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Nevada

The battleship Nevada, sister ship to Oklahoma, was laid down by the Fore River Company in November 1912 and completed in March 1916. Her displacement was 29,000 tons, length overall 583 feet and beam 108 feet. She drew 33 feet of water. Nevada was armed with 10 14-inch, 45 caliber, 12 5-inch, 51 caliber and 12 5-inch, 25 caliber anti-aircraft guns as well as four six-pounders and eight machine guns. She carried three aircraft and her complement was 1,301 men. On the night of 6-7 December her Captain, F. W. Scanland, who lived in Honolulu, was ashore and when Nevada was attacked Lieutenant Commander Francis J. Thomas (Thomas, Francis J.) was senior officer and he took command with Ensign Joseph K. Taussig Jr (Taussig, Joseph K.) as air defense officer. The battleship was moored alone at the north eastern end of Battleship Row off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. She had one boiler with steam up, and so had the opportunity to move. At 0805 one of the last torpedoes dropped, possibly by a Nakajima B5N2 Kate from the carrier Kaga, struck her on the port bow. The aircraft was shot down as it passed astern, but Ensign Taussig was wounded. Lieutenant Lawrence E. Ruff (Ruff, Lawrence E.) managed to rejoin the ship during this turmoil and, finding that Thomas was at his battle station below decks, arranged to take post in the conning tower and help get Nevada to sea. At 0830 they prepared to cast off and at 0840, after Chief Boatswain Edwin Hill (Hill, Edwin) cast off her lines, they started to move. As she did so the majority of 12th Attack Unit from Kaga, 23 Aichi D3A1 Vals, tried to stop her. An additional danger was the oiler Neosho, which was also moving off. The Vals scored five hits and orders came from Commander Battle Force Vice-Admiral William S. Pye to cease the attempt to leave harbor lest she block the channel. Ruff managed to beach her just west of the Floating Drydock at 0910 hours. Several tugs, including Hoga, YT129, YT152 and YT153 came alongside to help fight the fires which, after an hour and a half, were under control. They then towed Nevada across the channel to Waipio Point and beached her safely there. She was refloated on 12 February and by 15 March was able to sail to Puget Sound for refitting. She was back in service in late 1942 and took part in the Normandy landings in June 1944 as part of Bombarding Force "A", Western Task Force. She was damaged in a kamikaze attack at Okinawa in late March 1945.

See also: 12th Attack Unit; Battleship Row; Ford Island; Hill, Edwin; Kaga; Pearl Harbor; Ruff, Lawrence E.; Taussig Jr, Joseph K.; Thomas, Francis J.; Val

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