On the night of 14-15 November, 1942, Halsey dispatched battleships Washington and South Dakota to protect Henderson Field against Admiral Nobutaku Kondo’s Second Fleet.  Although the Kirishima scored several critical hits on the South Dakota, she remained engaged.  Washington protected both Guadalcanal and the South Dakota, using its main and secondary batteries with deadly close range accuracy (4-5 nautical miles).  The Kirishima was later scuttled and sank.  

This engagement was only one of two major battleship vs. battleship engagements during the war.  

(Photo credit: Navsource and

On 2 September 1945, the Empire of Japan formally surrendered to the Allied Powers, ending World War II. The surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay took place on the battleship Missouri (BB 63) shown here on that morning beneath a massive flyover by U.S. Navy carrier aircraft. National Archives image 80-G-421130.

On 30 August 1923, battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) was commissioned.This view, taken from the bridge while Colorado was underway in the early 1920’s, shows water crashing over the bow while the battleship was steaming in heavy seas. NHHC image NH 64514.

Norman Polmar’s Corner: Working for John Lehman, Part 2
By Norman Polmar
About the time that he was named Secretary of the Navy in February 1981, John F. Lehman met with two of our mutual friends—James Woolsey, previously Under Secretary of the Navy, and Dov Zakheim, a defense policy expert.* Without  my knowledge, Woolsey and Zakheim proposed me for a position in Lehman’s secretariat. I had known Lehman, albeit not well, for about a decade as we attended conferences and both were members of a dinner group sponsored by the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies.

USS Ohio (Battleship # 12) Passing the Cucaracha Slide, while transiting the Panama Canal on 16 July 1915. She appears to be under tow. Along with the battleships Missouri and Wisconsin, Ohio was among the first Navy ships to the transit the Panama Canal. NHHC image NH 82269.

The Naval Historical Foundation wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!

U.S. Navy photo 080503-N-KW566-001

On 25 May 1952 the battleship USS Iowa (BB 61) arrived off the coast of Chongjin, Korea to bombard enemy targets ashore. This image of Iowa firing her 16-inch guns at enemy coastal defenses at Koje, Korea, was taken in October 1952, at the end of Iowa‘s Korean War combat operations. NHHC image NH 92213.

On 23 May 1943 the battleship USS New Jersey (BB 62) was commissioned. In this image, Commanding Officer Captain Carl F. Holden speaks during the ceremony at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. National Archives image 80-G-K-895.

Donor Gets First Look at Battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) Model

The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) resting at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, is a powerful symbol of the devastation wrought on 7 December 1941 as Japanese aircraft swooped down on the unsuspecting American Pacific Fleet. Surprisingly, until the year 2000, the U.S Navy did not have a scale model of the battleship in the collection of the Curator of Ship Models. In the summer of that year, the Naval Historical Foundation purchased a 3 foot model of Arizona, and donated it to the Navy.

(read the full story)

On 6 May 1916 the first ship-to-shore radio telephone voice conversation was completed, from the battleship USS New Hampshire (BB 25) off the Virginia Capes to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels in Washington, DC. This photo of New Hampshire was taken in the Hudson River, New York, 27 December 1918. NHHC image NH 2891.