Laid down on September 11, 1911 by Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York. Launched on October 30, 1912 and commissioned on April 15, 1914 with Captain Thomas S. Rodgers in command. New York was the flagship for Rear Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher, commanding the fleet occupying and blockading Veracruz until resolution of the crisis with Mexico in July 1914. New York then headed north for fleet operations along the Atlantic coast as war broke out in Europe.
World War I
Upon the entry of the United States into World War I, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., New York sailed as flagship with Battleship Division 9 (BatDiv 9), commanded by Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman to strengthen the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea, arriving Scapa Flow on 7 December 1917. Constituting the 6th Battle Squadron in the Grand Fleet, the American ships joined in blockade and escort missions and by their very presence so weighted the Allies' preponderance of naval power as to inhibit the Germans from attempting any major fleet engagements. New York twice encountered U-boats.
During her World War I service, New York was frequently visited by royal and other high-ranking representatives of the Allies, and she was present for one of the most dramatic moments of the war, the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth on 21 November 1918, after which the secondary battery was reduced to 16 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns. As a last European mission, New York joined the ships escorting President Woodrow Wilson from an ocean rendezvous, to Brest, France en route to the Versailles Peace Conference.
Returning to a program which alternated individual and fleet exercises with necessary maintenance, New York trained in the Caribbean in spring 1919, and that summer joined the Pacific Fleet at San Diego, her home port for the next 16 years. She trained off Hawaii and the West Coast, occasionally returning to the Atlantic and Caribbean for brief missions or overhauls. By 1937, the anti-aircraft armament included eight 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns and eight 1.1 in (28 mm)/75 cal guns. In 1937, carrying Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President's personal representative for the coronation of King George VI, New York sailed to take part in the Grand Naval Review of 20 May 1937 as sole US Navy representative. New York was fitted with XAF RADAR in February, 1938, including the first United States duplexer so a single antenna could both send and receive.
For much of the following three years, New York trained United States Naval Academy midshipmen and other prospective officers with cruises to Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean, and in mid-1941 she joined the Neutrality Patrol. She escorted troops to Iceland in July 1941, then served as station ship at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, protecting the new American base there.
World War II
After America entered the war, New York guarded Atlantic convoys to Iceland and Scotland against U-boats. In 1942, the secondary battery was reduced to six 5 in (130 mm) guns and the anti-aircraft armament was increased to ten 3" guns, 24 x Bofors 40mm guns, and 42 Oerlikon 20mm cannons.
New York participated in the preinvasion bombardment of Safi, Morocco on November 8, 1942. She then stood by at Casablanca and Fedhala before returning home for convoy duty escorting men and supplies to North Africa. She then took up duty training gunners for battleships and destroyer escorts in Chesapeake Bay, rendering this service until 10 June 1944, when she began the first of three training cruises for the Naval Academy, voyaging to Trinidad.
Departed for the Pacific on November 21, 1944 for the West Coast, arriving at San Pedro, California on December 6 for gunnery training in preparation for amphibious operations. Departed San Pedro on January 12, 1945 via Pearl Harbor. On the way, New York suffered screw damage and was diverted to Eniwetok to survey screw damage. Despite impaired speed, she joined the Iwo Jima assault force in rehearsals off Saipan.
New York participated in the pre-invasion bombardment of Iwo Jima beginning on February 16, 1945. During the next 3 days, she fired more rounds than any other ship present and made a spectacular direct 14" hit on an enemy ammunition dump.
Afterwards, proceeded to Seeadler Harbor and during late February 1945 dry docked in USS Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock 4 (AFDB-4) to repair her propellers until March 1945 then departed northward bound for Okinawa.
On March 27, 1945 the battleship began 76 consecutive days of action during the Battle of Okinawa including the bombardment of Okinawa before the U. S. Marines and U. S. Army landing on April 1, 1945 then fire support against targets on the island.
On April 14, 1945 a kamikaze grazed her demolishing her spotting plane on the catapult. On June 11, 1945 after 76 consecutive days on station, departed across the Pacific to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the invasion of Japan until the end of the Pacific War. For her World War II service, USS New York received three battle stars.
After the war's end, made a voyage to the West Coast returning veterans and bringing out their replacements. She sailed from Pearl Harbor again on 29 September with passengers for New York, arriving on 19 October.
New York was selected as a target ship for "Operation Crossroads" the atomic tests, and departed on March 4, 1946 for the West Coast. On May 1, 1946 departed San Francisco steaming via Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein before arriving on June 15, 1946 at Bikini Atoll. Surviving the surface blast on 1 July and the underwater explosion on 25 July, she was taken to Kwajalein and decommissioned on August 29, 1946. Later towed to Pearl Harbor and studied for the next two years.
On July 8, 1948 towed out to sea 40 miles used as a target for ships and planes carrying out full-scale battle maneuvers with new weapons for eight hours.
Naval Aviation News. October 1948. "Planes Sink Battleships" page 11:
"The ex-BB's New York and Nevada, having survived the tests at Bikini, were towed from Pearl Harbor to a spot south of Oahu, and there were subjected to an unmerciful pounding by fleet air and surface units. Planes led by the commanding officer of Fleet All Weather Training Unit Pacific (FAWTUPAC), Captain Paul H. Ramsey, USN, were in on both kills. On 7 July 1948 the New York was the first to feel the sting of the fighters and attack aircraft. Twenty-six planes, consisting of two F7F-4Ns, six F8F-1Ns, twelve F6F-5Ns, and six TBM-3Ns dropped a total of 48 500-pound bombs, 40 100-pound bombs, 98 5-inch HVARs and expended 4,100 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition. Twenty-one direct hits were scored with the 500-pound bombs, 20 direct hits were scored with the 100-pound bombs, and 56 direct hits were scored with the 5-inch HVARs. While surface units stood by and submarines waited to close in for the kill, the tired old battlewagon rolled over and sank as the last participating FAWTUPAC planes recovered from their bombing attacks."
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August 4, 2020