Patch
Duty Station Details

Strength
Battleship
 
Type
Surface Vessels
 
Existing/Disbanded
Decommissioned
Year
1923 - 1947

Description
Original photo pre-Pearl Harbor


















The fourth and final ship of the 
Colorado Class Battleship, USS West Virginia (BB-48) was laid down at Newport News Shipbuilding on April 12, 1920.  Construction moved forward and on November 19, 1921, it slid down the ways with Alice W. Mann, daughter of West Virginia coal magnate Isaac T. Mann, serving as sponsor.  After another two years of work, West Virginia was completed and entered commission on December 1, 1923, with Captain Thomas J. Senn in command. 

: 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.
 

USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Pearl Harbor:

On the morning of December 7, 1941, West Virginia was moored along Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row, outboard of USS Tennessee (BB-43), when the Japanese attacked and pulled the United States into World War II.  In a vulnerable position with its port side exposed, West Virginia sustained seven torpedo hits (six exploded) from Japanese aircraft.  Only rapid counter-flooding by the battleship's crew prevented it from capsizing.  The damage from the torpedoes was exacerbated by two armor-piercing bomb hits as well as a massive oil fire started following the explosion of USS Arizona(BB-39) which was moored aft.  Severely damaged, West Virginia sank upright with little more than its superstructure above the water.  In the course of that attack, the battleship's commander, Captain Mervyn S. Bennion, was mortally wounded.  He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his defense of the ship.  

USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Rebirth:

In the weeks after the attack, efforts to salvage West Virginia commenced.  After patching the massive holes in the hull, the battleship was refloated on May 17, 1942 and later moved to Drydock Number One.  As work commenced 66 bodies were found trapped in the hull.  Three located in a storeroom appear to have survived until at least December 23.

  After extensive repairs to the hull, West Virginia departed for Puget Sound Navy Yard on May 7, 1943.  Arriving, it underwent a modernization program that dramatically altered the battleship's appearance.  This saw the construction of a new superstructure which included trunking the two funnels into one, a greatly enhanced anti-aircraft armament, and elimination of the old cage masts.  In addition, the hull was widened to 114 feet which precluded it from passing through the Panama Canal. When complete, West Virginia looked more similar to the modernized Tennessee-class battleships than those from its own Colorado-class.

Rebuilt view 1944.

 



207 Members Who Served in This Duty Station


 

  • Ferguson, Robert, CPO, (1932-1945)
 

Duty Station Citations - Display as Table
 
 Excellence Awards 
 

 
Associated Patches
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Associations
 
Duty Station History
 
Battle/Operations History
 
Duty Station News and Information
Unit Photos (Aug 17, 2018) 2
Photo Album
 
Duty Station Timeline
American Defense Service Medal
Devices : Star in Lieu of the following Clasps
Criteria
The American Defense Service Medal was awarded for service in the Armed Forces between September 8, 1939, and December 7, 1941. Army members had to serve 12 months to be eligible, but Navy and Marine ... More
2003
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1945
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1945
World War II Victory Medal
Criteria
The World War II Victory Medal commemorates military service during the Second World War.
1945
Navy Occupation Service
Criteria
Occupation duty in the European-African-Middle Eastern area may be credited to organizations for duty performed on and subsequent to May 8, 1945. Terminal dates for eligibility periods and occupation ... More
1945
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1944
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1944
Combat Action Ribbon
Criteria
The Combat Action Ribbon is a personal decoration awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when operating under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain (or colonel in th ... More
1941
American Campaign Medal
Criteria
The American Campaign Medal was awarded for For thirty days service outside the Continental United States but within the American Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946; or, ... More
1941
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1941
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal
Criteria
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi ... More
1941
 
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