved on 5 June 1926.Photo scanned from the book, "Admiral William Veazie Pratt, U.S. Navy: A Sailor's Life", by Gerald E. Wheeler, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-45 Colorado106kThe United States Battle Fleet steaming in column off the California coast during the middle or later 1920s. The three leading ships are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46) and West Virginia (BB-48) followed by Tennessee (BB-43) and three older battleships. Photograph taken from California (BB-44). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # 80-G-695093, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-45 Colorado54kThe photo here might be on the same occasion as the above, but from a different angle. Then again maybe not. It was taken off a 16mm film. Official U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
Battlefleet44kThe U.S. battle-fleet framed through a porthole. It was taken off a 16mm film. Photo might be from the same sequence as above.Official U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
BB-48 West Virginia272kThe West Virginia (BB-48) as flagship for the Commander, Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet, followed by other battleships steaming in line ahead during the middle through later 1920's. Note SOC float-planes on the catapults.
The four leading ships behind her are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), California (BB-44) & Tennessee (BB-43).
Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-48 West Virginia141kPhotographed in March 1926, while anchored with other ships of the U.S. Fleet. An Omaha class light cruiser is in the right distance, with destroyers beyond.Photograph # NH 46415, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-48 West Virginia46kCaptain Wat Tyler Cluverius was the Commanding Officer of the battleship West Virginia (BB-48) from 5 June 1926 to 26 June 1928.Photo from the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
BB-48 West Virginia240kWith the Langley (CV-1) moored in the foreground and the Manhattan Bridge silhouetted in the background, the West Virginia (BB-48) is assisted by tugs and moved out of her berth in May, 1927.US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.253.7128.001 courtesy of Mike Green.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Charles Sauer.
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. Battlefleet from above, possibly from the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3). Photo courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
BB-48 West Virginia221kCirca later 1920's plus photo of the West Virginia (BB-48). In order to keep pace with technological developments in ordnance, gunnery, and fire control-as well as engineering and aviation-the ship underwent modifications designed to increase the ship's capacity to perform her designed function. Some of the alterations effected included the replacement of her initial 3-inch antiaircraft battery with 5-inch/25-caliber dual-purpose guns; the addition of platforms for .50-caliber machine guns at the foremast and maintop; and the addition of catapults on her quarterdeck, aft, and on her number III, or "high" turret. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-48 West Virginia110kCapt. Edward Theodore Constein was commanding officer of the battleship West Virginia (BB-48) from 15 June 1929 to 26 June 1930. Photo from the Arnold Genthe Collection (Library of Congress) via Bill Gonyo.
BB-48 West Virginia411kThe West Virginia (BB-48) with an O3U-1, designated 5-2, mounted on a Mark IV catapult atop #3 Turret in 1930.Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-48 West Virginia16k Commemorative postal cover marking the West Virginia's (BB-48) "Iron Man Award", 4 July 1932. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
BB-34 New York413k New York (BB-34) ahead of Pennsylvania (BB-38). The next ship ahead is a Tennessee class (BB-43 /44) based on the slope of the turret roofs. (Uniform slope back to front - no kink like the twin 16" mounts on the Colorado's (BB-45). Based on the relatively full appearance of the forward superstructure, I am leaning toward California (BB-44) which had an enlarged flag bridge as Battle Force Flagship. The other three are obviously Tennessee (BB-43) and/or Colorado class (BB-45 / 48) but are too indistinct to ID specifically. Because of the boom cranes on the sterns, the photo was taken between 1931 and 1934. Photo courtesy of Kerry Garrett.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Richard M. Jensen.
BB-48 West Virginia110kCapt. Walter Stratton Anderson commanded West Virginia (BB-48) from January 1932 until April 1933. West Virginia won the battle efficiency pennant for the entirety of his command, a record that stands unique for a battleship and for a captain.Photo from the Naval History and Heritage Command via Bill Gonyo.

USS WEST VIRGINIA BB-48 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
On Board Decmber 7 1941

Contact Name: Mike Mullins
Address: 2933 Cottonwood Lane Chester Springs, PA 19425
Phone: 610-952-3542
E-mail: usswestvirginia.org


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.
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