|USS Washington (BB-47)|
Incomplete hulk of USS Washington (1922)
|Namesake:||State of Washington|
|Builder:||New York Shipbuilding Corporation|
|Laid down:||30 June 1919|
|Launched:||1 September 1921|
|Fate:||Sunk as target 25 November 1924|
|General characteristics |
|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|
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 State. 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 super-dreadnought. 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.[page needed]
Class history and construction
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 utilized nine 16"/45 caliber guns and the Iowas used nine 16 in/50 caliber 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.
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 twenty 5 inches (130 mm) guns. The ship was also armed with eight 3 inches (76 mm) 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.
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 pounds (180 kg) torpedoes and three 1 tonne (0.98 long tons; 1.1 short tons) near-miss bombs with minor damage and a list of three degrees. She then had 400 pounds (180 kg) of TNT detonated on board, but remained afloat. Two days later, the ship was hit by fourteen 14 inches (360 mm) 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 fourteen 14 inches (360 mm) shells. 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.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Ferguson, John C. (2007). Historic Battleship Texas: The Last Dreadnought. Military History of Texas No. 4. Abilene, Texas: State House Press. ISBN 1-933337-07-9.
- Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History. United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-715-1.
- Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger, eds (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-913-8. OCLC 18121784. http://books.google.com/?id=bJBMBvyQ83EC.
- Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Annapolis, Mayland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-907-3. OCLC 12119866.
- "Washington". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/w3/washington-vii.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Washington (BB-47).|
- Washington (BB-47), construction cancelled 1922
- MaritimeQuest USS Washington BB-47 Photo Gallery
- Photo gallery of Washington at NavSource Naval History (Keel Laying – Launching)
- Photo gallery of Washington at NavSource Naval History (Construction – Sinking)
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