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Massachusetts file photo [5822]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassSouth Dakota-class Battleship
BuilderBethlehem Fore River Shipyard
Laid Down20 Jul 1939
Launched23 Sep 1941
Commissioned12 May 1942
Decommissioned27 Mar 1947
Displacement38,000 tons standard; 44,374 tons full
Length681 feet
Beam108 feet
Draft29 feet
MachineryFour Westinghouse geared turbines with four screws
Speed28 knots
Armament9x16in guns, 20x5in guns, 24x40mm cannons, 35x20mm cannons


ww2dbaseMassachusetts, known to her crew as "Big Mamie", was commissioned at Boston, Massachusetts, United States with Captain Francis E. M. Whiting in command. After her shakedown cruise, she departed Casco Bay in Portland, Maine on 24 Oct 1942 to become Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's flagship during the American landings in North Africa.

ww2dbaseOn 8 Nov, Massachusetts was engaged in a naval battle with French battleship Jean Bart, which acted as shore battery as she had not been completed; Massachusetts silenced Jean Bart's 15-inch guns within minutes and shared the credit for the sinking of French destroyers Fougueux and Boulonnais. During this battle, she was hit twice by 240-millimeter shore batteries, but the damage sustained was mostly superficial. She returned to the United States after the French signed a cease fire with the United States on 12 Nov.

ww2dbaseOn 4 Mar 1943, Massachusetts arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia. Between 19 and 21 Nov, she escorted an aircraft carrier group as the aircraft struck Makin, Tarawa, and Abemama of the Gilbert Islands. On 8 Dec, her guns fired on Japanese positions on Nauru. On 29 Jan 1944, she guarded carriers as their aircraft struck Tarawa. On 30 Jan, she bombarded Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, and then covered the landings there on the next day. On 17 Feb, she escorted carriers as their aircraft struck Truk in the Caroline Islands. On 21 and 22 Feb, she helped fighting off a heavy air attack on her task group while the group's aircraft attacked the Mariana Islands. On 22 Apr, she covered the invasion of Hollandia, New Guinea. On 1 May, she bombarded Ponape Island.

ww2dbaseBetween May and Jul, Massachusetts was in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, United States for overhaul.

ww2dbaseOn 1 Aug, Massachusetts departed from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States where she had been running post-overhaul training exercises. In Oct 1944, she supported the landings in Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands. On 10 Oct, she escorted carriers during an air strike on Okinawa, Japan, and then conducted a similar mission as the aircraft struck Taiwan between 12 and 14 Oct. On 25 Oct, she participated in the Battle off Cape Engaño as an escort to aircraft carriers. On 14 Dec, after time for rest at Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, she bombarded Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands. On 18 Dec, she survived sailing through Typhoon Cobra, though three destroyers of Task Force 38 were not so lucky. Between 30 Dec 1944 and 23 Jan 1945, she escorted strikes on Taiwan and supported with her guns at the landings at Lingayen, Luzon, Philippines. Between 10 Feb and 3 Mar, Massachusetts guarded aircraft carriers as their aircraft struck the Japanese home island of Honshu. On 17 Mar, off Kyushu, Japan, she fired her guns to deter a Japanese air attack on her group, downing several aircraft. Between late Mar and Apr and then again in Jun, she operated in the vicinity of Okinawa, where she fought off many air attacks.

ww2dbaseOn 1 Jul, Massachusetts sailed from Leyte Gulf to join the Third Fleet on their way to Japan. After guarding carriers launching strikes against Tokyo, Japan, she bombarded Kamaishi in northern Honshu on 14 Jul, which was a major steel production center. In late Jul, she bombarded the industrial complex at Hamamatsu in central Honshu. On 9 Aug, she bombarded Kamaishi once again.

ww2dbaseMassachusetts suffered no combat fatalities during WW2.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Massachusetts received an overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard between 1 Sep 1945 and 28 Jan 1946. After operating for about one year off the California, United States coast, she was decommissioned in Mar 1947 at Norfolk, Virginia, United States. She is now a museum ship moored at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts, United States.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2008

Battleship Massachusetts Interactive Map

Massachusetts Operational Timeline

20 Jul 1939 The keel of battleship Massachusetts was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, United States.
12 May 1942 Massachusetts was commissioned into service.
18 Dec 1944 Many ships from the United States Third Fleet, Task Force 38 sailed into Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea. Three destroyers and 790 men were lost.
4 Jun 1945 Many ships from the United States Third Fleet, primarily Task Groups 38.1 and 30.8 sailed into Typhoon Connie south of Japan. No ships were lost but 7 men lost their lives.
27 Mar 1947 Massachusetts was decommissioned from service.


Battleship Massachusetts entering Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, United States, 12 May 1942Anti-aircraft gunfire seen above American ships against French fighters, off Casablanca, Morocco, early morning of 8 Nov 1942; seen from the after deck of battleship Massachusetts
See all 21 photographs of Battleship Massachusetts

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Dan Connell says:
13 Nov 2016 06:04:43 PM

Donald Connell was my uncle and I was told he served on the USS Massachusetts in WWII I am trying to find out if this is true so as to get the full story on him
2. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
13 Nov 2016 09:13:16 PM

To Dan Connell (above):
The Muster Rolls for the USS Massachusetts list Seaman 2nd class Donald Edward Connell, service number 642 32 92 and enlisting 29 Jul 1942 at New Haven CT, being received aboard 11 Jan 1943 from the Receiving Station at Boston, Mass - and Gunners Mate 3rd class Donald Connell was transferred off the ship to the Receiving Station at Seattle, Wash on 12 Jan 1945.
If, as you say, you want to “get the full story on him,” you can take his name and service number and request a copy of his service record from the National Archives and Records Administration (it is easier than it sounds). See: http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/ww2-participation.pdf
3. Christy hicks says:
15 Nov 2016 04:46:50 PM

My father passed away and I found a few things that had USS Massachusetts on it. I'm guessing it was from my grandfather. Where can I look to see if James Haywood hicks was on this ship?
4. Michael Rosek says:
19 Nov 2016 08:51:15 PM

Kenneth Gilbert Rosek is my father, who served aboard the USS Massachusetts during WWll. The little info that I have is that he served aboard her as S1/C; 4 th div.. Possible service number 312-08-55. I entered the info as you listed above, but all I get are several pages of different web sites. Do you have any helpful info? Would be much appreciated. Thanks, Mike.
5. michael Rosek says:
19 Nov 2016 08:59:43 PM

Just wrote regarding my father, Kennth G. Rosek, who served aboard the USS Massachusetts during WWll. Would also like to add that he suffered injuries on, or about July 22, 1943. Also seeking any information regarding ship activities, or circumstances revolving around the injuries. Although there were no fatal casualties aboard the ship, I understand that there were 11 wounded/injured crew members. Thank you, Mike.
6. Dan Connell Sr. says:
4 Dec 2016 12:11:31 PM

My Uncle Donald Connell served on the USS Massachusetts in WWII and I need to know where I can go to get information on his tour of duty on the ship. You had sent me info, but I had inadvertently lost it.


7. Walt says:
1 Apr 2017 08:24:01 AM

My father-in-law served on the Massachusetts and I would like to find out more, like the dates he was on board. Where can I find more info? Thanks!
8. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
1 Apr 2017 11:48:33 AM

Walt (above):
You can request a copy of his service record (see http://ww2db.com/faq/#3) or Fold3.com has a fairly complete collection of World War II Navy Muster Rolls, but this is a subscription site.
9. Keryl Frankowski says:
16 Feb 2019 07:29:41 AM

My mother & I visited the USS Mass. several years ago & it was very interesting. My father served on the USS Mass. & I have his sailor uniform & was willing to donate it- would the USS Mass. be interested in it?
10. Bob Canavan says:
13 Nov 2019 02:09:14 PM

my dad Arnold F. Canavan was stationed on BB59.

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More on Massachusetts
Event(s) Participated:
» Operation Torch
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3
» Gilbert Islands Campaign
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Typhoon Cobra
» Raid into the South China Sea
» Okinawa Campaign
» Typhoon Connie

Related Books:
» Warship 2011

Battleship Massachusetts Photo Gallery
Battleship Massachusetts entering Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, United States, 12 May 1942Anti-aircraft gunfire seen above American ships against French fighters, off Casablanca, Morocco, early morning of 8 Nov 1942; seen from the after deck of battleship Massachusetts
See all 21 photographs of Battleship Massachusetts

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