USS Maryland History and
The USS Maryland (Hull BB-46) was laid
down on the 24th of April 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport
News, Va.; launched 20 March 1920; sponsored by Mrs. E. Brook Lee, wife of
the Comptroller of the State of Maryland; and commissioned on the 21st of
July 1921, Capt. C. F. Preston In command.
Maryland was stationed at Pearl Harbor
during the infamous attack, but received only two lightly damaging bomb
hits, and made Puget Sound under her own power. She guarded several island
chains in her pre-yard time, including Midway, the New Hebrides and Samao.
She then supported Kinkaids 7th Fleet and it's amphibious groups in
several landings and participated at the battle of Surigao Straits.
With a new type seaplane catapult and
the Brat 16-Inch guns mounted on a U.S. ship, Maryland was the pride of
the Navy. Following an east coast shakedown she found herself in great
demand for special occasions. She appeared at Annapolis for the 1922 Naval
Academy graduation and at Boston for the anniversary of Bunker Hill and
the Fourth of July. Between 18 August and 25 September she paid her first
visit to a foreign port transporting Secretary of State Charles Evans
Hughes to Rio de Janeiro for Brazil's Centennial Exposition. The next
year, after fleet exercises off the Panama Canal Zone. Maryland transited
the canal In the latter part of June to join the battle fleet stationed on
the west coast.
One thing to note: A gunner's mate
striker, writing a letter near his machine-gun, brought the first of his
ship's guns into play, shooting down one of two attacking torpedo planes.
Inboard of Oklahoma and thus protected from the initial torpedo attack,
Maryland managed to bring all her anti aircraft batteries into action.
Despite two bomb hits she continued to fire and, after the attack, sent
firefighting parties to assist her sister ships. The Japanese announced
that she had been sunk, but 30 December, battered yet sturdy, the ship
entered the repair yard at Puget Sound Navy Yard. She had made the first
shots of the war.
She emerged 26 February 1942 not only
repaired but modernized and ready for great service. During the important
Battle of Midway, the old battleships, not fast enough to accompany the
carriers, operated as a backup force. Thereafter Maryland engaged in
almost constant training exercises until 1 August, when she returned to
Torpedoed 22 June 1944;
extensive damage from kamikaze 29 Nov 1944, kamikaze 7 April 1945. Final
armament was 8 16/45, 8 twin 5/38, 11 quad 40 mm, 1 quad, 29 twin 20 mm.
To reserve: 16 July
1946, decommissioned: 3 April 1947, stricken: 1 March 1959, sold: 8 July
1959, scrapped in Oakland: August 1959.