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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-56 USS WASHINGTON
Jan. 1943 - Sept 1945
War in the Pacific

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Delta - Charlie

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1938 - 1941 / Construction - Shakedown
Jan. - August 1942 / War in the Atlantic
Sept. - December 1942 / Guadalcanal & Fourth Battle of Savo / Island
Post WW-II


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-55 North Carolina127kDrawing prepared circa 1943 by the Bureau of Ships forCamouflage Measure 32v6, Design 10D intended for battleships of the North Carolina class (BB-55 / 56). This plan shows the ship's starboard side, bow, stern, superstructure ends and exposed decks. This design was not used on any ship of this class. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-156817, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-55 North Carolina109kDrawing prepared circa 1943 by the Bureau of Ships forCamouflage Measure 32v6, Design 10D intended for battleships of the North Carolina class (BB-55 / 56). This plan shows the ship's port side, bow, stern, superstructure ends and exposed decks. This design was not used on any ship of this class. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-156816, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-56 Washington 106k Photo taken on 16 February 1943 as Admiral William Halsey pins the Navy Cross on Admiral Willis Augustus Lee for his leadership and victory during the Battle at Guadalcanal on November 14-15, 1942. The ceremony was held on the Washington (BB-56). USN photo courtesy of Mike Green. Photo added 09/10/08.
BB-56 Washington 105k 16 February 1943 photo of Admiral Willis Augustus Lee speaking to the assembled Washington (BB-56) crew after being presented the Navy Cross. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green. Photo added 09/10/08.
Washington 167k Washington (BB-56) as seen on 2 May 1943 astern of the Enterprise(CV-6). The ships are part of TF 16 and are enroute to Pearl Harbor after leaving Noumea on April 30 1943. TF 16 arrived at Pearl Harbor on May 8th. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 74k Maneuvering off Oahu, Hawaii, in Mid-1943. Taken by a Yorktown (CV-10) photographer. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-K-15103, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-56 Washington 175k Bow-on/overhead showing the ship at sea during 1943. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 65k Washington (BB-56) on 12 November, 1943 with unknown Essex class carrier, (Probably) Yorktown (CV-10) or Lexington (CV-16), steams towards the Gilbert Islands to take part in Operation Galvanic. US Navy Photo # 80-G-204897, now in the collection of the National Archives. Courtesy of Tracy White.
BB-56 Washington231kA view of the action over the bow during the Gilbert Islands Operation. Note the bow 20mm guns and crew in ready position and also the carrier steaming ahead. December, 1943.USN photo by Capt. Herbert Campbell, courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Washington 64k Washington (BB-56) as seen from the Essex (CV-9) in 1944 as part of TF 58. Interesting features the photo include sailors on the flight deck, with one signaling another ship. Other items include deck edge guns; a 40mm quadruple gun mount and a single 5"/38 caliber gun mount A.A gun. An unidentified Independence class light carrier is seen on the far side of the Washington with other unidentified ships in the far distance. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 72k Line art drawing of the Washington (BB-56), 1944. Contributed by Joe Radigan.
BB-56 Washington 89k Alongside Vestal (AR-4) after collision with Indiana (BB-58) on 1 February 1944. USNHC # NH 68352. Contributed by Joe Radigan.
BB-56 Washington 83k Washington (BB-56) underway with a collapsed bow, after colliding with Indiana (BB-58) during the Marshalls Operation, 1 February 1944. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 68353.
BB-56 Washington 106k Washington (BB-56) damage received in her 1 February 1944 collision with Indiana (BB-58) Note accordian pleating of her side plating. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 68354.
BB-56 Washington 93k Washington (BB-56) damage received in her 1 February 1944 collision with Indiana (BB-58) View looks inboard through the opening in the hull forward of the starboard bow.U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 68356.
BB-56 Washington 42k The bow of the Washington (BB-56) after the collision with the Indiana (BB-58). The picture was taken at Majuro Lagoon on 2 February 1944. Only the anchor chains prevented the main deck from totally collapsing. USNHC # NH 68355. Contributed by Joe Radigan.
BB-56 Washington 26k Photo taken 3 February 1944 at Majuro lagoon after her collision with the Indiana (BB-58) which occurred two days earlier. Due to the demolition of the bow, she was unable to drop anchors. She was lashed to the tanker Pecos (AO-65) with ten 10" hawsers. This photo also shows the repair ship Vestal(AR-4) whose divers inspected the ship's bottom, screws and rudders for damage and who also cut away part of the tangled mass of wreckage at the edge of the damaged area. This enabled the crews to shore up the ship's bulkheads and reduced the drag and stress on the hull for her trip to Pearl Harbor where a temporary bow was fitted. The ship's bow was permanently replaced when she arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard. When the ship arrived at Puget Sound on 12 March 1944, her new bow was already fabricated and waiting for installation when the ship was dry-docked. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 101k Washington (BB-56) in drydock at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard while receiving temporary repairs, circa March 1944. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 101174.
BB-56 Washington 33k Photo from 13 March 1944 shows the Washington (BB-56) entering drydock #5 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Wash. The false bow was fitted at Pearl Harbor. The ship was overhauled following the installation of the new bow. The ship was in drydock until 9 April 1944. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 80k Off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, 26 April 1944, following repair of collision damage to her bow. Photograph USNHC # 19-N-63999 from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
BB-56 Washington 221k Washington (BB-56) at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, 26 April 1944, following repair of collision damage to her bow after collision with Indiana (BB-58). Navy Yard, Washington, 26 April 1944. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 90k This photo looks similar to many photos taken in April, 1944 during her post refit trials. The number of crew visible on the deck and the two OS2-U Kingfishers on the stern are more keys. The Washington (BB-56) carried Kingfishers until she was refit during the summer of 1945. At that time they were replaced by the new Seahawk aircraft. USN photograph courtesy of David Buell. Text courtesy of Mike Green.
Washington 648k She is in her final WW2 configuration and is seen cruising at 10 knots in the Straits of Juan de Fuca off Port Angeles, Washington on 29 April 1944. BuAer photo #10736, courtesy of David Buell.
BB-56 Washington 152k The Washington (BB-56) as seen from a port quarter overhead view. This is a good detail shot of the ship with her secondary armament, light A.A. armament and flight handling facilities easily visible. All 1.1"/75 quadruple mounts have been replaced and supplemented with fifteen 40mm quadruple mounts. The ship had just completed a refit and new bow installation at Puget Sound Navy Yard, necessitated by her collision with the Indiana (BB-58) on February 1st off Kwajalein Atoll. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 139k Stern view of the Washington (BB-56) after her April, 1944 refit. USN photo courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 109k Washington (BB-56) at sea, May 1944. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-358634.
BB-56 Washington 413k Main Deck, port side, aft of Washington (BB-56) with 16-Inch projectiles being lowered for #1 turret. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-56 Washington 214k # 1 sixteen-Inch turret fires a salvo to port. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-56 Washington 65k A very impressive and rare line of fast battleships during the Marianas Operation, June 1944. Battleships are from front to rear: Washington (BB-56),North Carolina (BB-55), South Dakota (BB-57). Others involved were Indiana (BB-58), Alabama (BB-60), Iowa (BB-61), and New Jersey (BB-62). Here the ships are conducting AA practice to port. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington 46k Washington (BB-56) in company with the Hancock (CV-19) during flight operations. The "wet bow characteristics" of the North Carolina class is evident here even though the sea is moderate. High speed sailing, as in flight operations, meant water and spray over the bow. USN photo.
BB-56 Washington & friends 356k Four Battleships in a lagoon in the Pacific which is not identified. The four Battleships are identifiable by their paint schemes: New Jersey (BB-62) and Iowa (BB-61) in the foreground, and Washington (BB-56) and North Carolina (BB-55) further back, surrounded by destroyers and other ships. The resolution of the photo is not that great, but the photo is of interest due to the number of Battleships in one frame. The credit on the back of the photo is Official US Navy, via Acme Newspictures, Inc., dated 7/8/44. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-56 Washington 86k Washington (BB-56) in the Pacific Ocean. Photo taken late '44-early '45. USN photo.
Task Group 38.3 570k Task Group 38.3 beginning to reform a column formation after making a simultaneous turn to port. The ships are entering Ulithi Anchorage on 12 December 1944 after strikes against the Japanese in the Philippines. Ships visible in this photo are: Langley (CVL-27); Ticonderoga (CV-14); Washington (BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60); Biloxi (CL-80); Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Task Group 38.3 455k Task Group 38.3 enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944 while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27); Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60); Biloxi (CL-80); Mobile(CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-301351 & HN-SD-97-00850 now in the collections of the National Archives. Photo from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Task Group 38.31.2m
Task Group 38.3 enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944 while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); South Dakota (BB-57); Santa Fe (CL-60).
USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
TG.38.3 575k TG.38.3 entering Ulithi on 12 December 1944, taken by Essex (CV-9), & showing the Ticonderoga(CV-14); Washington(BB-56); North Carolina (BB-55); and South Dakota (BB-57). USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
TG.38.3 88k Battleships of the U.S Pacific Fleet following Ticonderoga(CV-14) (out of photo ahead of the Washington) entering Ulithi Atoll on 12 December 1944. Washington(BB-56), North Carolina (BB-55), and South Dakota (BB-57) are in line ahead formation. Note that three camouflage schemes are shown; MS22 (Washington), MS32/18d (North Carolina) and MS21 (South Dakota). Naval Historical Photo # 80-G-301950 submitted by Mike Green.
Washington 78k The light crusier Santa Fe (CL-60) at sea during the Philippines campaign, 12 December 1944. Washington (BB-56) is alongside an oiler in the center background. Photographed from Essex (CV-9). Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-301357, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-36 Nevada59k Nevada (BB-36) bombarding Iwo Jima, 19 February 1945. A North Carolina class battleship, probably Washington (BB-56) is in the left distance.
Note: The ship in the background is the Washington, as this ship doesn't have the secondary conn that the North Carolina (BB-55) had added on the tower foremast.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-K-3510, now in the collections of the National Archives. Photo i.d. & partial text courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 131k Washington (BB-56) with fleet oiler Naskaskia (AO-27) off Okinawa, April 1945. USN photo courtesy of Jerry Mason & Mike Green.
BB-56 Washington 205k Washington (BB-56) clearing the T3-S2-A1 tanker Kaskaskia (AO-27) off Okinawa, April 1945. USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
BB-56 Washington 61k The Washington(BB-56) after May, 1944. The MS22 camouflage scheme was improperly applied when her bow was replaced, as it wasn't parallel to the waterline at the bow. 5"/38 mount barrels pointing upwards indicate refueling approaching or just completed. The condition of the hull paint indicates a need for repainting which further indicates Okinawa operations.
This photo is in the book "Closing the Circle" by Edwin B. Hoyt and this book describes Naval Operation at the end of the WW2. "If" this photo in Hoyt's book is correct then it an April, 1945 photo of the ship. The Washington left for her final refit in April/May, 1945.
USN photograph courtesy of David Buell. Text courtesy of Mike Green.

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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