U.S.S. West Virginia Inboard Profile Outboard Profile
"U.S.S. West Virginia Inboard Profile Outboard Profile"
By an unidentified draftsman for the U.S. Navy, 1944
Ink on tracing linen
31" x 45"
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Ships

U.S.S. West Virginia
Commissioned on December 1, 1923, the U.S.S. West Virginia (BB-48) spent nearly the first two decades of its life on routine training, maintenance, readiness, and fleet exercises. In 1939, in response to deteriorating relations between the United States and Japan, the Navy dispatched the West Virginia to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, during the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, BB-48 suffered 6 torpedo and 2 direct bomb hits and sank beneath 40 feet of water. Despite this extensive damage, the battleship was refloated, redesigned, and modernized. The "new" West Virginia fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The top drawing shows the West Virginia before the Pearl Harbor attack; the bottom one depicts preliminary ideas suggested for the redesign of the battleship after the attack.

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