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Maryland

The Colorado Class battleship Maryland was a sister ship to West Virginia. She was launched on 20 March 1920. Her displacement was 31,500 tons, length overall 624 feet and beam 97 feet. She was armed with eight 16-inch, 45 caliber, eight 5-inch, 38 caliber and 10 5-inch, 51 caliber guns as well as numerous 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. Her complement was 2,100 men. On 7 December she was moored at the southern end of Battleship Row, near the gasoline wharf, inshore of Oklahoma. She was targeted by the Nakajima B5N2 Kates of Commander Mitsuo Fuchida's (Fuchida, Mitsuo) 1st Attack Unit from Akagi and damaged by two bombs. One hit the forecastle, doing a little damage, and the other struck alongside, causing flooding and the ship settled some five feet. The ship's log recorded these hits at 0909, but that is almost certainly mistaken as the horizontal bombs came from the First Attack Wave. Alongside the Oklahoma suffered much more severely and capsized, some of her crew taking refuge on Maryland. Forward of her the fuel ship Neosho was moved by her skipper, Commander John S. Phillips at 0842 to let the battleship move out, but this was now impossible. Her men remained at battle stations all day, shooting at anything and everything, including the unfortunate pilots from Enterprise. The damage done to the ship was so small that by 20 December she was once more in service. She went on to serve in various actions until the end of the war, largely as an artillery support ship. She aided the assault on Tarawa on 20 November 1943, on Saipan on 6 June 1944, fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944 and was damaged by bomber action at Okinawa in April 1945.

See also: Akagi; Battleship Row; Enterprise; First Attack Wave; Fuchida, Mitsuo; Kate; Neosho; Oklahoma;West Virginia

You can find out more about the Maryland in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; CAMPAIGN 77 Tarawa 1943