Allied Warships

USS Wisconsin (BB 64)

Battleship of the Iowa class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeBattleship
ClassIowa 
PennantBB 64 
Built byPhiladelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.) 
Ordered12 Jun 1940 
Laid down25 Jan 1941 
Launched7 Dec 1943 
Commissioned16 Apr 1944 
End service30 Sep 1991 
History

USS Wisconsin (BB-64), one of the four Iowa-class battleships, began her career in the middle of World War II. Wisconsin reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet in October 1944. The powerful new warship joined Admiral William F. Halsey's 3rd Fleet when the liberation of the Philippines was underway. The battleship helped neutralize Japanese sea, air and ground forces occupying the islands. Wisconsin was reassigned to the 5th Fleet in February 1945 and supported the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The battleship's brief but active World War II career concluded with the transport of war-weary GI's back to the U.S. during operation Magic Carpet.

Wisconsin entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk on 1 July 1948, only to be recommissioned on 3 March 1951 for the Korean War. She steamed to the Pacific and assumed her station as flagship for Vice Admiral H. M. Martin, Commander, 7th Fleet. The battleship provided gunfire support for American, Korean and other United Nations troops on the Korean peninsula until relieved by her sister-ship Iowa in April 1952. Wisconsin embarked on a series of training missions in the ensuing years. A 1956 collision with USS Eaton (DD-510) damaged the battleship's bow. In a novel repair technique, the bow of the uncompleted battleship Kentucky was grafted on the old battleship in only 16 days at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Wisconsin once again entered the inactive fleet on 8 March 1958, where she remained until 22 October 1988, when she was reactivated. The ship carried new Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles in addition to her 16-inch guns when she steamed to the Persian Gulf in 1990 for Operation Desert Storm. After effective use of missiles and high explosives in the desert conflict, the battleship returned home to be decommissioned for the third time on 30 September 1991.

The battleship's formal opening took place on April 16, 2001, the 57th anniversary of her initial commissioning. Because Wisconsin is still a mobilization asset, a candidate for reactivation, environmental control systems remain in operation for the preservation of interior spaces and equipment. For this reason, visitation is limited almost entirely to exterior portions of the ship on the main deck and above. Extensive exhibits interpreting "Wisky" are available for viewing in NAUTICUS and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. The City of Norfolk oversees the Wisconsin project.

 

Commands listed for USS Wisconsin (BB 64)

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CommanderFromTo
1Earl Everett Stone, USN16 Apr 194420 Feb 1945
2John Wesley Roper, USN20 Feb 194518 Dec 1945
3Clark Lawrence Green, USN18 Dec 194511 Mar 1947

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Notable events involving Wisconsin include:


CAPTAIN EARL EVERETT STONE, USN Captain, USS WISCONSIN 4/16/44-2/20/45 CAPTAIN JOHN WESLEY ROPER, USN Captain, USS WISCONSIN 2/20/45-12/18/45 CAPTAIN CLARK LAWRENCE GREEN, USN Captain, USS WISCONSIN 12/18/45-3/11/47 (1)

Media links


US fast battleships 1938-91

Lawrence Burr


US battleships 1941-1963

Wayne Scarpaci

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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