USN

USS Nimitz CVN-68

The USS Nimitz CVN-68 is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier that is lead ship of its class and was laid down on June 22, 1968 and was commissioned May 3, 1975. The ship was named for Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who commanded the Pacific fleet in WWII. The Nimitz was initially deployed to the Mediterranean in 1976. She participated in Operation Evening Light (the attempt to rescue the US Embassy workers being held hostage in Iran) and the Gulf of Sidra incident (in which 2 of her F-14 A Tomcat fighters shot down two Libyan fighters). In June 1985 the Nimitz was deployed to the coast of Lebanon where her aircraft flew continuous sorties for 67 days, bombing several sites in Beirut. During the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Nimitz provided security off the coast of South Korea and in October she operated in the North Arabian Sea participating in Operation Earnest Will. In February 1991 Nimitz sailed to the Persian Gulf to relieve USS Ranger after Operation Desert Storm and returned again for support of Operation Southern Watch in 1993. In 1996 she patrolled the waters off Taiwan during missile tests conducted by the Chinese, becoming the first American warship to pass though the Taiwan Strait since 1976. Nimitz's eleventh deployment began in March 2003 when she relieved USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf and began operations against Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. She was also featured in the 1980 movie The Final Countdown. The Nimitz is powered by 2 nuclear reactors giving her a a top speed of over 30 knots. She can carry over 90 aircraft and is armed with 16 Sea Sparrow missiles and 3 Phalanx CIWS AA guns. This model shows the USS Nimitz in the late 1970s carrying F-14 Tomcats, F-4 Phantom IIs, A-7 Corsairs IIs, A-6 Intruders, EA-6 Prowlers, F-18 Hornets, E-2 Hawkeyes, S-3 Vikings and SH-60 helicopters.

USS Nimitz CVN-68

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USS Hancock CV-19

The USS Hancock CV-19 was a Ticonderoga class (long hull Essex class) aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in April 1944 and began conducting combat operations in the Summer of 1944. She participated in the raids on the Ryukyus, Formosa and the Philippines, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. During the remainder of 1944, she continued to attack targets in the Philippines area, despite receiving damage from a kamikaze plane in November and from a typhoon in December. In 1945, the USS Hancock took part in Task Force 38's raid into the South China sea, raids on the Japanese home islands, the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In the Battle for Okinawa she was again hit by a kamikaze plane requiring shipyard repairs in the United States. Returning to the western Pacific in July and attacking Wake Island while en route, Hancock struck targets in Japan during the final weeks of World War II. The USS Hancock was inactive from April 1946 until February 1954 when she recommissioned after receiving an SCB-27C modernization that fitted her to operate higher performance aircraft. She was again modernized with the addition of an angled flight deck and enclosed bow. Returned to service in 1956, The Hancock served in the Pacific for nearly 20 more years including 7 combat deployments to Vietnam. She was also involved in the final evacuation of South Vietnam. The USS Hancock decommissioned in late January 1976. She was sold for scrapping in August 1976. This model shows the Hancock in late WWII carrying F4U Corsairs, F6F Hellcats, TBF Avengers and SB2C Helldivers.

USS Hancock CV-19

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USS Arizona BB-39

Shortly before 0800, Japanese aircraft from six fleet carriers struck the Pacific Fleet as it lay in port at Pearl Harbor, and in the ensuing two attack waves, wrought devastation on the Battle Line and on air and military facilities defending Pearl Harbor. On board Arizona, the ship's air raid alarm went off about 0755 and the ship went to general quarters. Insofar as it could be determined soon after the attack, the ship sustained eight bomb hits; one hit on the forecastle, glancing off the face plate of turret II to penetrating the deck to explode in the black powder magazine, which in turn set off adjacent smokeless power magazines. A cataclysmic explosion ripped through the forward part of the ship, touching off fierce fires that burned for two days; debris showered down on Ford Island in the vicinity. The blast that destroyed Arizona and sank her at her berth alongside of Ford Island consumed the lives of 1,103 of the 1,400 on board at the time. Arizona was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 December 1942. Her wreck was cut down so that very little of the superstructure lay above water; her after main battery turrets and guns were removed to be emplaced as coast defense guns. Arizona's wreck remains at Pearl Harbor, a memorial to the men of her crew lost that December morning in 1941. On 7 March 1950, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet at that time, instituted the raising of colors over Arizona's remains, and legislation designated the wreck a national shrine. A memorial was built; it was dedicated on 30 May 1962. Arizona (BB-39) was awarded one battle star for her service in World War II. This model shows the Arizona as she was thought to appear at Pearl Harbor. The Arizona cold make 21 knots and carried twelve 14 inch guns, twenty two 5 inch guns, four 3 inch AA guns and two 21 inch torpedo tubes as well as two OS2U Kingfisher float planes.

The Arizona As She Was Originally Thought To Look

USS Arizona BB-39

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The Arizona As She Is Now Known To Have Looked

USS Arizona BB-39

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USS South Dakota BB-57

The USS South Dakota BB-57 is the lead ship of her class and was second ship of the US Navy for South Dakota She was laid down on July 5, 1939 and commissioned on March 20, 1942. The South Dakota was armed with 9 16 in guns, 16 5 in guns, 68 40 mm guns, 76 20 mm guns and 2 OS2U Kingfisher floatplanes. After fitting out and training she sailed for the Pacific where on September 6, 1942 she hit a reef and suffered extensive damage to her hull. The South Dakota had to sail to Pearl Harbor for repairs. In October, 1942 South Dakota participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz. During the battle she was hit by a 500 lb bomb and was credited with downing 26 enemy planes. In one of the few battleship to battleship engagements of WWII, on November 11, 1942 the South Dakota along with the battleship Washington and the destroyers Preston, Walke, Benham and Gwin engaged the Japanese battleship Kirishima, the cruisers Takao, Atago, Nagara, Sendai and a destroyer screen. During the battle South Dakota, which had been under fire from at least three of the ships, had taken 42 hits which caused considerable damage. After repairs, she operated with the British Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow. Later she sailed again for the Pacific where she participated in attacks against the Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Makin, Tarawa, Nauru Island, Roi, Namur, Kwajalein, Majuro, Truk , Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Ponape, Saipan and Tinian. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea she was hit by a 500 lb bomb. After repairs the South Dakota operated with the carriers striking Formosa, the Philippine Islands, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Tokyo and the Japanese home islands. After the war the South Dakota returned to Philadelphia and was placed into reserve. She was struck from the naval registry on June 1, 1962 and broken up for scrap. The South Dakota received 13 battle stars for World War II service.

USS South Dakota BB-57

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USS Indianapolis CA-35

The USS Indianapolis CA-35 was a Portland class heavy cruiser laid down on March 31, 1930 and launched on November 7, 1931. Prior to WWII the Indianapolis carried President Roosevelt 3 times. During WWII the Indianapolis fought throughout the Pacific including the Aleutian Islands campaign, New Guinea, Gilbert Islands, Tarawa, Makin, Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Western Carolines, Palau Islands, Mariana Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, Okinawa. During the battle for Okinawa the Indianapolis was struck by a 500 lb bomb causing extensive damage. The Indianapolis was armed with 9 8 in. 55 cal guns in 3 triple mounts, 8 5 in. 25 cal AA guns and 8  .50 cal. machineguns. She also carried 2  OS2U Kingfisher floatplanes. After repairs on the West Coast, she was loaded with parts for the first two Atomic bombs and was ordered to proceed at high speed to Tinian. The Indianapolis set a record on this trip covering the 5,000 miles from San Francisco in only 10 days. After delivering the bombs to Tinian, Indianapolis was sent to Guam and then ordered to Leyte. Shortly after midnight on July 30, 1945 she was hit by 2 torpedoes fired by the Japanese submarine I-58. The ship sank in about 12 minutes. About 300 of the 1,196 men on board died in the attack. The rest of the crew, floated in the water without lifeboats until the rescued five days later. The rescue only came after survivors were spotted accidentally by a routine patrol flight. Only 317 men survived after 5 days in the water. Most of the men had been killed by attacks by an estimated 1,000 sharks. This model shows the Indianapolis as she appeared in early 1944.

USS Indianapolis CA-35

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USS The Sullivans DD-537

The Fletcher class destroyer USS The Sullivans DD-537 was launched on April 4, 1943 and commissioned on September 30, 1943. She was armed with 5 5 inch guns, 10 40 mm guns, 7 20 mm guns, 10 21" torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge projectors and 2 depth charge racks. Assigned to the Pacific theater, The Sullivans operated with the fast carrier groups attacking the Japanese at Kwajalein, Palaus, Yap, Woleai, Truk, Marcus, Wake, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, the Marianas, Formosa, the Ryukyus, the Philippines, Okinawa and the Japanese home islands. She performed escort, shore bombardment, rescue, plane guard and picket duties. The Sullivans was decommissioned on January 10, 1946 and remained in reserve until she was recommissioned on July 6, 1951. She again served with the fast carriers attacking the communists in Korea performing shore bombardment, escort and plane guard missions. After the war ended she operated in the Atlantic, Mediterranean sea and Indian Ocean. The Sullivans also participated in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile crisis. Later she served as a training ship and was decommissioned in January 1965. In 1977 The Sullivans was donated to the city of Buffalo, NY to serve as a memorial. The Sullivans received nine battle stars for World War II service and two for Korean service.

USS The Sullivans DD-537

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USS Cochrane DDG-21

USS Cochrane DDG-21 was a Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer. She was commissioned in March 1964. The Cochrane was armed with 2 Mk 42 5 inch / 54 caliber guns, 2 Mk 32 triple mount torpedo tubes firing Mk 46 torpedoes, one Mk 16 ASROC missile launcher, one Mk 13 Mod.0 Missile Launcher for Standard (MR) and Harpoon Missiles. In 1966 she was flagship for the mid Pacific Gemini 8 recovery group. She served many tours in Vietnam acting as a plane guard ship (she rescued several pilots) and performing gunfire support for US forces. During Operation Linebacker, she conducted 120 missions firing 6,000 rounds of 5 inch ammunition and was the target of 1,500 rounds of hostile fire, suffering shrapnel damage during one nighttime raid in October. After the end of the war the Cochrane served mainly in the Pacific with occasional tours of duty in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The Cochrane was decommissioned on October 1, 1990, stricken from the Naval Register on November 20, 1992 and sold for scrap.

USS Cochrane DDG-21

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USS John Rodgers DD-983

USS John Rodgers DD-983 was a Spruance class destroyer and the sixth US Navy ship to be named for the three generations of the Rodgers family who served in the Navy. She was launched on March 18, 1978 and commissioned September 4, 1979. John Rogers primarily operated in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. In September 1983, she fired on Syrian controlled portions of Lebanon in response to Syrian shelling near the residence of the US ambassador and in direct fire support of the Lebanese Army operating east of Beirut. John Rodgers made eight major deployments including extensive operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Persian Gulf. She took part in numerous counter drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. She also played a major role in Operations Desert Shield, Support Democracy, and Sharp Guard. John Rodgers was decommissioned and stricken on September 4, 1998 and sold for scrapping. She was armed with 2 5 in 54 caliber Mark 45 dual purpose guns, 2 Mk 143 Tomahawk Armored Box Launchers, 1 8 cell ASROC launcher, 2 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Mark 15 guns, 1 8 cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 missile launcher, 2 quadruple Harpoon missile canisters, 2 triple 12.75 in torpedo tubes with Mark 46 torpedoes, 2 SH-60 B Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters and 4 6 canister Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Chaff Systems.

USS John Rogers DD-983

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USS Tarawa LHA-1

USS Tarawa LHA-1 was a United States Navy amphibious assault ship and the lead ship of her class. She was laid down in November 1972 at Pascagoula, Mississippi , launched on December 1, 1973 and commissioned on May 29 1976. The Tarawa was the first of five ships in a new class of general purpose amphibious assault ships combining the functions of four different classes. She was capable of landing elements of a Marine Corps battalion landing team and their supporting equipment by landing craft or helicopter. The Tarawa could carry 3000 Sailors and Marines and up to 35 AV-8 Harriers, OV-10 Broncos and various attack and transport helicopters. She had a top speed of 24 knots and was armed with 2 RAM launchers, 2 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts, 4 .50 cal. BMG machineguns and 4 25 mm Mk 38 chain guns. She also carried 2 5-inch Mk 45 lightweight guns and a Mark 36 SUBROC system that were removed some years prior to her decommissioning. During her first deployment in 1979 she successfully launched AV-8 Harrier jets and rescued 400 Vietnamese refugees adrift in the South China Sea. In December 1990 Tarawa was the flagship of an amphibious task force in support of Operation Desert Storm. She has also participated in number amphibious exercises and humanitarian missions. Her last deployment was from November 2007 to June 2008 in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The USS Tarawa was decommissioned on March 31, 2009. Currently the Tarawa is listed on the NVR list as a Category B ship indicating she may be used for something else other than a target ship.

USS Tarawa LHA-1

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LST (2)

Originally designed to meet a British specification, the LST (2) was designed in only a few days and went into production in June 1942 with an initial order for 200. The LST was designed to be able to cross oceans on its own and then vehicles directly on an enemy beach. They were fitted with a large ballast system that could be filled for ocean passage and pumped out for beaching operations and an anchor and mechanical winch system to pull itself off the beach. They could carry a 2,100 ton load of 10 tanks plus 15 vehicles and were armed with 8 20 mm Oerlikon canons. 1,051 LSTs were built during WWII and they fought in every theater of the war and served as troop and vehicle transports, repair and supply ships and some were even modified so they could launch aircraft. LSTs were also equipped with two LCVP's hung from davits on deck. This model shows a LST in typical Pacific theater camouflage.

LST (2)

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USS Ohio SSBN-726

The USS Ohio SSBN-726 / SSGN-726 is the lead ship of her class of nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarines. She was laid down on April 10, 1976, launched on April 7, 1979 and commissioned on November 11, 1981. She began her first Trident Submarine Strategic Deterrent Patrol in October 1982 and her first overhaul from June 1993 to June 1994 where she received extensive upgrades. The Ohio was scheduled for retirement in 2002, however she was converted into a cruise missile submarine (SSGN) instead. The Ohio was designed to carry 24 Trident SLBMs on extended deterrence patrols. The design allows the vessel to operate for over fifteen years between major overhauls. The boats are reported to be as quiet at their cruising speed of 20 knots as previous subs were at 6 knots. In November 2002, the USS Ohio entered drydock to be converted into a SSGN and went back into service in February 2006. 22 of the 24 Trident missile tubes were modified to contain large vertical launch systems each of which can hold 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles for a total of 154. The missile tubes also have room for stowage canisters that can extend the forward deployment time for Special Forces. The other two Trident tubes are converted to swimmer lockout chambers. For special operations the Advanced SEAL Delivery System and the Dry Deck Shelter can be mounted on the lockout chamber and the boat will be able to carry up to 66 special operations troops. The Ohio was originally armed with 4 21 in. Mark 68 torpedo tubes and 24 Trident I C4 SLBM with up to eight MIRVed 100 kiloton W76 nuclear warheads.

USS Ohio SSBN-726

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USS Missouri BB-63

The USS Missouri BB-63 is an Iowa class battleship and was the third ship US Navy ship named after Missouri. She was the last battleship built by the US and designed in 1938, laid down on January 6, 1941, launched on January 29, 1944 and commissioned on June 11, 1944. The ship was christened by Mary Margaret Truman, daughter of Harry S. Truman. After her trials and shakedown, Missouri arrived at Ulithi in the West Caroline Islands on January 13, 1945 where she joined TF.58. On February 16 TF.58 launched the first air strikes against Japan since the Doolittle raid. She then steamed with TF.58 to Iwo Jima where her she provided gunfire support for the invasion landings beginning on February 19. In March, 1945 she joined the Yorktown carrier group in another attack on Japan where she shot down 4 enemy aircraft. On March 24 Missouri joined the fast battleships of TF.58 in bombarding Okinawa. On April 11, a kamikaze crashed on Missouri's starboard side just below her main deck level. The battleship suffered only superficial damage. The dent in the side of the ship remains to this day. On May 5 she set sail for Ulithi. During the Okinawa campaign she shot down five enemy planes, assisted in the destruction of six others and scored one probable kill. She helped repel 12 daylight attacks and fought off four night attacks. Her shore bombardment destroyed several gun emplacements and many targets. On May 27 she was back conducting shore bombardment on Okinawa. Missouri then led the 3rd Fleet in strikes on airfields and installations on Kyushu on June 2-3. Her fleet again struck Kyushu on June 8. She set sail for Leyte and arrived on June 13 after almost three months of continuous operations in support of the Okinawa campaign. She rejoined the 3rd Fleet in strikes against Honshu and Hokkaido in July. This was the first time that naval gunfire destroyed a major installation within the Japanese home islands. After the Japanese surrendered, Missouri entered Tokyo Bay on August 29, 1945 to prepare for the signing of the official surrender. On September 2, 1945 at 0902, General MacArthur opened the 23 minute surrender ceremony. During the surrender ceremony the deck of Missouri was decorated with a 31 star American flag that had been taken ashore by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 after his squadron of Black Ships sailed into Tokyo Bay to force the opening of Japan's ports to foreign trade.

On September 6 she departed for the US, picking up homeward bound troops as part of Operation Magic Carpet. After the war and a refit, Missouri began operations in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Caribbean. In 1948 she became the first battleship to host a helicopter detachment. In August 1950 she was transferred to the Pacific to fight in the Korean War. She arrived on September 14 and began operations by bombarding Samchok the next day. During the war she served as the flagship of the 7th fleet and continued to conduct bombardment missions. After the PRC joined the war Missouri covered the UN retreat and provide gunfire support around the UN defense perimeter. Missouri conducted additional operations with carriers and shore bombardments off the east coast of Korea until March 19, 1951 when she returned home for refit. On October 25, 1952 she again began shore bombardment operation in Korea. In March 1953 she again set sail for the US for refit and training cruises. June 7, 1953 she set sail for Lisbon and Cherbourg. During this voyage Missouri was joined by the other three Iowa class battleships (New Jersey, Wisconsin and Iowa). This was the only time all four ships sailed together. On February 26, 1955 she was decommissioned and placed into reserve with the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

In the Summer of 1984 Missouri was reactivated and was given a massive overhaul and modernization at the Long Beach Naval Yard. During the modernization Missouri had her obsolete 20 mm and 40 mm antiaircraft guns removed as well as four of her 5 inch gun mounts. Over the next several months the ship was upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available including four MK 141 quad cell launchers for 16 AGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles, eight Armored Box Launcher mounts for 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles and four Phalanx Close In Weapon System Gatling guns. Upgrades to radar and fire control systems for her guns and missiles and improved electronic warfare capabilities were added. Missouri was formally recommissioned in San Francisco on May 10, 1986 by Caspar Weinberger with 10,000 in attendance at the ceremony including John Ashcroft, Pete Wilson, John Lehman, Dianne Feinstein and Margaret Truman. Four months later Missouri departed from her new home port of Long Beach for an around-the-world cruise, visiting Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Sydney Australia, Hobart Tasmania, Perth Australia, Diego Garcia, the Suez Canal, Istanbul Turkey, Naples Italy, Rota Spain, Lisbon Portugal and the Panama Canal. Missouri became the first American battleship to circumnavigate the globe since Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet 80 years before (that fleet also included the first USS Missouri BB-11. In 1987 she was outfitted with 40 mm grenade launchers and 25 mm chain guns then sent to the Persian Gulf to escort oil tankers. Missouri returned to the United States via Diego Garcia, Australia and Hawaii in early 1988. In early 1989 Missouri was in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for routine maintenance and while there the music video for Cher's If I Could Turn Back Time was filmed aboard Missouri. Throughout the remainder of 1989 and 1990 she participated in various exercises around the world. On November 13, 1990 Missouri again set sail for the Persian Gulf.  During Desert Storm Missouri began operations on January 29, 1991 by shelling an Iraqi command and control bunker near the Saudi border. This was the first time she fired her guns in anger since March 1953. The battleship bombarded Iraqi beach defenses in occupied Kuwait on the night of February 3 firing 112 16 in rounds over the next three days. Missouri then fired another 60 rounds off Khafji on February 11-12 before steaming north to Faylaka Island. After minesweepers cleared a lane through Iraqi defenses, Missouri fired 133 rounds during four shore bombardment missions as part of the amphibious landing feint against the Kuwaiti shore line the morning of February 23. The Iraqis fired two HY-2 Silkworm missiles at the battleship. One of missed and the other was intercepted by a GWS-30 Sea Dart missile launched from the British destroyer HMS Gloucester within 90 seconds and crashed into the sea roughly 700 yd in front of Missouri. By February 26 operations had moved out of gun range and Missouri began patrol operation. During Desert Storm she fired 759 rounds of 16 in shells, launched 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles and destroyed at least 15 naval mines.

Missouri was decommissioned on March 31, 1992 at Long Beach, California. Missouri remained part of the reserve fleet at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, until January 1995 when she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register. On May 4, 1998she was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association She was towed from Bremerton on May 23 and docked at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor on June 22, 500 yd from the Arizona Memorial. On January 29, 1999, Missouri was opened as a museum.

Missouri received 11 battle stars for her service and numerous other awards. As built Missouri was armed with nine 16 in /50 cal Mark 7 guns, twenty 5 in /38 cal guns in twin turrets, 80 40 mm/56 cal Bofors anti-aircraft guns, 49 20 mm/70 cal Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons and 3 Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplanes. After he modernization she was armed with 9 16-inch / 50 cal. Mark 7 guns, 12  5-inch/38 cal. Mark 12 guns, 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles in eight Armored Box Launcher mounts, 16 RGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles in four MK 141 quad cell launchers, 4 20 mm Phalanx CIWS systems and carried several helicopters and drones.

USS Missouri BB-63 (1944)

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USS Missouri BB-63 (1984)

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USS Missouri BB-63 (1944 & 1984)

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USS Lexington CV-2

USS Lexington CV-2 was the third aircraft carrier in service with the USN. She was the lead ship of the Lexington class carriers, although her sister ship Saratoga CV-3 was commissioned a month earlier. She was originally laid down as battlecruiser CC-1 on January 8, 1921. When the Washington Naval Treaty went into effect in 1922 her design was changed to an aircraft carrier. At that time she was 24.2 percent complete. Her main armor belt was retained, although it was reduced in height to save weight. The general line of the hull remained unaltered, as did the torpedo protection system. Lexington was launched on October 3, 1925, commissioned on December 14, 1927 and entered service in 1928. The ship had an overall length of 888 feet, a beam of 106 feet and a draft of 30 feet 5 inches. She had a standard displacement of 36,000, with a flight deck that was 866 long and 105 feet wide. When she was launched her hanger was called the largest single enclosed space afloat on any ship at 33,528 square feet. Lexington was fitted with two hydraulically powered elevators on her centerline. She was originally designed to carry 78 aircraft but this was increased by the Navy practice of tying up spare aircraft in the unused spaces at the top of the hangar. Lexington generally carried 79 aircraft plus 30 spares. She was designed to reach 33.25 knots, but she achieved 34.59 knots during her sea trials in 1928. When the Lexington was being redesigned the Navy was not yet sure that aircraft would be effective. Because of this the design included eight 55 caliber Mk 9 eight inch guns in four twin gun turrets mounted above the flight deck on the starboard side, two before the superstructure and two behind the funnel. This was the heaviest gun armament carried by an aircraft carrier, equivalent to the main battery of a heavy cruiser. She also carried twelve 25 caliber Mk 10 five inch single mount guns on sponsons on each side of the bow and stern. After her trails in 1928 Lexington was transferred to San Pedro, California. She was based there until 1940. She participated in many training exercises in the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean Sea throughout the 1920 and 1930s. In 1929 she was sent to Washington State to generate electricity the city of Tacoma during a severe drought. She remained there from December 17, 1929 to January 16, 1930. Lexington and her sister Saratoga were often used to develop carrier tactics. During 1930 wargames she was judged to have destroyed the opposing carriers Saratoga and Langley. In 1931 she again sunk Saratoga and badly damaged two battleships. In the 1933 wargames she and Saratoga successfully attacked Pearl Harbor at dawn on January 31 without being detected. During the 1935 wargames Lexington ran low on fuel and this led to experiments with underway replenishment that later proved essential to combat operations in WWII. In the 1938 wargames Lexington again successfully attacked Pearl Harbor at dawn on March 29. Later in the same wargame she and Saratoga successfully attacked San Francisco without being spotted by the defending fleet. Lexington was at sea when on December 7, 1941 ferrying fighter aircraft to Midway Island. This mission was immediately cancelled and she returned to Pearl Harbor a week later. She was then sent out to create a diversion for the force heading to relieve Wake Island by attacking Japanese installations in the Marshall Islands. Since Wake surrendered before she could reach the Marshals, Lexington was ordered back to Pearl Harbor. In February 1942 Lexington was sent to the Coral Sea to block any Japanese advances into the area. The ship was spotted by Japanese search aircraft while approaching Rabaul, New Britain and her aircraft shot down most of the Japanese bombers that attacked her. Together with the carrier Yorktown, she successfully attacked Japanese shipping off the east coast of New Guinea in early March. Lexington was briefly refitted in Pearl Harbor at the end of the February 1942 and rendezvoused with Yorktown in the Coral Sea in early May 1942 A few days later the Japanese began Operation MO, the invasion of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and the two American carriers attempted to stop the invasion forces. They sank the light aircraft carrier Shoho on May 7 during the Battle of the Coral Sea, but did not encounter the main Japanese force of the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku until the next day. Aircraft from Lexington and Yorktown succeeded in badly damaging Shokaku, but the Japanese aircraft crippled Lexington with two armor piercing bomb hits and two torpedo strikes. Vapors from leaking aviation gasoline tanks sparked a series of explosions and fires that could not be controlled and the carrier had to be scuttled by the destroyer USS Phelps who fired five torpedoes between at her during the evening of May 8, 1942. About 2,770 men were rescued by the rest of the task force and 216 were killed. Five days after the Navy's public acknowledgment of the sinking, workers at the Quincy shipyard, where the ship had been built twenty one years earlier, cabled Navy Secretary Frank Knox and proposed a change in the name of one of the new Essex class carriers under construction there to Lexington. Knox agreed and the ship was renamed as the fifth Lexington on June 16, 1942. Her successor was formally commissioned as USS Lexington CV-16 on February 17, 1943 and would remain in service until 1991. This model shows the USS Lexington CV-2 as she looked during the mid 1930s. She is carrying TG-2 torpedo bombers, F2F Fighters and SBU Scout Bombers.

USS Lexington CV-2

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LCM Mk.III

The Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) is a landing craft that was used in every Allied theater during WWII. It was designed to be transported to the invasion area in larger ships, lowered to the sea and head to the beach. The LCM III was mainly built by Higgins Industries and was very similar to the LCVP. It had a displacement of 52 tons loaded and 23 tons empty. The length was 50 feet, beam 14 feet and draft was 3 feet. A speed of 8 knots loaded and 11 knots empty was typical. With a crew of four the LCM III could carry a 30 ton tank of the M-4 Sherman class or 60,000 lbs. of cargo. This model shows a typical LCM used during D-Day.

LCM Mk.III

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