Item #007908 An original Second World War Official U.S. Navy photograph of the flagship of the United States fleet, USS Pennsylvania, on the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941
An original Second World War Official U.S. Navy photograph of the flagship of the United States fleet, USS Pennsylvania, on the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941

An original Second World War Official U.S. Navy photograph of the flagship of the United States fleet, USS Pennsylvania, on the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941

United States Navy, 1941. Photograph. This is an original Second World War Official U. S. Navy photograph of the flagship of the United States fleet, USS Pennsylvania, on the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.

The gelatin silver print measures 10 x 8.125 inches (25.4 x 20.6 cm). Condition is very good plus, the paper complete and the image clean, with no appreciable fading, toning, or scuffing. Trivial wear appears confined to the edges and within the white border margins. The verso features a four-line ink stamp reading “OFFICIAL U. S. NAVY PHOTOS | ANTHONY F. WIN | 2439 NORTH FRANCISCO AVE | CHICAGO 47, ILLINOIS”. Above and to the right of the ink stamp, written in pencil, is “Battleship Pennsylvania | Destroyers Cassin & Downes | Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941”. The image is protected within a clear, archival sleeve.

USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), was the lead ship of the Pennsylvania class of super-dreadnought battleships. She was built at Newport News, Virginia and commissioned in June 1916. During the 1920s and 1930s, Pennsylvania served as the flagship of first the Atlantic Fleet, and after it was merged with the Pacific Fleet in 1921, the Battle Fleet. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Pennsylvania was serving as the flagship of the United States fleet.

On the day the Japanese attacked, Pennsylvania was dry-docked in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, away from her fellow battleships. “Though her place in drydock kept her safe from torpedoes, Pennsylvania did suffer a bomb strike that killed the crew manning a 5” gun mount. Fighters strafed the battleship, but the bulk of her damage came from flying debris from the nearby destroyers, USS Cassin (DD-372) and USS Downes (DD-375).” Both of these unfortunate destroyers are visible in the foreground of this photograph. “Part of Downes, a 1,000-lb torpedo tube, struck Pennsylvania’s forecastle.” That night, in the aftermath of the Japanese attack, tragedy was compounded when Pennsylvania’s crew fired on six Wildcat fighter aircraft returning from the USS Enterprise to the naval air station of Ford Island. Only one of the planes managed to land without injury to the pilot or aircraft.

Pennsylvania’s relatively light damage from the Pearl Harbor attack was repaired in the next few months and Pennsylvania saw active service throughout the war. Her luck finally ran out in the final days of the war when she was seriously damaged by a Japanese aerial torpedo off Okinawa on 12 August 1945, the last major Navy ship to be hit during the Second World War. After the war, she was repaired sufficiently to be “used as a target ship for the atomic bomb tests of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll. She was decommissioned in August 1946 and, in February 1948, sunk just off Kwajalein. Item #007908

Price: $250.00

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