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Indiana file photo [5825]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassSouth Dakota-class Battleship
BuilderNewport News Shipbuilding
Laid Down20 Nov 1939
Launched21 Nov 1941
Commissioned30 Apr 1942
Decommissioned11 Sep 1947
Displacement35,000 tons standard
Length680 feet
Beam108 feet
Draft29 feet
Speed27 knots
Armament9x16in guns, 20x5in guns, 24x40mm cannon, 16x20mm cannon


ww2dbaseIndiana was commissioned in Apr 1942, during WW2, with Captain A. A. Merrill in command. Upon the completion of shakedown in Casco Bay, Maine, United States, she sailed through the Panama Canal to help screen for carriers Enterprise and Saratoga in the Pacific Ocean on 28 Nov 1942. Between 21 Oct and 11 Nov 1943, she received a brief rest at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States. In mid-Nov 1943, she arrived at the Gilbert Islands to screen for aircraft carriers during the invasion, then in late Jan 1944 fired her guns at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands to prepare for the landing scheduled for 1 Feb.

ww2dbaseIn the pre-dawn darkness of 1 Feb 1944, Indiana turned to leave the cruising formation of Task Group 58.1 near Kwajalein, under orders to fuel four destroyers. At 0420, she sent out a radio message noting she was turning towards the left and slowing to 15 knots, but Captain J. G. Steele decided to turn to the right instead without sending out a follow-up radio message. About 7 minutes after her turning to the right, her crewmen noted the proximity of battleship Washington. Washington engaged her engines at "back, emergency full" and pulled her rudder hard left, but could not prevent the collision that took place about a minute later, with Washington's bow scraping down the after portion of Indiana's starboard side. Indiana's starboard side hull was ripped open, and her after 16-inch gun turret rangefinder was damaged, along with several anti-aircraft machine guns, starboard catapult, and a seaplane. 60-some feet of Washington's forward hull was damaged, causing her deck to flap down into the water. 6 men were killed aboard Washington, and 4 aboard Indiana. Steele was relieved of command by Admiral Chester Nimitz for this incident, and never again served at sea. Meanwhile, Washington's Officer of the Deck was commended for "prompt and seamanlike action which almost averted the collision and definitely minimized the consequences." Indiana was temporarily repaired at Majuro, Marshall Islands and then sailed for Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for permanent repairs.

ww2dbaseIndiana returned to the Pacific War in Apr 1944. Her first mission upon her return was to screen for Task Force 58 as its aircraft attacked Japanese positions at Truk Atoll on 29 and 30 Apr. On 1 May, she bombarded Ponape, Caroline Islands. In Jun, she sailed to the Mariana Islands and bombarded Saipan on 13 and 14 Jun and defended against Japanese aircraft attacks on 15 Jun. On 19 Jun 1944, she screened for American ships during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, shooting down several Japanese aircraft while sustaining two near-misses by torpedoes. She remained at sea in the Mariana Islands area for 64 consecutive days to support the land campaign.

ww2dbaseIn Aug 1944, Indiana joined Task Group 38.3 in the bombardment of the Palau Islands. Between 12 and 30 Sep, she screened aircraft carriers as the aircraft attacked Leyte, Philippine Islands. Between 23 Oct and Dec 1944, she underwent a major overhaul at Bremerton Navy Yard, Washington, United States. Upon completion, she sailed for Pearl Harbor for training.

ww2dbaseOn 10 Jan 1945, Indiana departed from Pearl Harbor for Iwo Jima. On 24 Jan, she bombarded Iwo Jima. On 10 Feb, she returned to Iwo Jima with Task Force 58 for the invasion. Between 17 and 28 Feb, she screened for aircraft carriers as their aircraft attacked Tokyo, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Between 5 and 14 Mar, she anchored at Ulithi for replenishment. On 14 Mar, she departed Ulithi for the Okinawa invasion, and remained at sea until Jun 1945 in support for carrier operations against Okinawa and the Japanese home islands. On 13 Jun, she sailed to San Pedro, Philippine Islands. Between 1 Jul and 15 Aug, she sailed off Honshu, Japan and bombarded coastal targets. On 14 Jul 1945, she bombarded ironworks at Kamaishi, Iwate, in northern Honshu.

ww2dbaseAfter the Japanese surrender, Indiana sailed into Tokyo Bay for occupation duties on 5 Sep 1945. On 14 Sep, she sailed for San Francisco, California, United States, arriving on 29 Sep. She was placed in reserve at Bremerton Navy Yard, and was decommissioned exactly one year later. She was sold for scrap on 1 Jun 1962.

ww2dbaseSources: US Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, US Navy Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2008

Battleship Indiana Interactive Map


View of battleship IndianaUS battleship Indiana off Norfolk, Virginia, United States, 15 Aug 1942
See all 36 photographs of Battleship Indiana

Indiana Operational Timeline

30 Apr 1942 Indiana was commissioned into service.
16 Dec 1942 Battleships USS Washington, USS North Carolina, and USS Indiana escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Farragut, and USS Clarke departed NoumĂ©a, New Caledonia on a patrol cruise around the Coral Sea.
23 Dec 1942 Battleships USS Washington, USS North Carolina, and USS Indiana escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Farragut, and USS Clarke, joined by USS Fanning and Maury, returned to NoumĂ©a, New Caledonia.
31 Aug 1943 USS Yorktown (Essex-class) and TF 15 arrived at the launching point about 128 miles from Marcus Island in the early morning, spent most of that day launching fighter and bomber strikes on Marcus Island before beginning the retirement to Hawaii that evening.
11 Nov 1943 Battleships USS Washington, USS Indiana, USS South Dakota, and USS Massachusetts escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Fletcher, USS LaVallette, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, and USS Radford departed Nandi Bay, Fiji bound for the Marshall Islands.
22 Oct 1944 USS Indiana arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an overhaul.
6 Dec 1944 USS Indiana departed Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
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.
14 Jul 1945 American battleships USS South Dakota, USS Indiana, and USS Massachusetts and escorting destroyers bombarded Kamaishi, Honshu, Japan; the primary target was the Kamaishi Works of the Japan Iron Company, but several destroyers shells overshot the target and hit the town, killing many civilians; battleship shells were more accurate, destroying about 65% of the industrial complex, but they also killed many civilians; this was the first time the Japanese home islands were subjected to naval bombardment. To the north, the sinking of 6 warships and 37 steamers on the ferry route between Honshu and Hokkaido islands effectively cut off the latter from the rest of the home islands. At Kure in southern Japan, aircraft of US Navy TF 38 damaged carrier Amagi, carrier Katsuragi, and battleship Haruna; at Misawa in northern Japan, G4M bombers that were assigned to partake the planned Operation Ken, which sought to deliver 300 suicide commandos to the Mariana Islands, were destroyed (the American would not know of Operation Ken until after the war). The carriers were escorted by a large naval force that included battleship USS Missouri. Far to the south, the USAAF XXI Bomber Command canceled a long-range P-51 raid from Iwo Jima to attack Meiji and Kagamigahara near Nagoya due to poor weather.
11 Sep 1947 Indiana was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Dani King (grandfather Dana C. Erlewine served on USS Indiana WW2) says:
12 Aug 2009 07:30:47 AM

IF anyone has info or photos of my grandfather Dana C. Erlewine on the USS Indiana I would greatly appreciate it!! I believe he manned the big 16 inch guns.
2. David armstrong says:
27 May 2010 07:59:04 AM

My greatgrandfather Lester,H,Bageant served on the USS Indiana he died on Febuary,4,2010 if you have any information on him please contact my email thank you
3. David armstrong says:
27 May 2010 04:12:53 PM

*edit* he died Febuary,4,2005
4. Anonymous says:
9 Feb 2013 09:35:06 AM

Marta Locklear Photography - I grew up in a military falimy (heavy), my Grandfather Captained one of the very ships you are getting ready to land on. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and something I now am putting ON my bucket list! Enjoy, shoot like crazy and I will be waiting patiently to hear all about it! Have a blast and thank your hubby!October 12, 2009 1:54 am
5. Terry McDonald says:
23 Feb 2013 10:45:30 AM

My dad served on the Indiana 1950/51 (chief Warrent Officer)
Walter McDonald . Ship was in the Pacific Reserve fleet at the time. Had a great time fishing and sailing, using the boats provided by the Indiana in a small boathouse right under the bow of the Indiana and the Colorado.
6. Michael Elias says:
11 Jun 2013 07:51:47 AM

My Uncle Joe Elias served on the Indiana ww2. He was from Pawhuska Oklahoma. He was an awesome guy. I have some pictures and his ship book.If any info or picture let me know.
7. Carrie Schaefer says:
5 Jul 2013 08:20:41 AM

I was just doing research on 2 pictures my husband has had for years. They are of the Indiana. One is a picture of the ship and the other is a picture of the crew on the ship. These are both very good clear pics taken by O.W Waterman. Let me know if they mean anything to you.
8. Daniel Robinson says:
7 Oct 2014 01:55:26 PM

my grandfather was on board ether this ship or the indianapolis. my dad is not sure which but he is pretty sure it was this one. i would apriciate any pictures that could be sent to my email or anything else that could be found of him on this ship.
9. Daniel Robinson says:
7 Oct 2014 02:01:17 PM

ps. his name was Dayton Robinson.
10. Melissa says:
19 Jul 2015 01:23:04 PM

my grandfather was also on the USS indiana in ww2. His name was Earle Harris. I have been trying to find any pictures or correspondence with his name on it. I only know that he was a welder.
11. Paul Holzer says:
13 Sep 2015 09:23:48 AM

My father-in-law served on the USS Indiana in ww2. His name was Jim Davis. If anyone has any crew /ship pictures, please let me know. Does anyone know how to locate ships rosters during WW2 as he also served on USS Antietam and I am trying track dow the datres served on each ship.
12. Pat Patten says:
26 Nov 2015 10:03:38 AM

My brother, Don Patten, served on the Indiana during WW II. He brought home a book on the ship and her company. It was lost and I would like to replace it. Anyone have a extra?
13. Diane McKeithan says:
9 May 2016 07:50:47 AM

There is a USS Indiana BB-58 Reunion Association that meets once a year. Many shipmates attend the reunion, and more keep in touch via the newsletter. If you are interested in information, please send email to USSIndianareunion@yahoo.com
14. James Stinebaker says:
11 Jul 2016 08:46:51 PM

My Dad...Walter E. Stinebaker was on the ship
from the end of 1944 to Sept. 1945. I still have
his ship book with all the pictures. Dad was on
the 20 & 40 mm quad mounts in the 7th Marines.
15. Max beheydt says:
18 Jul 2016 02:34:26 PM

my father Robert e. Beheydt was on USS INDINA BATTLESHIP. My Mom and I went to Puget Sound navy yard when it was there for repairs. My mom and I was on it. I was three months old.
16. Elwood L Bauerle says:
18 Sep 2016 04:18:54 PM

I was on the USS Indiana from 1943-1946. I am going to be 91 yrs old. I live in Debary, Florida.
17. Johnny Floyd Craig says:
4 Feb 2017 10:50:00 AM

My father Johnnie Floyd Craig was on this ship during the war. He just passed away 17 Jan 17. I have his ship book of 1945.
18. Anonymous says:
25 Feb 2017 03:59:04 AM

My uncle was thrown overboard during the collision with the Washington my mother told me this I would like to know more his name was lawrence neville
19. Benny Long says:
19 Mar 2017 06:07:13 AM

My father , Clarence Long served on the Indiana from 43 thru the end of the war. His first Cousin served on the Washington during the same period. I never heard knew about the collision until I overheard my dad's cousin talking about it a couple of years ago. They were truly the greatest generation.
20. Patty Carlon Kushner says:
20 Mar 2017 02:15:44 PM

My Uncle Robert P. CARLON served on the Indiana from 1943 on toward the end of the war. He also flew off of aircraft carriers and once missed the deck hook, having to be rescued out of the ocean. I would love to see if he is in anyone's yearbook.
21. Scott says:
2 Aug 2017 09:38:24 AM

My great grandfather served on the Indiana, I have been looking for a crew list, does anyone know where I can find a crew list?
22. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
2 Aug 2017 12:28:26 PM

Scott (above):
If your great-grandfather was Robert Irving Loose, then -Yes- he does appear at several places in the Indiana’s Muster Rolls during 1945 and 1946. Apparently he was an Electricians Mate. A fairly complete collection of Navy Muster Rolls can be found at Fold3.com, which is where I found these, but this is a subscription site. For even more information about your great-grandfather’s Navy service, request a copy of his service record. See: http://ww2db.com/faq/#3.
23. madeline wilcox says:
14 Sep 2017 08:57:26 AM

My husband NELSON a, Wilcox SERVED ON THE uss Indiana but I am not sure when.
24. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
15 Sep 2017 11:29:54 AM

Madeline Wilcox (above):
According to the Navy Muster Rolls, Nelson A Wilcox, service number 311 96 84, came aboard the USS Indiana as an Apprentice Seaman at Newport News VA at the time of Indiana’s commissioning, 30 Apr 1942, two months after he enlisted. He remained with the Indiana until he missed the ship when it sailed from Norfolk VA 9 Nov 1942. Later, he shows up on the Muster Rolls of several attack transport ships through the end of the war that include being part of the Okinawa invasion. The last entry I can find has him transferring to the Receiving Station at San Diego 20 Jul 1945.
25. Miranda Muniz says:
18 Oct 2017 10:01:50 AM

My grandfather Arthur C Cooke served on the Indiana but he never told anyone in my family when, for how long, or anything about his service.
26. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
18 Oct 2017 04:50:48 PM

Miranda Muniz (above):
Indiana Muster Rolls list a Seaman 2nd-class Arthur C. Cooke, Jr., service number 619 34 59 and enlistment date 5 Feb 1944, reported aboard 9 May 1944 and was still listed as part of the crew in mid-1945. To learn more, the best source is his service record. See http://ww2db.com/faq/#3.
27. Anonymous says:
14 Nov 2017 07:51:27 PM

I have a sterling silver napkin ring with the engraving of Robert C Wood,
on the back it says USS Indiana V 154 Fasron 8
Have no idea what all that means. I have tried to find relatives of this person as I would like to get this back to a family member. Any help?
28. Lee W. says:
28 Feb 2018 06:04:53 PM

As a youngster growing up in Richmond, California, I remember when the Indiana was towed to the waterfront of our town to be scrapped. For a number of years the ship’s bow graced the parking lot of a well known eatery in Berkeley, Spenger’s. It has since been returned to the state of Indiana. Read more about it on Navsource.com
29. Ron Ferguson says:
30 May 2018 10:59:56 AM

trying to find out info on my father, Marion Clinton Ferguson who was part of the USS Indiana. I could not pull up the full crew list.

thank you.
30. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
30 May 2018 09:24:25 PM

Ron Ferguson (above):
USS Indiana Muster Rolls say Marion C Ferguson, service number 876 99 80, enlisted 10 Feb 1944 at Denver, Colorado and reported aboard Indiana 9 May 1944 at Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. He appears consistently in Indiana’s Muster Rolls at least until 1 Apr 1946.

The absolute best source of information on your father’s service is his service record. To learn more about how to request a copy, see https://ww2db.com/faq/#3.
31. Anonymous says:
5 Jun 2018 06:28:37 PM

My Uncle was one of the four sailors lost during the collision with the Washington. Lawrence Hilton Neville . He was 19 years old. Buried at sea.
32. Cheryl Cullen Schuelke says:
1 Nov 2018 02:46:27 PM

Looking for info about James Cullen, my dad And his best friend Manny Bergman 1942 to 1946?
33. Anonymous says:
23 Mar 2019 04:57:08 PM

Hi Cheryl I got all my information on my grandfather Peter John Cirafice who served on the Indiana and lost his life during a fighter pilot recovery during operation Gunto and records from Golden arrow research , cost was around 100.00 for all of his service records and was well worth the money
34. T.J. Styrzo says:
29 May 2019 05:08:38 PM

My father served on this ship.does anyone remember him Theodore Styrzo?
35. Jeremy Walker says:
27 Jan 2024 07:25:51 PM

My grandpa served on this ship his name is Arnold Jennings Berg if anyone served with him please contact me thank you.

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More on Indiana
Event(s) Participated:
» Gilbert Islands Campaign
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign
» Typhoon Connie
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

Battleship Indiana Photo Gallery
View of battleship IndianaUS battleship Indiana off Norfolk, Virginia, United States, 15 Aug 1942
See all 36 photographs of Battleship Indiana

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