Old, seriously damaged and totally radioactive there was still afloat the USS Nevada. Until the US Navy said enough was enough and deliberately sank it in July 1948.
Since then, this veteran warship has been lying somewhere unknown on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Neither the US military authorities themselves they knew exactly where he was. At least until the archeologists of the Search company, with the help of ocean drones from Ocean Infinity, have found the remains of the ship 4,700 meters deep and about 120 kilometers from Pearl Harbor.
Launched in 1917, the Nevada was a real leap forward in the world of naval technology. Among its new features, the turrets with cannons, the use of fuel oil as fuel instead of coal, and the “all or nothing” armoring that protected the vital parts of the ship with the maximum thickness and left the rest under the protection of abundant compartmentalization.
During the last months of the Great War, he served as an escort for supply shipments between Bantry Bay (Ireland) and the United Kingdom. At the end of the war, he accompanied the ocean liner George Washington on his journey to bring President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference.
Years later, on the morning of December 7, 1941, the USS Nevada was one of the ships docked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The Japanese sunk four battleships that day, damaged four others and damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, a training ship and a miner. The veteran ship was the only one that managed to set sail under enemy fire.
They launched a torpedo at him, which he hit. But the battleship continued. Then one, two, three fell … up to six bombs (or perhaps more) on top of him that made him land in shallow water. Sixty of its crew members died and another 109 were injured. And still, his path had not come to an end.
After reflating it and repairing the extensive damage, the ship returned to active duty and set sail for the United Kingdom to provide cover with its artillery at the D-Day landings in Normandy and, later, in southern France. After that phase of World War II, they sent him to the Pacific. He arrived at Iwo Jima in February 1945 and also played an important role in the invasion of Okinawa.
Little more remained for him to do after the ceasefire. This is why the US Navy made the former battleship a target for the first atomic experiments carried out in Bikini in 1946 as part of Operation Crossroads. In this 594.2 square kilometre lagoon there are up to 78 ships sunk during the different tests. But among them is not the USS Nevada.
Because, despite being hit by up to two nuclear bombs, he also survived this new assignment. It was kept afloat badly wrecked and with high levels of radioactivity. So he was discharged in August 1946 and, two years later, the Americans themselves sank him during naval shooting practice, although it was not easy.
“Unable to be sent to the bottom of the sea by the ships that used it as a target, he finally fell after being hit by an aerial torpedo,” explain archaeologists at Search. The researchers’ ship, the Pacific Constructor, has been in the ocean since the early 2020s and has yet to return to port because of the coronavirus. Although, as the saying goes, there is no evil that does not come for good.
In its more than thirty years of active service, the USS Nevada accomplished up to seven battles for its actions. “This battleship serves as a reminder that our sailors have a long and excellent tradition; Their fighting spirit demonstrated that the U.S. Navy It remains tough in tough times. When circumstances seem to be worse, our Navy is still the best, “retired Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, director of the Center for Naval History and Heritage, said in a statement.