Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day-USS West Virginia (BB-48) Artifacts

For the 70th anniversary of the Japanese air raid on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, we present two artifacts from the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48).  The first is the ship's wheel and the second is a binnacle used for navigation.  Both items are in the museum's World War II gallery.

USS West Virgina and Tennessee after being struck by Japanese torpedoes.
Before the war, West Virginia was stationed in Norfolk before being overhauled and modernized at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  The Navy then sent her to the Pacific Ocean for permanent duty.  During the air raid, Japanese planes struck West Virginia with nine torpedoes and killed over 100 sailors including her captain.  See more about the attack on Pearl Harbor at our command's website.  Salvage teams saved West Virginia after the attack. After an extensive repair and overhaul project, the battleship saw active service from  mid-1944 until the end of the war.

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