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USS Oklahoma BB-37 Ship Models
This was built by Dave Becker
You'll need this book to teach you how to build
Text from The Dictionary of
American Naval Fighting Ships published by the
Naval Historical Center
Displacement: 27,500 tons
Speed: 20.5 knots
Armament: Ten 14" guns; twenty 5" guns; four 21" torpedo tubes
Oklahoma (BB-37) was laid down 26 October 1912
by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; launched 28 March 1914; sponsored
by Miss Lorena J. Cruce, and commissioned at Philadelphia 2 May 1916, Captain
Roger Welles in command.
Joining the Atlantic Fleet with Norfolk her home port, Oklahoma trained
on the eastern seaboard until sailing 13 August 1918 with sister ship Nevada to
join in the task of protecting Allied convoys in European waters. In December
she was part of the escort as President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France,
departing the 14th for New York and winter fleet exercises in Cuban waters. She
returned to Brest 15 June 1919 to escort President Wilson in George
Washington home from his second visit to France, returning to New York 8
A part of the Atlantic Fleet for the next two years, Oklahoma was
overhauled, trained, and twice voyaged to South America's west coast; early in
1921 for combined exercises with the Pacific Fleet, and later that year for the
Peruvian Centennial. She then joined the Pacific Fleet for six years highlighted
by the cruise of the Battle Fleet to Australia and New Zealand in 1925. Joining
the Scouting Fleet in early 1927, Oklahoma continued intensive exercises
during that summer's Midshipmen Cruise, voyaging to the East Coast to embark
midshipmen, carrying them through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, and
returning by the way of Cuba and Haiti.
Modernized at Philadelphia between September 1927 and July 1929, Oklahoma
rejoined the Scouting Fleet for exercises in the Caribbean, and returned to the
west coast in June 1930 for fleet operations through spring 1936. That summer
she carried midshipmen on a European training cruise, visiting northern ports.
The cruise was interrupted with the outbreak of civil war in Spain, as
Oklahoma sped to Bilbao, arriving 24 July 1936 to rescue American citizens
and other refugees, whom she carried to Gibraltar and French ports. She returned
to Norfolk 11 September 1936, and to the West Coast 24 October.
Oklahoma's Pacific Fleet operations during the next four years included
joint operations with the Army and the training of reservists.
She was based at Pearl Harbor from 6 December 1940 for patrols and exercises,
and was moored in Battleship Row 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked.
USS Maryland (BB 46), Oklahoma took
three torpedo hits almost immediately after the first Japanese bombs fell. As
she began to capsize, two more torpedoes struck home, and her men were strafed
as they abandoned ship. Within 20 minutes after the attack began, she had swung
over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard side above water,
and a part of her keel clear. Many of her crew, however, remained in the fight,
Maryland to help serve her antiaircraft
batteries. Twenty officers and 395 enlisted men were either killed or missing,
32 others wounded, and many were trapped within the capsized hull, to be saved
by heroic rescue efforts. Such an effort was that of Julio DeCastro, a civilian
yard worker who organized the team which saved 32 Oklahoma sailors.
The difficult salvage job began in March 1943, and Oklahoma entered
drydock 28 December. Decommissioning 1 September 1944, Oklahoma was
stripped of guns and superstructure, and sold 5 December 1946 to Moore Drydock
Co., Oakland, Calif. Oklahoma parted her tow line and sank 17 May 1947
540 miles out, bound from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.
Oklahoma received 1 battle star for World War II service.