By Retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, director Naval History and Heritage Command
In 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in the remembrance ceremony for crew members of USS Nevada (BB 36). Today, we have news that Ocean Infinity and Search Inc., though their research and observation, have discovered the final resting place of this historic battleship.
The news of this discovery as well as the fascinating images obtained by them, grants us a unique opportunity to reflect on our Naval and nation’s heritage. Nevada is an extremely historic vestige and an unambiguous reminder of our Navy’s heritage of resilience.
Nevada has a proud place in Navy’s history — commissioned in 1916, she served in both World Wars, and was present at the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941; the only battleship to get underway after the attack. During the attack, the ship and crew sustained at least six, and possibly, as many as ten bomb hits and one torpedo hit, but remained in the fight. With our Sailors quick thinking, the crew grounded the ship, preventing her from sinking. The ship was repaired and immediately returned to the fight, proving the resiliency and toughness of our Sailors then, as are today.
Nevada returned to combat in 1943, her 14” and 5” guns actively employed during the Normandy Invasion in June 1944 and the Southern France operation in August and September. In 1945, Nevada supported the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, she spent the rest of 1945 in the western Pacific preparing for the invasion of Japan.
She went on to participate in numerous campaigns, earning a total seven battle stars for her actions during WWII. The awards achieved by her crew repeatedly demonstrated bravery in combat. Our Navy core values are honor, courage, and commitment, with core attributes that include integrity, initiative, and toughness. Nevada’s crew, through their actions, gave the Navy and the world a lesson in the true definition of what those words really mean.
USS Nevada serves as a reminder that our Sailors have a long, terrific tradition; her fighting spirit proves the U.S. Navy remains tough in difficult times. When the circumstances appear to be at their worst, our Navy remains at their best.
Additional photo and video assets associated with the USS Nevada discovery mission can be downloaded here.
Additional information is available at https://www.searchinc.com/ and https://oceaninfinity.com/