Decommissioning of the U.S.S. Nevada 29 August 1946
On 29 August 1946 the U.S.S. Nevada, the second ship to be named after our state, was decommissioned. The U.S.S. Nevada was a battleship nearly 200 yard long with a crew of 2,200 men. Launched in 1914, she was the first to have what were to become standards for US Navy battleships such as new gun turrets, being fueled by oil and steam turbines to achieve further distances.
She went on to serve in both World Wars and was the only ship able to escape the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, although she was badly damaged. During the Battle of Normandy in 1944, the U.S.S. Nevada supported the American land forces attacking Cherbourg, and she went on to went on to support the invasions of Okinawa and Iwo Jima in the Pacific.
At the end of the Second World War, the U.S.S. Nevada was chosen as the central target for the first nuclear test at Bikini Atoll. Finally, in July 1948, following a four-day naval gunfire exercise, she was deliberately sunk in the Pacific by the U.S. Navy. A National Geographic article once described her as “being too tough to die”.