Wednesday, September 7, 2011

USS Idaho (BB-43),1918...Maybe

This is another photo from the collection of Quartermaster Chief Petty Officer J.T. Oliver.  Chief Oliver was a part of the ship's company of USS New Hampshire (BB-25) during World War I.  According to the caption, Oliver states that this is the brand new battleship USS Idaho (BB-43) underway and conducting live fire exercises with her 14-inch rifles in the Chesapeake Bay.  He took the photo from the fan tail of New Hampshire

There is a date issue, however, with the photo.  There were two battleships named USS Idaho.  The first one was a "Great White Fleet"-era battleship that the United States sold to the Hellenic Navy (Greece) in 1914 (and later sunk in 1942 by  German bombers).  New York Shipbuilding Corporation launched the second battleship named Idaho in 1917, but the U.S. Navy did not commission the ship into the fleet until 1919. 

It is possible, given the war crisis at hand, that Idaho conducted part of her shakedown cruise with the rest of the fleet.  Any assistance in identifying the photo would be most appreciated.  Below are two positive identified photos of the second Idaho battleship.

USS Idaho, 1927

USS Idaho off of Okinawa, 1945

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