Story of 356 mm caliber main guns
USS Nevada (BB-36) bombarding Iwo Jima, 19
February 1945. A North Carolina class battleship (probably USS Washington, BB-56) is in
the left distance (photo: Naval History and Heritage Command).
the guns from the turret nr.2 and in the
fall of 1944 had them carefully cleaned up,
overhauled and re-bored for the more modern ammunition. In New York shipyards
they were mounted on USS Nevada (BB36) battleship which during the Pearl Harbor attack had also suffered the heavy damage however, not as fatal as Arizona and
was returned to service after a general
overhaul. The turret nr.2 remnants and severely damaged turret no. 1 were left on the
wreck. So ultimately Arizona guns did fire
in anger when Nevada was part of the fleet
supporting with heavy guns fire the landing
on Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the spring
months of 1945.
Some components, which could be, after repair, re-used as military material were salvaged from the ship’s wreck. The most important were the massive, 14 inch (356 mm)
caliber main guns Mk.3 L/45. Twelve of them
were mounted on Arizona. Due to the fatal
bomb hits concentrated on the ship’s bow,
the rear gun turrets nos. 3 and 4 remained
practically intact. The Navy picked them up
and after necessary cleaning and overhaul
intented to mount them as a coastal gun
batteries „Pennsylvania“ on the Northeast
of the island of Oahu on Mokapu peninsula
and „Arizona“ on the West coast of the island, near the cape Kahu Point. In the end
the full installation was not completed, only
the battery „Pennsylvania“, which was the
most advanced in terms of construction
and mounting, in August 1945 performed the
training gunnery excersise and with its fire
celebrated the Japan‘s surrender. Shortly
after the war both batteries were decommissioned and dismantled.
Nowadays only some landscaping and concrete barbette for one of the turrets can be
recognized on the hill above the cape Kahu
Point. There is a communal garbage dump
nearby this area. The turret barbette (including the safety mesh to prevent falls) and
the support building ruins were preserved
on Mokapu peninsula, fairly well accessible
from the small adjacent township. One of
the guns of Arizona‘s main battery is now on
display at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Arizona’s forward gun turrets (nr. 1 and
2) remained on the wreck until the final stage of the salvage operations in 1943. The
Navy, after the careful analysis and consideration of all options, decided to remove
USS Nevada (BB-36) Operating off Okinawa, circa March-May 1945.
She is wearing Camouflage Measure 31a, Design 6B (photo: Naval History and Heritage Command).
14-inch gun formerly on USS Arizona, displayed at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near the Arizona State House, Phoenix, Arizona (photo: