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Tennessee

The battleship Tennessee, sister ship to California, was laid down at New York Yard in May 1917 and completed on 16 September 1920. Her displacement was 32,300 tons, slightly less than her sister ship, but otherwise their specification was the same. On 7 December she was moored on Battleship Row, on the eastern shore of Ford Island, inshore of West Virginia, with Arizona astern to the north and Maryland forward inshore and Oklahoma outside her. Being inshore, Tennessee was shielded from torpedo attack, but she was hit by two bombs, on Turret III and Turret II. Fragments of the bomb that hit II struck West Virginia, fatally injuring Captain Mervyn Bennion (Bennion, Mervyn). After the attack the sunken West Virginia held Tennessee in place and the quays had to be dynamited to release her. Her stern had suffered damage from the heat of the fire on Arizona, but repairs were complete by 20 December and she returned to service. She was at Saipan in June 1944, the Leyte Gulf in October 1944 and was damaged by air attack at Okinawa in April 1945.

See also: Arizona; Battleship Row; Bennion, Captain Mervyn; California; Ford Island; Maryland; Oklahoma;West Virginia

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