USS Washington (BB-47)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Washington.
USS Washington BB-47.jpg
Incomplete hulk of USS Washington (1922)
Career (US)
Name: USS Washington
Namesake: State of Washington
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 30 June 1919
Launched: 1 September 1921
Sponsored by: Jean Summers
Struck: 8 February 1922
Fate: Sunk as target 25 November 1924
General characteristics [1][2]
Class & type: Colorado class
Displacement: 32,600 tons (33,100 tonnes)
Length: 624 ft (190 m)
Beam: 97.5 ft (29.7 m)
Draft: 30.5 ft (9.3 m)
Speed: 21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h)
Complement: 1,354 officers and men
Armament:
  • 8 × 16 in (410 mm)/45 cal guns
  • 20 × 5 in (130 mm) guns
  • 8 × 3 in (76 mm) antiaircraft guns
Armor:
  • Belt: 8–13.5 in (203–343 mm)
  • Barbettes: 13 in (330 mm)
  • Turret face: 18 in (457 mm)
  • Turret sides: 9–10 in (229–254 mm)
  • Turret top: 5 in (127 mm)
  • Turret rear 9 in (229 mm)
  • Conning tower: 11.5 in (292 mm)
  • Decks: 3.5 in (89 mm)

USS Washington (BB-47), a Colorado-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 42nd state. Her keel was laid down on 30 June 1919 at Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. She was launched on 1 September 1921, sponsored by Miss Jean Summers, the daughter of Congressman John W. Summers of Washington. On 8 February 1922, two days after the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armaments, all construction work ceased on the 75.9%-completed superdreadnought. Ultimately, her incomplete hulk was towed out to sea, where she was sunk as a gunnery target on 26 November 1924 by the battleships New York and Texas.[1][3][page needed]

Class history and construction[edit]

Illustration of the Colorado-class design, created in 1917

With fiscal year 1917 appropriations, bids on the four Colorados were opened on 18 October 1916; though Maryland '​s keel was laid on 24 April 1917, the other three battleships, including Washington, were not laid down until 1919–1920. With the cancellation of the first South Dakota class, the Colorados were the last U.S. battleships to enter service for nearly two decades. They were also the final U.S. battleships to use twin gun turrets—the North Carolina and second South Dakota classes used nine 16"/45 caliber guns and the Iowas used nine 16 in/50 caliber[2][4][5] in three triple turrets. Washington was laid down on 30 June 1919, and by the time she was cancelled, she had all her underwater armored protection in place.[6]

Design[edit]

Washington was 624 feet (190 m) long, and had a beam of 97.5 feet (29.7 m) and a draft of 30.5 feet (9.3 m). She displaced 32,600 long tons (33,123 t) tons. The ship's primary armament consisted of eight 16-in 45-calibre guns in four twin gun turrets. This was augmented by a secondary battery of 20 5-in guns. The ship was also armed with eight 3-in antiaircraft guns.

The new underwater protection scheme featured five compartments separated by bulkheads on either side of the ship: an outer empty one, three filled, and an empty inner one. In addition, the eight boilers were moved from their location in previous designs and placed in separate spaces to port and starboard of the turbo-electric power plant, forming another line of defense; the ship could still sail even if one or even an entire side of boilers was incapacitated due to battle damage. This new arrangement forced the chief aesthetic change between the New Mexicos and Tennessees: the single large funnel of the former was replaced by two smaller funnels in the latter.[2][7]

Service history[edit]

The ship was towed out in November 1924 to be used as a gunnery target. On the first day of testing, the ship was hit by two 400-lb torpedoes and three 1-t near-miss bombs with minor damage and a list of 3°.[6] She then had 400 pounds (180 kg) of TNT detonated on board, but remained afloat.[6] Two days later, the ship was hit by 14 14-in shells dropped from 4,000 feet (1,200 m), but only one penetrated. The ship was finally sunk by the Texas and New York with 14 more 14-in shells.[6] After the test, it was decided that the existing deck armor on battleships was inadequate, and that future battleships should be fitted with triple bottoms.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b DANFS Washington (BB-47).
  2. ^ a b c Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 118.
  3. ^ Ferguson 2007.
  4. ^ Friedman 1985, pp. 137, 420–421.
  5. ^ Gardiner & Chesneau 1980, pp. 97–100.
  6. ^ a b c d e Friedman 1985, p. 186.
  7. ^ Friedman 1985, pp. 134 and 137.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]