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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-56 USS WASHINGTON
Post WW-II

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Delta - Charlie

To Additional Pages

1938 - 1941 / Construction - Shakedown
Jan. - August 1942 / War in the Atlantic
Sept. - December 1942 / Guadalcanal & Fourth Battle of Savo / Island
Jan. 1943 - Sept 1945 / War in the Pacific


North Carolina Class Battleship: Displacement 35,000 Tons, Dimensions, 728' 9" (oa) x 108' 4" x 35' 6" (Max). Armament 9 x 16"/45 20 x 5"/38AA, 16 x 1.1" 12 x 0.5", 3 AC. Armor, 12" Belt, 16" Turrets, 1 1/2" Main Deck, +5 1/2" Armored (2nd) deck, +3/4" Third Deck, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 115,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 27 Knots, Crew 1880.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard, June 14, 1938. Launched June 1, 1940. Commissioned May 15, 1941. Decommissioned June 27, 1947. Stricken June 1, 1960.
Fate: Sold, June 1, 1961 and broken up for scrap.
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BB-56 Washington 265k Running post-overhaul trials in Puget Sound, Washington, on 10 September 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-56 Washington 120k Washington (BB-56) on post refit trials on 10 September 1945. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 78k Washington's (BB-56) crew on shore leave while the ship is docked in Balboa Inner Harbor, prior to transiting the Panama Canal in October, 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Green.
Washington 158k US battleship making passage through section of Panama Canal as most of crew stand above decks, canal pulley trains visible on both sides of lock on 12 October 1945.
This is the battleship Washington (BB-56). I base this identification on the SK air search radar [the North Carolina (BB-55) was fitted with the oval shaped SK-2], the fact that there are only 5 port holes at the front of the bridge [North Carolina was equipped with 8] and the fact that there is no secondary conning level on the tower foremast, which was mounted on North Carolina , but never mounted on the Washington .
Photographer: Thomas D. Mcavoy, courtesy of time.com. via / images.google.com & Life. Photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Green. Photo added 11/24/08.
BB-56 Washington 122k Washington (BB-56) and Enterprise (CV-6) transiting the Panama Canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic, early in October 1945. They were then en route to New York to participate in Navy Day celebrations. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-K-6568 now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-56 Washington 97k Washington (BB-56) and Enterprise (CV-6) in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal, 11 October 1945. Night Air Group 55 planes are on the Big E's flight deck. A US Navy blimp is overhead. Photo & text courtesy of William T. Barr via Joel Shepherd & cv6.org, submitted by Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 77k Enterprise (CV-6) (foreground), Washington (BB-56) (behind Big E) and North Carolina (BB-55) (only stack tops visible), docked in Balboa Inner Harbor, prior to transiting the Panama Canal, October 1945. Photo & text courtesy of Arnold W. Olson via Joel Shepherd & cv6.org, submitted by Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 174k 12 October 1945 photo of the ship leaving the Panama Canal for what was her last transit through the Canal. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 116k Washington (BB-56) entering Philadelphia on October, 1945 to celebrate Navy Day at her birthplace. The close up shot showsgood detail of her A.A. batteries, radars and general ship layout in her final wartime appearance. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 149k Washington (BB-56) entering Philadelphia on October, 1945 to celebrate Navy Day at her birthplace. The close up shot shows good detail of her A.A. batteries, radars and general ship layout in her final wartime appearance. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 431k Taken in 1946 and appears to be taken when the Washington (BB-56) and North Carolina (BB-55) were used as host ships for the midshipman's cruises in the middle to late summer. The two North Carolina's were kept active longer than the South Dakota's due to their better crew quarters and living conditions.
The distinctive funnel caps and the properly applied MS 22 camouflage scheme (April, 1944 scheme was improperly applied with the blue/gray hull border being below the anchor and not parallel to the sea at the main decks lowest point/ this was corrected in June-through September, 1945 refit).
It looks like all of the deck mounted 40mm mounts have been removed except for those mounted next to #3 main turret and those on the extreme stern. There are 11 mounts total, where she used to carry 15 mounts.
The boat handling cranes are easily seen at her aft superstructure and unlike some of her fast battleship sister and cousins, she was scrapped with these still mounted.
Two “SEAHAWK” spotting planes are stores at the stern catapults. She also retained her catapult structures too, unlike some of the other fast battleships.
USN photo courtesy of David Buell. Partial text courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 72k The Washington (BB-56) and North Carolina (BB-55) operating together after WW-II. Courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 82k Washington (BB-56) scoresheet on the conning tower. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 131k 19 June 1947 as the ship was moved from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the reserve ship facility at Bayonne, New Jersey. She was formally decommissioned on 27 June 1947 at 1500 hours. Along with the North Carolina (BB-55), Enterprise (CV-6), Franklin (CV-13) and Wasp (CV-18), she spent her final years until stricken and finally scrapped in 1961-62 at Kearney, New Jersey. USN photo.
Bayonne 210k Bow view of the North Carolina (BB-55) & Washington (BB-56) in reserve at Bayonne, New Jersey on 2 February 1950. Photographer: Herbert Gehr, courtesy of time.com. via / images.google.com & Life. Photo added 11/24/08.
BB-56 Washington 37k North Carolina (BB-55) & Washington (BB-56) in reserve at Bayonne, New Jersey on 25 February 1951. Note the weathered and peeling paint work as well as the light metal "igloos" covering the ships light AA weapons (Treasure Island Museum-SFCB). Photo courtesy of Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner & submitted by Robert Hurst.
Bayonne Naval Supply Depot, New Jersey.112kBayonne Naval Supply Depot, New Jersey. Photographed on 15 April 1953 with ships in reserve.
The two large ships at right on the near side of the peninsula are Alaska (CB-1) and Guam (CB-2). The next two ships astern are North Carolina (BB-55) and Washington (BB-56). Further astern are (from outboard to inboard) Fargo (CL-106), Albemarle (AV-5) and Wakefield (AP-21). The carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Franklin (CV-13) are at the far left.
Also present are the escort carriers Card (CVE-11), Croatan (CVE-25), Mission Bay (CVE-59), and Guadalcanal (CVE-60) along with the cruisers Providence (CL-82), Little Rock (CL-92), Spokane (CLAA-120) and Fresno (CLAA-121). One of the two CLAAs is tied up outboard of the Alaskas'.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-480262, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-56 Washington 142k Bow views of the Washington (BB-56) (on right) and the Battle Crusier Alaska (CB-1) in June 1961 as they lie in the scrapping berths in Newark, New Jersey. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-56 Washington 85k Stern view of the Washington (BB-56) (on left) and the Battle Crusier Alaska (CB-1) in June 1961. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-56 Washington 98k Amidships view of the scrapping of the Washington (BB-56) (on left) and the Alaska (CB-1) in June 1961. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
(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 Dec 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 Sept. 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 will be formally dedicated with an estimated 200,000 people expected to attend, and includes 100,000 visiting veterans of all wars. U.S. Navy photo # N-0295M-011 by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
BB-56 Washington 83k The Washington's (BB-56) bell located at the new Naval Museum at the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wa. Photo courtesy of Larry Lee RM1/USN Ret.

WASHINGTON BB-56 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. John A Brown
Address: 3697 Doney St #-3697 Columbus, OH, 43213-1716
Phone: 614-237-6775
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.
U.S.S.Washington Web page

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