This is the eighth and last in our series on the battleships of Pearl Harbor.
The USS Tennessee, or “the Rebel Ship” as she was known by her crew, was built in the late 1910s by New York Naval Shipyard. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the commanding officer of the West Virginia was mortally wounded when debris from the armor piercing bombs that were launched against the Tennessee flew onto the command deck of the West Virginia. The two armor-piercing bombs that struck the Tennessee did not detonate properly, so the great lady was not as severely injured as she could have been. The majority of damage to the Tennessee occurred when the magazine of the USS Arizona exploded and sent burning fuel oil over the stern of the Tennessee. The great ship was engulfed in flames, and after the battle, she was trapped for ten days in her position between the sunken West Virginia and the mooring quays on her other side.
The USS Tennessee was completely repaired and she returned to serve in the remainder of World War II. This majestic lady was sold for scrap in 1959. Before she was sold, a lot of interesting stories were compiled about her service days. You will find a lot of those stores included in Jonathan Utley’s An American Battleship at Peace and War: the U.S.S. Tennessee.