Sunken remains of famed battleship USS Nevada found off Oahu

  • The engraving is on the exterior bulkhead above the hatch leading into a shell handling compartment for one of USS Nevada’s 5-inch/38 caliber guns. The first line of the inscription is the number of the door, the second is the designation of the compartment, and the third is the compartment number to which the door gives access. This remarkable level of preservation is occasionally found on deep-ocean shipwrecks due to the lack of light, oxygen, and the extreme cold at 15,400 feet down. (Courtesy photo/Ocean Infinity)

  • The stern of the wreck of the USS Nevada is seen with the remains of “36” and “140.” Nevada’s designation was BB-36 and the 140 was painted on the structural “rib” at the ship’s stern for the atomic tests to facilitate post-blast damage reporting. (Courtesy photo/Ocean Infinity)

HONOLULU — Researchers have located the sunken USS Nevada near Hawaii, helping to close the final chapter of a historic battleship that served in both world wars and survived two nuclear explosion tests.

Maritime archaeologist James Delgado announced the discovery of the storied U.S. Navy ship about 75 miles southwest of Pearl Harbor on Oahu, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.


“Nevada is an iconic ship that speaks to American resilience and stubbornness,” Delgado said Monday. “Rising from its watery grave after being sunk at Pearl Harbor, it survived torpedoes, bombs, shells and two atomic blasts.”

Underwater and terrestrial archaeology firm SEARCH Inc. and marine robotics company Ocean Infinity Inc. teamed to make the discovery in more than 15,400 feet of water.

The 583-foot ship commissioned during World War I was in service during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and lost crew members to the disease outbreak while docked in Ireland.

Nevada was the only ship to get underway during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, but was beached after being struck by a torpedo and bombs.

The ship, known by the hull classification number BB-36, was struck by a Japanese dive bomber off Okinawa in the waning days of World War II, a collision that killed 11 crew members.

After World War II the Nevada was assigned to be a target for atomic tests off Bikini Atoll in 1946 and survived two blasts from a nuclear air burst designated Able and an underwater test called Baker.


The ship was rendered unfit for continued service and transported to Pearl Harbor to be decommissioned.

The Navy sunk the ship during target practice off Oahu in July 1948 with a barrage of surface gunfire, aerial bombs, rockets, and torpedoes.

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