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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-66 KENTUCKY

Radio Call Sign: November - Bravo - Alpha - Sierra


Iowa Class Battleship: Displacement 45,000 Tons, Dimensions, 887' 3" (oa) x 108' 2" x 37' 9" (Max). Armament 9 x 16"/50 20 x 5"/38AA, 80 x 40mm 49 x 20mm, 3 AC. Armor, 12 1/8" Belt, 17" Turrets, 1 1/2" +6" +5/8" Decks, 17 1/4" Conning Tower. Machinery, 212,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 1921.

Operational and Building Data: From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. III, p. 628.
The keel of Kentucky (BB-66), an Iowa class (BB-61/66) battleship, was laid at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., March 7, 1942. Construction was suspended 17 February 1947 when the battleship was 72.1 percent complete. Her name was struck from the Navy List 9 June 1958; and her uncompleted hulk was sold for scrapping to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., 31 October.
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BB-66 Kentucky 106k The keel of the Kentucky (BB-66) is seen being laid on 7 March 1942 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Work progressed until June, 1942, when the completed section that would be the base for the machinery spaces was launched to clear the shipway for higher priority construction. This section remained at a nearby dock until work resumed over two years later. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
BB-66 Kentucky 118k Bottom structure is prepared for launching, at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, 10 June 1942. It was launched to clear the shipway for landing ship tank (LST) construction. Work was not resumed on Kentucky's (BB-66) hull for nearly thirty more months. Copied from History of the Norfolk Navy Yard in World War II, page 157, in the collections of the Navy Department Library, 1987, photo USNHC # NH 96327.
BB-66 Kentucky 394k For whom the bell of the battleship Kentucky (BB-66) would toll, it would have only one six in it's number. Photo courtesy of Tom Herwer.
(BB-66) Kentucky 148k 11 January 1945 photo of the Kentucky's (BB-66) construction showing a section of the triple bottom. The foundations are for boilers Nos. 5 and 6 in No. 3 boiler room and the bulkhead is located at frame 119. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 112k The Kentucky (BB-66) on 11 June 1945. The carrier fitting out in the background is the Lake Champlain (CV-39).U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 140k 4 July 1945 photo of the installation of the lower armor belt on the Kentucky (BB-66) . The pin brackets used to attach the upper belt to the lower belt are evident. While the first four ships of the class were completed with their upper and lower armored belts secured by key ways, the Illinois (BB-65) and Kentucky were designed with a pin securing arrangement. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 98k 4 July 1945 photo of the installation of the lower armor belt on the Kentucky (BB-66) . The pin brackets used to attach the upper belt to the lower belt are evident. While the first four ships of the class were completed with their upper and lower belts secured by key ways, the Illinois (BB-65) and Kentucky were designed with a pin.The 19 degree slope of the armor can be easily seen here. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 173k 7 September 1945 photo of the Kentucky's (BB-66) construction showing the torpedo defense system, as seen looking towards the bow. The lower armor belt has been installed to the No. 1 turret area of the ship, and forms Torpedo Bulkhead No. 3. Torpedo Bulkhead No. 2 is seen further aft (towards the camera) along with the framing supports for Torpedo Bulkhead No. 1. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 140k 7 September 1945 photo of the Kentucky's (BB-66) construction construction showing the 3 inch STS plate for Turret No. 2 lower barbette being fitted to the 3rd deck.U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 226k 22 October 1945 photo of the Kentucky's (BB-66) forward turrets showing the lower armor belt installed between them. Both barbettes appear to be mostly complete, awaiting the lower roller track and training rack installation while work is progressing on the main armor deck supports at this area of the ship.U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak,submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 462k 4 February 1946 photo of the Kentucky (BB-66) as seen from the bow looking towards the stern. The twin rudder stock housings are easily seen in the foreground along with the port side lower armor belt and the aft torpedo defense system framing. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak,submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 117k 4 February 1946 photo of the Kentucky's (BB-66) construction looking aft from the bow area of the ship. The forward armor bulkhead is easily visible and consists of five pieces of armor attached to a lower sixth, not visible, horizontal piece. This bulkhead tapers from 14.5 inches thick at the top to 11.7 inches thick at the bottom.
The first two ships of the class, Iowa (BB-61) and New Jersey (BB-62), had a thinner bulkhead here, tapering from 11.3 inches to 8.5. inches. Treaty restrictions were responsible for this difference and the armor had already been ordered for the two lead ships when these restrictions were lifted. The original, thinner armor provided only marginal protection at expected battle ranges and then only for oblique, not straight on shell hits.
U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak,submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 89k Kentucky (BB-66) under construction at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia. Photograph was released for publication in February 1946.Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-701942, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-66 Kentucky 1.7m High resolution photo of the Kentucky (BB-66) under construction at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia. USN photo via USNIP submitted by Pieter Bakels.
(BB-66) Kentucky 153k The Kentucky's (BB-66) construction as seen on 26 March 1946 looking aft from the forward area of the ship. The lower belt is complete to the forward armor bulkhead and can be distinguished by the holes for the upper armored belt alignment pins. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 152k The Kentucky's (BB-66) construction as seen on 26 March 1946 looking forward from the stern area of the ship. The after portion of the torpedo defense system can be seen here and the lower armor belt has been completed to the after armor bulkhead, just aft of turret No. 3.U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 99k Kentucky (BB-66) under construction at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, 11 September 1946. Her construction was suspended five months later, on 17 February 1947. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-703023, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-66 Kentucky 1.44k Kentucky (BB-66) AP photo taken 21 December 1949.
The AP caption states that she will be floated out of the dock at Norfolk Naval Shipyard the following February. What is interesting is that much has been written that Missouri (BB-63) was floated out of her building dock in order to clear the dock for Missouri , as if that was the only reason, but here the caption clearly states that the plan was to float her out on a planned date and stated as such months before Missouri went aground.
Note the aircraft carrier in the background.
Photo courtesy of David Buell.
Photo added 06/22/12.
(BB-66) Kentucky 126k The Kentucky's (BB-66) twin skegs as seen on 16 January 1950 just prior to her launching. The skeg mounted inner shaft tubes and the rudder posts are seen in this photo. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 63k Kentucky (BB-66) is moved from her building dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, circa 20 January 1950. The ship, completed only up to her second deck, was launched to clear the drydock, so that Missouri (BB-63) could undergo repairs there following her 17 January 1950 grounding. Note that Kentucky upper bow section is stowed on her deck, immediately in front of her forward barbette. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-413972, now in the collections of the National Archives.
(BB-66) Kentucky 76k Kentucky (BB-66) is moved from her building dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, circa 20 January 1950. The ship, completed only up to her second deck, was launched to clear the drydock, so that Missouri (BB-63) could undergo repairs for damage received when she went aground on 17 January 1950. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-413973, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-66 Kentucky 405k Kentucky (BB-66) dockside shot dated 13 March 1955. Note that she still has her bow, not having lost it yet to Wisconsin (BB-64).
The caption on the back says that Rep. William E. Hess (R-Ohio) of the Armed Services Committee suggested that Kentucky be converted into a guided missile ship.
AP Wirephoto courtesy of David Buell.
BB-66 Kentucky5.74kINSURV (The Board of Inspection and Survey) inspection for Kentucky (BB-66). It answers many questions about the whole ship as she existed in January 1956. PDF courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
(BB-66) Kentucky 56k Ship's bow being transported on a large crane barge from Newport News, Virginia, to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, circa May-June 1956. It was used to repair Wisconsin (BB-64), which had been damaged in a collision on 6 May 1956. Tug closest to camera is Alamingo (YTB-227). Tug on other side of barge is Apohola (YTB-502). Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-670850, now in the collections of the National Archives.
(BB-66) Kentucky 61k Moored at Norfolk Navy Yard on 24 October 1956, the Kentucky (BB-66) is shown 72% complete and finished up to her second deck. She is missing her bow which was used to repair the Wisconsin (BB-64) after her 6 May 1955 collision with the Eaton (DD-510). The salvaged parts of the Wisconsin's bow and unused 5"/38 caliber gun mounts are stored on her deck. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # NH 93589, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-66 Kentucky 196k Kentucky (BB-66) moored to the pier at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, 24 October 1956 with YO-145 & Crownblock (YO-48) alongside on the right. The Mississippi (AG-128) is moored to the other side of the pier. Official USN photo # DSR-10187, courtesy of David Buell.
BB-66 Kentucky 235k Suited man carrying a bucket walks down the deck of the Kentucky (BB-66) to a maintenance shack on the stern. Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, 24 October 1956. Official USN photo # DSR-18092, courtesy of David Buell.
(BB-66) Kentucky 196k The Kentucky (BB-66) was considered for a number of conversions including an anti-aircraft battleship and a guided missile battleship. She was finally declared surplus and struck from the Navy List on 9 June 1958. She is docking here at Norfolk Navy Yard on 16 July 1958 for removal of her engines prior to scrapping. The upper portion of her bow is forward of No. 1 barbette and the undamaged portion of the Wisconsin's (BB-64) bow is just aft. Note the gunhouses for her entire secondary battery stored on her deck. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book "IOWA CLASS BATTLESHIPS-Their Design, Weapons and Equipment" by Robert F. Sumrall & Tom Walkowiak, submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 298k Artists conception of what the Kentucky (BB-66) would have looked like following the SCB 19 conversion as BBG-1, circa 1958. Drawing courtesy of artbywayne.com
(BB-66) Kentucky 82k Kentucky (BB-66) being moved for removal of her engines prior to scrapping in July, 1958. U. S. Navy photo & partial text from the book ""BATTLESHIPS-United States Battleships in World War Two" " by Robert O. Dulin, Jr. and William H. Garzke, Jr., submitted by Mike Green.
(BB-66) Kentucky 49k Kentucky (BB-66) being towed to the Boston Metals Company, Baltimore, Maryland, for scrapping, 31 October 1958. Note bow sections and 5"/38 gun shields on her deck. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # NH 89297, courtesy of the Boston Metals Company.
BB-66 Kentucky 636k Baltimore MA., 6 February , 1959. Last Voyage. The battleship Kentucky (BB-66) whose keel was laid in 1942 but never was completed, is towed up Chesapeake Bay to a Baltimore scrap yard today, where it will be junked. Construction cost $55,000,000 before work on the ship was stopped with the end of WW II. The hull remained in the Norfolk VA. area until it was sold last year to the Boston Metals Company of Baltimore for $1,176,666. This picture was made from the Chesapeake Bay bridge by Sunpapers Photograper Ellis Malashuk. AP Wirephoto courtesy of David Buell.
(NISMF)371kA 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.

(BB-66) KENTUCKY History
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