USS New York (BB-34)
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|Career (United States)|
|Name:||USS New York|
|Namesake:||The State of New York|
|Operator:||United States Navy|
|Awarded:||1 May 1911|
|Builder:||Brooklyn Navy Yard|
|Laid down:||11 September 1911|
|Launched:||30 October 1912|
|Acquired:||26 April 1914|
|Commissioned:||15 April 1914|
|Decommissioned:||29 August 1946|
|Out of service:||1946|
|Nickname:||"The Old Lady of the Sea"|
|Fate:||Employed as a target ship in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Later sunk as a target on 7/8/1948 by aircraft and naval gunfire 40 miles SW of Pearl Harbor|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||New York-class battleship|
|Displacement:||27,000 tons (standard), 28,367 tons (loaded)|
|Length:||573 ft (175 m)|
|Beam:||95.2 ft (29.0 m)|
|Draft:||28.5 ft (8.7 m)|
|Speed:||20 kn (23 mph; 37 km/h)|
|Range:||7,060 nmi (8,120 mi; 13,080 km) @ 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)|
|Complement:||1,042 officers and men|
|Armament:||10 × 14 in (360 mm) guns, 21 × 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns, 4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes|
New York was laid down on 11 September 1911 by Brooklyn Navy Yard of New York City. She was launched on 30 October 1912 sponsored by Elsie Calder, and commissioned on 15 April 1914, Captain Thomas S. Rodgers in command. New York saw action in both World Wars, providing gunfire support for amphibious landings at Casablanca in the European Theater, and Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific Theater. She was decommissioned in 1946 and sunk as a target after surviving two atomic bombs tests in 1946.
Design and construction 
New York was the first of two planned New York-class battleships, though construction on her began after her sister, Texas. She was ordered in fiscal year 1911 as the first class of battleship in the United States Navy to carry the 14-inch (360 mm) gun.
She had a standard displacement of 27,000 tonnes (27,000 long tons; 30,000 short tons) and a full-load displacement of 28,367 tonnes (27,919 long tons; 31,269 short tons). She was 573 feet (175 m) in length overall, 565 feet (172 m) at the waterline, and had a beam of 95 feet 6 inches (29.11 m) and a draft of 28 feet 6 inches (8.69 m).
She was powered by 14 Babcock and Wilcox boilers driving dual-acting triple expansion reciprocating steam engines, with 28,100 indicated horsepower, with a maximum speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). She had a range of 7,060 nautical miles (13,080 km; 8,120 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
Armor on New York consisted of belt armor from 10 feet (3.0 m) to 12 feet (3.7 m) thick. Her lower casemate had between 9 inches (230 mm) and 11 inches (280 mm) of armor, and her upper casemate had 6 inches (150 mm) of armor. Deck armor was 2 inches (51 mm) thick, and turret armor was 14 inches (360 mm) on the face, 4 inches (100 mm) on the top, 2 inches (51 mm) on the sides, and 8 inches (200 mm) on the rear. Armor on her barbettes was between 10 inches (250 mm) and 12 inches (300 mm). Her conning tower was protected by 12 inches (300 mm) of armor, with 4 inches (100 mm) of armor on its top.
Her armament consisted of ten 14"/45 caliber guns, arrayed in five double mounts designated A, B, Q, X, and Y. As constructed, these turrets had an elevation of 15 degrees, but this was increased to 30 degrees during an overhaul in 1939. The class was the last to feature a Q turret mounted amidships. As-built, she also carried 16 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns arrayed eight to a side, primarily for defense against destroyers and torpedo boats. The ship was not designed with antiaircraft defense in mind, but in a later refit it was mounted with eight 3"/50 caliber guns arrayed four to a side. Eventually, the ship carried 21 5"/51 caliber guns. She also had four 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes. Her crew complement consisted of 1,042 officers and enlisted men.
New York was laid down on 11 September 1911 in New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn. The New York class was constructed under new labor laws that limited the working hours of her construction crews. It was also stipulated that each ship cost less than $6,000,000, excluding cost of armor and armament. She was launched on 30 October 2012 and commissioned on 15 May 2014. The fifth ship to be named for New York State, she was sponsored by Elsie Calder, the daughter of New York politician William M. Calder.
Service history 
Under the command of Captain Thomas S. Rodgers, New York headed straight for Veracruz following its commissioning. She was designated flagship for Rear Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher in July 1914, commanding the fleet occupying and blockading Veracruz to prevent arms shipments from arriving there to support the government of Victoriano Huerta. The United States occupation of Veracruz ultimately ended and New York resumed her shakedown cruise along the East Coast of the United States. She also undertook several goodwill duties, and in December 1915 she held a high-profile Christmas party and dinner for several hundred orphans from New York City, as the suggestion of her crew. It later became a tradition on the ship to help underprivileged when possible, earning it the nickname "Christmas Ship." Following this duty, she undertook a number of training exercises off the Atlantic coast.
World War I 
Following the United States entry into World War I, New York, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., became flagship of Battleship Division 9 (BatDiv 9), commanded by Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman. She was sent to reinforce the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea, arriving Scapa Flow on 7 December 1917. The ships of the U.S. fleet were assigned to the 6th Battle Squadron in the Grand Fleet, the American ships joined in blockade and escort. She did not fire any shots during the war, but during at least two occasions, the convoy she was escorting came under attack by German U-Boats.
New York was also frequently host to foreign dignitaries, including King George V and Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, as well as prince Hirohito of the Empire of Japan. The ship was of great interest to other European powers, as it was in many cases a first chance to see an American ship comparable to a dreadnought up close.
She was on hand for the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 21 November 1918 in the Firth of Forth, several days after the signing of the Armistice, after which she returned to the United States briefly. After arriving in the United States, the shop was overhauled. The secondary battery was reduced to 16 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns. She then served as an escort for the SS George Washington, carrying President Woodrow Wilson, on his trip from the United State to Brest, France en route to the Versailles Peace Conference.
Inter-War period 
Arriving back in the United States in 1919, she began to undertake training and patrol duties, including at one point to the Caribbean with a number of other U.S. ships. In late 1919, she sailed to the Pacific Ocean and joined the newly-formed United States Pacific Fleet. She continued to conduct training and patrol duties in the Pacific until the mid-1930's when she was transferred again to the Atlantic, and began operating out of the North Atlantic, with the exception of several occasional trips to the West Coast of the United States.
In 1926 New York was considered obsolete compared with other battleships in service, so she steamed to Norfolk Navy Yard for a complete refit. While several other battleships in service, including Utah and Florida were converted to training ships or scrapped, New York and Texas were chosen to be overhauled to increase their speed, armor, armament, and propulsion systems overhauled, and in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
By 1937, the anti-aircraft armament included eight 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns and eight 1.1 in (28 mm)/75 cal guns. That year, carrying Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President's personal representative for the coronation of King George VI, New York sailed to take part in the Grand Naval Review of 20 May 1937 as sole US Navy representative. New York was fitted with XAF RADAR in February, 1938, including the first United States duplexer so a single antenna could both send and receive.
World War II 
For much of the following three years, New York trained United States Naval Academy midshipmen and other prospective officers with cruises to Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean, and in mid-1941 she joined the Neutrality Patrol. She escorted troops to Iceland in July 1941, then served as station ship at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, protecting the new American base there. From America's entry into World War II, New York guarded Atlantic convoys to Iceland and Scotland when the U-boat menace was gravest, submarine contacts were numerous, but the convoys were brought to harbor intact. In 1942, the secondary battery was reduced to six 5 in (130 mm) guns and the anti-aircraft armament was increased to 10 3 in (76 mm) guns, 24 Bofors 40 mm guns, and 42 Oerlikon 20 mm cannons.
New York brought her big guns to the invasion of North Africa, providing gunfire support at Safi, Morocco on 8 November 1942. She then stood by at Casablanca and Fedhala before returning home for convoy duty escorting men and supplies to North Africa. She then took up duty training gunners for battleships and destroyer escorts in Chesapeake Bay, rendering this service until 10 June 1944, when she began the first of three training cruises for the Naval Academy, voyaging to Trinidad on each.
New York sailed 21 November for the West Coast, arriving at San Pedro, California on 6 December for gunnery training in preparation for amphibious operations. She departed from San Pedro on 12 January 1945, called at Pearl Harbor, and was diverted to Eniwetok to survey screw damage. Nevertheless, despite impaired speed, she joined the Iwo Jima assault force in rehearsals at Saipan. She sailed well ahead of the main body to join in the pre-invasion bombardment of Iwo Jima on 16 February. During the next 3 days, she fired more rounds than any other ship present and made a spectacular direct 14 inch-hit on an enemy ammunition dump. It is estimated she fired 11000 rounds from her main and secondary armament during this time.
Leaving Iwo Jima, New York at last repaired her propellers at Manus, and had speed restored for the assault on Okinawa, which she reached on 27 March to begin 76 consecutive days of action. She fired preinvasion and diversionary bombardments, covered landings, and gave days and nights of close support to troops advancing ashore. She did not go unscathed; a kamikaze grazed her on 14 April, demolishing her spotting plane on its catapult. She left Okinawa on 11 June to regun at Pearl Harbor.
During World War II New York achieved two records for US battleships: longest continuous commission (414 days) and most miles sailed during wartime (123867 nautical miles) – only surpassed by HMS Rodney. She received three battle stars for her service during the War.
New York prepared at Pearl Harbor for the planned invasion of Japan, and after war's end, made a voyage to the West Coast returning veterans and bringing out their replacements. She sailed from Pearl Harbor again on 29 September with passengers for New York, arriving on 19 October. Here she prepared to serve as target ship in Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atomic tests, sailing on 4 March 1946 for the West Coast. She left San Francisco on 1 May, and after calls in Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein, reached Bikini on 15 June. Surviving the surface blast on 1 July and the underwater explosion on 25 July, she was taken into Kwajalein and decommissioned there on 29 August. Later towed to Pearl Harbor, she was studied during the next two years, and on 8 July 1948 was towed out to sea some 40 mi (35 nmi; 64 km) and there sunk after an 8-hour pounding by ships and planes carrying out full-scale battle maneuvers with new weapons. An article in Naval Aviation News (October 1948) described the weapons exercise that USS New York was subjected to:
"The ex-BB's New York and Nevada, having survived the tests at Bikini, were towed from Pearl Harbor to a spot south of Oahu, and there were subjected to an unmerciful pounding by fleet air and surface units. Planes led by the commanding officer of Fleet All Weather Training Unit Pacific (FAWTUPAC), Captain Paul H. Ramsey, USN, were in on both kills. On 7 July 1948 the New York was the first to feel the sting of the fighters and attack aircraft. Twenty-six planes, consisting of two F7F-4Ns, six F8F-1Ns, twelve F6F-5Ns, and six TBM-3Ns dropped a total of 48 500-pound bombs, 40 100-pound bombs, 98 5-inch HVARs and expended 4,100 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition. Twenty-one direct hits were scored with the 500-pound bombs, 20 direct hits were scored with the 100-pound bombs, and 56 direct hits were scored with the 5-inch HVARs. While surface units stood by and submarines waited to close in for the kill, the tired old battlewagon rolled over and sank as the last participating FAWTUPAC planes recovered from their bombing attacks."
- Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 115.
- Breyer 1973, p. 205.
- Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 114.
- Banks 2002, p. 27.
- Bonner 1996, p. 28.
- DANFS 1970, p. 552.
- Bonner 1996, p. 27.
- Banks 2002, p. 31.
- Banks 2002, p. 32.
- Macintyre 1967, p. 73.
- Breyer 1993, p. 225.
- Naval Aviation News. October 1948. "Planes Sink Battleships." p 11.
- Dictionary of American naval fighting ships / Vol.5, Historical sketches : letters N through Q, Washington, D.C.: Department of the Navy, 1970, OCLC 769806179
- Banks, Herbert C. (ed.) (2002), USS New York (BB-33): The Old Lady of the Sea, Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1563118098
- Besch, Michael D. (2001), A Navy Second to None: The History of US Naval Training in World War I, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, ISBN 978-0313319099
- Bonner, Kermit H. (1996), Final Voyages, Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1563112898
- Breyer, Siegfried (1973), Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905–1970, New York City, New York: Doubleday and Company, ISBN 0-385-07247-3
- Breyer, Siegfried (1993), Schlachtschiffe und Schlachtkreuzer 1905–1970 (in German), Munich, Germany: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag Munchen, ISBN 978-3860700440
- Davis, Charles W. (2010), Subic Bay Travel and Diving Guide, Morristown, New Jersey: Asiatype Inc., ISBN 978-9710321186
- Friedman, Norman (2008), Naval Firepower: Battleship Guns and Gunnery in the Dreadnaught Era, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978-1591145554
- Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal (1985), Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921, London, United Kingdom: Conway Maritime Press, ISBN 0-87021-907-3
- Macintyre, Donald (September 1967), Shipborne Radar, Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute Proceedings, ISBN 978-0870210259
- Stillwell, Paul (1991), Battleship Arizona: an Illustrated History, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978-0870210235
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- USS New York (BB-34) from the Library of Congress at Flickr Commons
- US Navy Historical Center USS New York gallery
- 1942 General Plan for the U.S.S. New York (BB-34), New York Class, hosted by the Historical Naval Ships Association (HNSA) Digital Collections
- Maritimequest USS New York BB-34 Photo Gallery
- NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive BB-34 USS NEW YORK 1914–1919
- For U.S.S. New York, Future Looks Better Than the Past