USS Indiana (BB58)

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American battleship histories. American naval battleship USS Indiana. Battleship website dedicated to the history of USS Indiana from their launch to their participation in major wars also notice board for naval historians & families of ex-crew of USS Indiana.

USS Indiana was built at Newport News and launched 21st November 1941 and completed 30th April 1942.  par of the South Dakota Class of Battleships. USS Indiana left Hampton Roads, Virginia on the 9th November for the Panama canal  with the destination of Tongatabu Island. and arrived on the 28th November to join the carrier Screening Force 28 of rear Admiral Lee. at this time USS Indiana was only the third battleship operating with the carriers USS Saratoga and USS Enterprise. (the other battleships were USS South Dakota and USS Washington).  in the Pacific theatre.  This force  protected the American landings at Guadalcanal.

On the 29th and 30th January 1943 USS Indiana supported the operations on Rennell island. In June 1943 she joined Task group 36.3 during the campaign for new Georgia. operating from Noumea in New Caledonia.  Until returning back to Pearl harbor arriving there on the 9th August 1943.  USS Indiana joined the Task force 58  a large carrier force set with the task top launch an attack on the Marcus islands which took part of the 31st August returning again with the force back to Pearl harbor. where Indiana was dry docked for 16 days.

leaving again Pearl harbor on route for the Fiji islands as part of the supporting force for the invasion of the Gilbert islands.  But on the 11th November under the command of Admiral Lee now commander of battleships, Pacific. set sail to join Task group 50.1 under the command of Admiral C A Baldy Pownall. these two task groups proceeded to the Gilbert Islands to bomb the Japanese positions of the Gilbert and Marshall islands. These raids were aimed to clear the way for The US landings on Tarawa and Makin on the Gilbert islands

USS Indiana was attacked by Japanese  torpedo Bombers off Tarawa. This was the first time USS Indiana had been attacked. and during the attack Indiana shoot down one of the Bomber aircraft.  On the 25th November USS  Indiana was assigned tot he fast carrier Task group 50.4  joining the battleships, USS Alabama, USS South Dakota with the carriers USS Bunker Hill and USS Monterey. This task group supported  the operations at Makin This task group came under air attack on the 27th 28th November but with minor damage.

After the campaign on the Gilbert islands USS Indiana joined the newly formed Task group 50.8 on the 6th December 1943. The group was sent to joined task Force 58 for the air strikes against Japanese positions on Taroa and Kwajalein. and  Indiana took part in the shelling of Kwajalein Atoll. on the 30th January 1944. On the 1st February USS Washington collided with Indiana causing serious damage and three crew were killed. Both battleships sailed  to Majuro Lagoon for temporary repairs.  USS Indiana returned back to Pearl Harbor arriving on the 13th to start repairs.  repairs were completed on the 30th |April 1944 and she again rejoined task force 58 for the bombarding of Ponape island on the 1st may 1944. and In June taking part in the Bombarding of the Marianas  on Saipan.

On the 19th June the Japanese launched a massive air attack against the group..  USS Indiana shoot down a torpedo Place which was attacking her. another torpedo Bomber came close toe Indiana, which launched a torpedo before being shot down. The Gunners of the Indiana opened fire on the approaching torpedo and luckily destroyed it 50 metres before it reached the ship.  The only damage to the battleship was a small denting of the ship side platting when an Japanese aircraft hit the side.  A total of 293 Japanese aircraft were lost during these attacks on the task Force. and the attack is often given the name of the " Marianas turkey shoot.".

In August 1944 USS Indiana joined task Group 38.3 bombarding the Palaus and The Philippines later that month and helping prepare for the Invasion of the Leyte.  On the 23red October 1944 USS Indiana returned to Bremerton, Washington for  repairs. work was carried out and completed by the 6th December 1944. ready to sail again for Pearl Harbor. arriving on the 12th December.  on the 24th January USS Indiana took part in the bombardment of Iwo Jima. and  Okinawa on the 24th march   Over the preceding month the task Force would com e under kamikaze attacks. and the task force aircraft would attack and sink the Japanese mighty battleship Yamoto.

While at Okinawa a Typhoon on the 5th June caused damage tot he fleet. Indiana only received slight damage.. on the 1st July USS Indiana left Leyte to support the carriers of Task group 38.1 to Attack Tokyo and ON the 14th July Indiana took art in the bombarding of the Kamaishi Steel Works at Kamaishui, Honshu,  Japan. this was the first  gunfire attacks on the the Japan.  On the 29th July  the battleship took part in the bombarding of Hamamatsu and on the 9th august she bombarded Kamaishi and supported the air strikes at Honshu and later the air attacks on Tokyo. When Japan surrendered USS Indiana was aprt of the Occupation force sending over 300 sailors and marines on shore.  and arrived at Tokyo bay on the 5th September  three days after the formal surrender. on the 14th September she sailed fro home and San Francisco. arriving on the 289th September and becoming the first ship to arrive back from Tokyo. 

USS Indiana went for a major overhaul at Puget Sound on the 31st October and went into reserve on the 11th September 1946  She was stricken form the navy list on the 1st June 1962 and sold for $418,387 on the 6th September 1963 and scrapped in 1964.  Her anchor is at Fort Wayne and her mast was erected at The University of Indiana at Bloomington. 

BB58 USS Indiana, 15th August 1942

Order Code BB58

One copy only of original 1940's printed photo plate, 10" x 8" available, price ?15.  Please note image shown has been cropped for website purpose and more sky and sea and text is shown on the photo plate.   Please add post of  ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order photograph here

BB58 USS Indiana, 8th September 1942

Order Code BB58B

One copy only of original 1940's printed photo plate, 10" x 8" available, price ?15.  Please note image shown has been cropped for website purpose and more sky and sea and text is shown on the photo plate.   Please add post of  ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order photograph here

BB58 USS Indiana, August 15th 1942

Order Code BB58C

One copy only of original 1940's printed photo plate, 10" x 8" available, price ?15.  Please note image shown has been cropped for website purpose and more sky and sea and text is shown on the photo plate.   Please add post of  ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order photograph here

Displacement: 37,970    Speed: 27.5 knots   Compliment: 1793

Armament: Nine 16-inch guns in threes, twenty 5-inch guns in pairs, sixteen 1.1-inch guns in threes and 12 0.5-inch guns.  Three aircraft.