WAR CRUISE OF THE USS NEVADA
From Official US Navy files by Jake Jaekel
On 7 December 1941, Nevada was moored singly off Ford Island, and had a freedom of maneuver denied the, other 8 battleships present during the attack. As her gunners opened fire and her engineers got up steam, she was struck by one torpedo and two, possibly three, bombs from the Japanese attackers, but was able to get underway. While attempting to leave harbor she was struck again. Fearing she might sink in the channel, blocking it, she was beached at Hospital Point. Gutted forward, she lost 50 killed and 109 wounded.
Refloated 12 February 1942, Nevada repaired at Pearl Harbor and Puget Sound Navy Yard, then sailed for Alaska where she provided fire support for the capture of Attu 11 to 18 May. In June she sailed for further modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard, and in April 1944 reached British waters to prepare for the Normandy Invasion. In action from 6 to 17 June, and again 25 June, her mighty guns pounded not only permanent shore defenses on the Cherbourg Peninsula, but ranged as far as 17 miles inland, breaking up German concentrations and counterattacks. Shore batteries straddled her 27 times, but failed to diminish her accurate fire.
Between 15 August and 25 September, Nevada fired in the invasion of Southern France, dueling at Toulon with shore batteries of 13.4-inch guns taken from French battleships scuttled early in the war. Her gun barrels were relined at New York, and she sailed for the Pacific, arriving off Iwo Jima 16 February 1945 to give marines invading and fighting ashore her massive gunfire support through 7 March.
On 24 March, Nevada massed off Okinawa with the mightiest naval force ever seen in the Pacific, as pre-invasion bombardment began. She pounded Japanese airfields, shore defenses, supply dumps, and troop concentrations through the crucial operation, although 11 men were killed and a main battery turret damaged when she was struck by a suicide plane 27 March. Another 2 men were lost to fire from a shore battery 5 April. Serving off Okinawa until 30 June, from 10 July to 7 August she ranged with the 3rd Fleet which not only bombed the Japanese home islands, but came within range for Nevada’s guns during the closing days of the war.
Returning to Pearl Harbor after a brief occupation duty in Tokyo Bay, Nevada was surveyed and assigned as a target ship for the Bikini atomic experiments. The tough old veteran survived the atom-bomb test of July 1946, returned to Pearl Harbor to decommission 29 August, and was sunk by gunfire and aerial torpedoes off Hawaii 31 July 1948.
Nevada received 7 battle stars for World War II service.