|Ship Class||South Dakota-class Battleship|
|Builder Name||Bethlehem Fore River Shipyard|
|Laid Down||20 Jul 1939|
|Launched||23 Sep 1941|
|Commissioned||12 May 1942|
|Decommissioned||27 Mar 1947|
|Displacement||38,000 tons standard; 44,374 tons full|
|Machinery||Four Westinghouse geared turbines with four screws|
|Armament||9x16in guns, 20x5in guns, 24x40mm cannons, 35x20mm cannons|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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.
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.|
|27 Mar 1947||Massachusetts was decommissioned from service.|
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» 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
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945