Battlewagon Wednesday – USS Pennsylvania BB-38

Battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) in 1925

Battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) in 1925

The only sister ship of the USS Arizona, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was in drydock during the attack on Pearl Harbor and only lightly damaged. She served throughout the war and was used as a target ship during the 1946 Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini atoll. She survived the nuking and was eventually sunk in 1948.

This image shows her in her configuration before a major 1929 refit. After the two-year update, she had tripods to replace the cage masts.

Her main armament consisted of twelve 14″/45 guns in four triple turrets. (Triple turrets are different than three-gun turrets in that the individual guns elevate in unison and not independently.) She was 609 feet long and displaced 31,900 tons as built. She had a top speed of 21 knots.