New Mexico file photo

USS New Mexico

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassNew Mexico-class Battleship
BuilderNew York Navy Yard, New York, United States
Laid Down14 Oct 1915
Launched13 Apr 1917
Commissioned20 May 1918
Decommissioned19 Jul 1946
Displacement32000 tons standard
Length624 feet
Beam97 feet
Draft30 feet
Speed21 knots
Crew1084
Armament1214in/356mm, 145in/127mm, 221in/533mm torpedo tubes

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

New Mexico was the lead ship of her class of battleships. After a shakedown and training period, she sailed for Brest, France on 15 Jan 1919 to escort home Woodrow Wilson's Presidential transport USS George Washington; Wilson having just attended the Versailles Conference. At Hampton Roads on 27 Feb, she was named the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. She arrived at San Pedro, California, United States via the Panama Canal on 9 Aug. In the 1920s, she exercised, sometimes with the Atlantic Fleet, in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea. She also traveled to South American, Australian, and New Zealand ports on good will visits. She was overhauled at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between Mar 1931 and Jan 1933, providing her the look and configuration she had going into WW2. From Oct 1934 until the start of the war, she served in the Pacific.

Before the US officially entered the war, New Mexico served at Pearl Harbor from 6 Dec 1940 until 20 May 1941. From 16 Jun until Dec 1941, she patrolled in the Atlantic Ocean. After the Pearl Harbor attack which brought the US into war, she returned to the Pacific, operating out of San Francisco until Aug 1942 and Pearl Harbor until Dec 1942. In Apr 1943, she served in the South Pacific. Between 17 May and Jul 1943, she participated in the blockade of Attu and bombardment of Kiska.

New Mexico returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 Oct 1943. On 20 Nov, she supported the Makin Atoll landing operations by bombarding Japanese shore positions, providing anti-aircraft cover, and guarding against attacks on American transports. In Jan 1944, she played a similar role in the Marshall Islands, bombarding Kwajalein on 31 Jan and Ebeye on 1 Feb. She also bombarded Wotje on 20 Feb and Kavieng on 20 Mar. In Jun 1944, she joined in the Mariana Islands Campaign and bombarded Tinian on 14 Jun, Saipan on 15 Jun, and Guam on 16 Jun. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 20 Jun, she provided anti-aircraft cover for transports. On 21 Jul, she bombarded Guam again in preparation for the amphibious assault; she remained off Guam until 30 Jul. From Aug to Oct 1944, she received an overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington, United States. In 22 Nov, she operated off Leyte, fighting off frequent Japanese air attacks. From 15 to 17 Dec, she covered landing operations at Mindoro in the Philippine Islands. On 6 Jan 1945, while bombarding Luzon before the landing, she was hit by a Kamikaze special attack aircraft at the bridge, killing her commanding officer Captain R. W. Fleming, British Lieutenant General Herbert Lumsden, and 29 others. She remained in Philippine waters to support the landing operation until Feb when he received repairs at Pearl Harbor. Between 26 Mar and 17 Apr and then again between 21 and 29 Apr, she provided gunfire support for operations at Okinawa. On 11 May, she was attacked by 8 suicide boats, but she fought them off before they could get close. On the next day, she was attacked by Kamikaze aircraft; one dove into her, while the other hit her with a bomb, killing 54 men and injuring 119. After receiving repairs at Leyte, she was rehearsing the planned assault on the Japanese home islands at Saipan when the war ended.

After WW2, New Mexico operated in Tokyo Bay to support the occupation of Atsugi Airfield and then participated in the Tokyo Bay surrender ceremony on 2 Sep 1945. She returned to Boston on 17 Oct and was decommissioned there in 1946. She was sold for scrapping on 13 Oct 1947.

Source: Wikipedia.

Battleship USS New Mexico Interactive Map

USS New Mexico Operational Timeline

20 May 1918 New Mexico was commissioned into service.
6 Jan 1945 Battleship New Mexico was struck by Japanese special attack aircraft in the Philippine Islands; among the men killed were members of an observing British military mission, including Lieutenant General Herbert Lumsden, Winston Churchill's personal military representative to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
12 May 1945 Japanese special attack aircraft damaged USS New Mexico off Okinawa, Japan. Nearby, USS Wichita was damaged by friendly fire.
19 Jul 1946 New Mexico was decommissioned from service.

Photographs

An US Navy sailor fueled battleship New Mexico, circa 1919New Mexico photographed from an airplane, while steaming in line with other battleships, 13 Apr 1919New Mexico in the early or middle 1920sNew Mexico at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1935
See all 12 photographs of Battleship USS New Mexico



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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    14 Mar 2014 08:05:32 PM

    My father was on this ship and was a talker on a 40mm gun.What did that entail? Thanks.
  2. David Stubblebine says:
    15 Mar 2014 09:09:25 PM

    To Comment #1:
    Talkers were the ones who worked the intercoms. You can see them in the old war movies as the ones wearing the oversized helmets (to fit over their earphones) and the microphone horns in front of their mouths, like 1920s telephone operators. Their job was simply to repeat messages given to them. If a message came through their headphones, they would repeat it out loud to the ranking member present and if they were given a message from the ranking member, the talkers would repeat it into the microphone to another talker who would do the same at his end. It sounds slow but with well trained people, information moved reasonably quickly.

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More on USS New Mexico
Event(s) Participated:
» Aleutian Islands Campaign
» Gilbert Islands Campaign
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Okinawa Campaign


Battleship USS New Mexico Photo Gallery
An US Navy sailor fueled battleship New Mexico, circa 1919
See all 12 photographs of Battleship USS New Mexico



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