Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Survived Seven Torpedoes and Came Back: The USS West Virginia-- Part 2

It took a long time for the USS West Virginia to become battleshape again.  After being raised, patches of concrete and wood were used to plug the hull damage and the ship went to Washington state for full repairs.  The ship's entire deck and armor belt were replaced.  The ship was also updated and became state of the art.  Work was completed in late 1944.

It then returned to Pearl Harbor and refueled, ready to get some payback.  It pounded Japanese shore fortifications on Leyte on October 17.  One week later, the Japanese fleet arrived and the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

On October 24, the West Virginia and three other battleships resurrected from the ruins of Pearl Harbor spotted four Japanese ships and engaged them.  They sank two battleships and a cruiser in a nighttime combat.  This was the last time that battleships ever engaged each other.

--GreGen

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