Home > Encyclopedia > Pennsylvania


The battleship Pennsylvania was laid down at Newport News in October 1913 and completed in June 1916. Her displacement was 33,100 tons, length overall 608 feet and beam 106 feet. Her complement was 1,358 men. She had 12 14-inch, 45 caliber, 12 5-inch, 51 caliber and 12 5-inch, 25 caliber anti-aircraft guns. She could carry three aircraft. Pennsylvania was sister ship to Arizona. On 7 December the battleship, which was flagship of the US Pacific Fleet, was sharing Drydock No.1 with the destroyers Cassin and Downes. She went unscathed in the First Attack Wave but was targeted at 0907 by dive-bombers, Vals, of Akagi's 13th Attack Unit. A bomb penetrated a 5-inch gun casemate and killed 28 officers and men while another that fell alongside damaged the hull. The damage to the two destroyers was very much greater, but the fires in Drydock No.1 were under control by 1045. The work on Pennsylvania's propellor shafts that had already been in hand before the attack, as well as necessary repairs to the hull were complete by 12 December and, by replacing the 5-inch gun with one salvaged from West Virginia, the ship was back in service on 20 December. Pennsylvania was engaged in the bombardment of Saipan in June, of Guam in July and in the Battle of the Leyte Gulf in October 1944.

See also: 13th Attack Unit; Akagi; Arizona; Cassin; Downes; First Attack Wave; Pacific Fleet; Val; West Virginia

You can find out more about the Pennsylvania in the following Osprey book:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941