Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Newport News, Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA., April 24, 1917. Launched March 20, 1920. Commissioned July 21, 1921. Decommissioned April 3, 1947. Stricken March 1, 1959.
Fate: Sold July 15, 1959 and broken up for scrap.

Colorado Class Battleship: Displacement 32,600 Tons, Dimensions, 624′ (oa) x 97′ 4″ x 31′ 4″ (Max). Armament 8 x 16″/45 14 x 5″/51, 4 x 3″/50AA 2 x 21″ tt. Armor, 13 1/2″ Belt, 18″ Turrets, 3 1/2″ + 1 1/2″ Decks, 16″ Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,900 SHP; Turbines with Electric Drive, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1080.


Building a super-dreadnought: 1,000 men a day work on building the Maryland (BB-46) for Uncle Sam’s Navy. 4 February 1919


Mrs. E. Brook Lee, wife of the Comptroller of the State of Maryland sponsored the Maryland (BB-46) at her launch, 20 March 1920.


Maryland (BB-46) getting ready for the shot across the bow.


The Splash. Bottle breaks on Maryland’s (BB-46) bow.


Maryland (BB-46) before launching.


Almost at the end of the launching ways at Newport News, Virginia, Maryland (BB-46) begins to get her stern wet, 20 March 1920.


Maryland (BB-46) from the the dock.


About 80% finished, the Maryland (BB-46) is awaiting help from tugs to move her to her berthing place for final finishing, just after being launched, 20 March 1920.


About 80% finished, the Maryland (BB-46) is awaiting help from tugs to move her to her berthing place for final finishing, just after being launched, 20 March 1920.


Lacking her turrets and main armament, the Maryland (BB-46) is awaiting help from tugs to move her to her berthing place for final finishing, just after being launched, 20 March 1920.


Lacking her turrets and main armament, the Maryland (BB-46) is awaiting help from tugs to move her to her berthing place for final finishing, just after being launched, 20 March 1920.


Maryland (BB-46) in South Boston.


Starboard stern view of the Maryland (BB-46), 6 November 1920.


Commander Charles Francis Preston was the commanding officer of the battleship Maryland (BB-46) in 21 July 1921 to 1 March 1922.


Turret markings on both fore and aft top turrets and what might be a Loening OL series observation plane on the stern of the Maryland(BB-46), circa 1922.


A Vought VE-9H A6463 float plane being catapulted from the Maryland (BB-46) in September 1922 while the ship was in Rio de Janeiro. The battleship brought Secretary of State Evans Hughes to Rio for the opening Centennial of the Brazilian Centennial commemorating 100 years of freedom from Portuguese rule. A6463 was wrecked during a catapult launch in July 1923 in which the launching car was badly damaged.


Photo probably taken from the Brooklyn Bridge looking north. The Maryland (BB-46) in the early 1920’s is leaving the New York Navy Yard. The Manhattan Bridge is in the background and her top masts have been lowered to allow passage under it. Unusual in this picture is the large armored rangefinder atop #2 turret, most of these ships just mounting the range finder sat in the rear turret.


Maryland (BB-46) and Statue of Liberty, circa early 1920’s.


Captain C. F. Preston inspects the Forecastle, circa early 1920’s.


Maryland (BB-46) fires her main battery, circa early 1920’s.


Maryland’s (BB-46) Band entertains the crew, circa early 1920’s.


Stern view on a hot weather Maryland (BB-46), circa early 1920’s.


The Maryland (BB-46) rides at anchor in this early 1920’s photo.


Maryland (BB-46) in the Gaillard Cut, Panama Canal, February 1923.


Maryland (BB-46) off of Yorktown VA, 1923.


CAPT Thomas Tingey Craven commanded the Maryland (BB-46) from 9 June 1925 to 24 May 1927.


Crew-members on the stern of the Maryland (BB-46) stand near the canvas covered engines of two of her scout planes as another scout plane hovers in the distance near the Tennessee (BB-43), circa mid-1920s.
The scout planes are Vought UO-1’s. They entered service around 1922 replacing the VE-7/VE-9 series. They are essentially a VE-7 with a radial engine mounted and stringers added to the fuselage to give it a round cross section. They may also be considered the first of the “Corsair” line though it never carried the name. There was a fighter version (FU-1) built by covering the forward cockpit and adding 2 .30 cal MG forward. Equipped with floats, they were parceled out among the BB’s of the Battle fleet for 6 months in mid 1926. The easiest way to distinguish the three radial powered Vought Observers is the shape of the tail. The O2U Corsair began replacing them about 1927.
The large ship’s name on the fuselage predates the change to the concept of the aircraft belonging to squadrons, rather than the ships.


The Maryland (BB-46) about to recover one of her Vought VE-7H’s or VE-9H’s during the soaring 20’s.


The United States Battle Fleet steaming in column off the California coast during the middle or later 1920s. The three leading ships are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46) and West Virginia (BB-48) followed by Tennessee (BB-43) and three older battleships. Photograph taken from California (BB-44).


Leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s. The other ships are two of these three: Colorado (BB-45), Maryland(BB-46) and West Virginia (BB-48).


A group photograph of the ship’s football team on the deck, circa 1920’s.


Maryland (BB-46) with a Vought O2U Corsair in the water near her stern. New Mexico (BB-40) is behind the Maryland .
Two aspects of the aircraft’s markings are date-indicative. The first is the fuselage markings, 5 / 8, which signify VO-5’s (Observation Squadron 5’s) eighth aircraft. The symbol for Observation Squadron would later be changed from “/” to “O,” making the marking 5-O-8.
The second is the solid-color painted tail surfaces. Prior to the adoption of this practice, the rudders where painted with vertical Red-White-Blue stripes. The solid-colored tails were to identify the aircraft of a squadron, each squadron having it’s own tail color. Each Battleship Division had its own squadron, with the planes distributed among the ships of the Division. Therefore, the planes on the ships of a Division had the same tail color.
So this photo was taken after the adoption of painted tail surfaces but before the change of / to O. I can’t find a specific date for either practice, only a vague “around 1930” or (in the case of the O) “in 1930.”
A third factor leading to the date is the existence of the squadron, VO-5B. William Larkins, in his Battleship and Cruiser Aircraft of the United States Navy 1910-1949, writes “VO-5B was only in commission for three years, 1927-1930, so planes with these markings are rare.” (page 176)
In the same work Larkins lists BatDiv5’s ships as West Virginia (BB-48) (Flagship), Tennessee (BB-43), Maryland and Colorado (BB-45).
From this photo I can’t distinguish an O2U-2 from a -3 (Larkins lists both.) but it’s definitely not an O2U-1, which had a different rudder. Appended is his aircraft breakdown for Maryland.

Date Division Squadron Aircraft
7/1926 Five VO-1 2 UO-1
7/1927 Five VO-1B 2 UO-1, 1 OL-3, 1 FU-1
7/1928 Five VO-5B 3 O2U-1, 1 OL-6
7/1929 Five VO-5B 11 O2U-1, 1 O2U-2 [These are the aircraft for the entire Division, not just MD.]
6/1930 Five 6 O2U-1, 1 O2U-3 [ditto: aircraft for entire Division]
7/1931 One VO-1B 4 O2U-1, 1 O3U-2 [ditto; (Larkins lists only two ships, MD and ID)]


Maryland (BB-46) on the 4th of June 1927.
The aircraft on the stern catapult are Vought UO-1s, while the aircraft on the turret catapult appears to be a Loening OL-3.


Colorado (BB-45) leading, Maryland (BB-46) following. The 3 sisters can be distinguished from one another (during the 20’s and early 30’s) by the forward range dial. Colorado carries hers half below the bottom of the fire control tower, the Maryland carries hers fully on the face of the fire control tower while the West Virginia (BB-48) carries hers like the Colorado but her dials are black with white numbers.


Starboard beam, underway, 1935.


The West Virginia (BB-48) as flagship for the Commander, Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet, followed by other battleships steaming in line ahead during the middle through later 1920’s.
The aircraft on the turret catapult appears to be a Curtiss SOC (I can’t make out the stern aircraft.), so the date has to be mid-to-later 1930s.
The four leading ships behind her are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), California (BB-44) & Tennessee(BB-43).


Starboard view of the Maryland (BB-46) at anchor, mid 1930’s


Arizona (BB-39) inboard & Maryland (BB-46) at Puget Sound sometime circa late 1935, early 1936. The Arizona still has the searchlights on the funnel and the funnel is short. It was extended vertically in early 1936.


Naval officer reviewing kitchen stewards clad in aprons w. pots & pans at their feet on the deck of the battleship Maryland (BB-46) during 1939.


Navy engineer manning ships throttle next to steam gauges in the battle station of the battleship Maryland (BB-46) during 1939.


Navy crewmen using water hose & brush to scrub down ship’s hammocks before hanging them up to dry on lines behind them, on the prow of the battleship Maryland (BB-46) during 1939.


View fr. the bridge looking down the big guns on the prow where folding cots can be seen hanging fr. the side rails on the battleship Maryland (BB-46) at San Pedro CA., 1939.


Navy crewman hanging from a rope ladder on a spar while working to control the hawser lines for the launches that arrive to load up crewmen to ferry them ashore on “Liberty” from the battleship Maryland (BB-46) anchored in the harbor at San Pedro, CA.


Navy signalman using semaphore flags as he communicates w. another ship while signal corpsmen handle the signal flag hoists on board the battleship Maryland (BB-46) anchored in the harbor at San Pedro, CA.
Note the numbers and letters written on the flag storage locker for the handling of the flags.


Navy crewmen working in the main engine control room of the battleship Maryland (BB-46).


Navy crewmen working in the main engine control room of the battleship Maryland (BB-46).


Navy crewmen on hanging scaffolds while painting the side of the battleship Maryland (BB-46) anchored in the harbor at San Pedro, CA. Note three other battleships in the background.


Two Naval officers conferring in the Officers Stateroom on board the battleship.


Navy crewmen stringing up hammocks on board the battleship Maryland (BB-46).


Portrait of Lieut. Commander Charles Phleger manning the controls on the bridge of the battleship.


Probable front and rear photos here and above showing formations of aircraft flying over U.S. Navy battleships during exercises at sea, circa late 1930’s – 1940.
In both photos, one of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) is leading the BB column while the remaining battleships have dual masthead fire control structures.
The air group formation in the two photos appears to be similar. The composition of 18 TBDs, 18 BT-1s, 18 SBCs, and 27 fighters is easier to distinguish in the front/surface view. I’m assuming, based on total aircraft count alone, that the formation in the rear/aerial view is the same. (The perspective makes it difficult to sort the monoplanes and biplanes into their respective types.) The only difference is that in the front/surface view the formation is lead by a Curtiss SBC Helldiver (likely the Air Group Commander) but in the rear/aerial view that lead Helldiver is not present. I suppose it’s possible that the photographer was in that Helldiver’s rear seat. What stands out for me is the presence of nine extra fighters beyond the normal squadron composition of 18, as seen in the other three squadrons in this formation.


Between 9 & 13 September 1940 the Arizona (BB-39) was under way with other ships of the US Fleet for simulated fleet engagement. She is pictured here in company with other ships of the Pacific Fleet taken during Fleet Ops. and at least one carrier air group.


Aviators standing aboard battleship Maryland (BB-46) at Pearl Harbor, 1941.


In January 1941, Read Admiral Walter Stratton Anderson assumed command of Battleships, Battle Force, and also performed additional duty as Commander, Battleship Division 4. In April 1941 the designation of that command was changed to Battleships, Pacific Fleet, and additional duty as Commander, Battleship Division 4. Flying his flag on board Maryland (BB-46) , he was present at Pearl Harbor, T. H., when the Japanese attacked on 7 December 1941.


Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island shortly after the beginning of the Pearl Harbor attack. View looks about east, with the supply depot, submarine base and fuel tank farm in the right center distance. A torpedo has just hit West Virginia (BB-48) on the far side of Ford Island (center). Other battleships moored nearby are (from left):Nevada (BB-36), Arizona (BB-39), Tennessee (BB-43) (inboard of West Virginia), Oklahoma (BB-37) (torpedoed and listing) alongside Maryland (BB-46), and California (BB-44). On the near side of Ford Island, to the left, are light cruisers Detroit (CL-8) andRaleigh (CL-7), target and training ship Utah (BB-31) and seaplane tender Tangier (AV-8). Raleigh and Utah have been torpedoed, and Utah is listing sharply to port. Japanese planes are visible in the right center (over Ford Island) and over the Navy Yard at right. U.S. Navy planes on the seaplane ramp are on fire. Japanese writing in the lower right states that the photograph was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.


Japanese photo of Battleship Row during 7 December attack.
Note the oil spilling out from bomb & toroedo hits in the first few minutes. From left to right: Nevada (BB-36), Vestal (AR-4)(outboard), Arizona (BB-39), West Virginia (BB-48) (outboard), Tennessee (BB-43), Oklahoma (BB-37) (outboard), Maryland (BB-46), & Neosho (AO-23) forward.


Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Oil fires burning on the water near Ford Island in the morning of 7 December 1941, shortly after the conclusion of the Japanese raid. Maryland (BB-46) is in the center background. A harbor tug is at right.


View of “Battleship Row” from the head of 1010 dock, during or immediately after the Japanese raid. Arizona (BB-39) is sunk and burning at right. West Virginia (BB-48) is in the right center, sunk alongside Tennessee (BB-43), with oil fires shrouding them both. The capsized Oklahoma (BB-37) is in the left center, alongside Maryland (BB-46). Note wire spools in the right foreground, one marked “Crescent Wire & Cable Co., Trenton, N.J.”.


Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull. Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.


View looking down “Battleship Row” from Ford Island Naval Air Station, shortly after the Japanese torpedo plane attack.California (BB-44) is at left, listing to port after receiving two torpedo hits. In the center are Maryland (BB-46) with the capsized Oklahoma (BB-37)alongside. Neosho(AO-23) is at right, backing clear of the area. Most smoke is from Arizona (BB-39).


Maryland (BB-46) alongside the capsized Oklahoma (BB-37), West Virginia (BB-48) is burning in the background.


The capsized hull of Oklahoma (BB-37), with a barge alongside to support rescue efforts, probably on 8 December 1941. Maryland (BB-46) is at right, and California (BB-44) is in the center distance.


Maryland (BB-46) at Puget Sound on 9 February 1942. The remaining Pacific Fleet battleships were kept at a 48 hour state of readiness due to invasion fears on the West Coast. Very little rebuild work could be done with this sailing time restriction. Little damaged at Pearl Harbor, she sailed for the main land as soon as she could be freed from her docking quay. Visible are the splinter shields on her 5″/25 mounts. She still carries 5″/51 guns in casemates.


The Maryland (BB-46) 8 November 1942. Her aft cage mast has already been reduced half way.
Both the Colorado (BB-45) and the Maryland sported the cut down main mast with four 20mm on the top platform. It was probable cut down to save top side weight given the increased AA battery and because it was a fast conversion given that they were the only BB’s available on the west coast following Pearl Harbor (Maryland being the least damaged BB after the attack and Colorado being in Bremerton at the time of the attack.) Colorado lost hers after Tarawa and the Maryland after Kwajalein.


Tarawa Invasion, November 1943. Maryland (BB-46) firing her after 16″/45 guns, during the pre-invasion bombardment of Tarawa, 20 November 1943. Rear Admiral Harry W. Hill, Commander, Task Force 53, and members of his staff are observing the bombardment fromMaryland’s port bridge, in the foreground.


Maryland (BB-46) follows Tennessee (BB-43), in mid-Pacific, November 1943. Originally near sisters, note difference in beam and silhouette.


Maryland’s (BB-46) bow view, starboard side at Puget Sound, Washington, 25 April 1944.


Starboard side view taken at an altitude of 300 feet of the Maryland (BB-46) running post-overhaul speed trials in Puget Sound, Washington, 5 May 1944.


General view of the bow from the attack of 22 June 1944 by a Japanese airplane which dropped a torpedo which opened a gaping hole in Maryland’s (BB-46) bow, ports side. Casualties were light and in 15 minutes she was underway for Eniwetok, and shortly thereafter to the repair yards at Pearl Harbor. With an around-the-clock effort by the shipyard workers, on 19 August, 34 days after arrival, the ship again steamed forth for the war zone.


Entering drydock at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard 10 July 1944, for torpedo (aerial) damage repair and the replacement of her bow.


Close-up starboard side view of the damaged bow on 10 July 1944, showing the Maryland (BB-46) in Dry Dock No. 2 at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard before any repair work begins.


Maryland (BB-46) in Dry Dock No. 2 at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. The damaged bow has been removed and scaffolding is in place, waiting for the new bow sections to be installed.


With repairs completed and the dry dock flooded, the Maryland (BB-46) is being eased out into the harbor on 10 August 1944.


Maryland (BB-46) is hit by a “Kamikaze” suicide plane in the evening of 29 November 1944, while operating off Leyte.


At Ulithi, 27 January 1945 the Pensacola (CA-24) formed with a battleship-cruiser-destroyer gun strike task force under Rear Admiral B. J. Rodgers. Six battleships, four cruisers and a destroyer screen comprised the bombardment force which sailed 10 February via Tinian to Iwo Jima.
Pictured here are the Nevada (BB-36), Maryland (BB-46) & Pensacola .


A colored photo of the Maryland (BB-46) off Puget Sound Navy Yard after her final wartime overhaul on 15 August 1945.


View of the Mainmast looking aft, starboard side of the Maryland (BB-46) on 21 August 1945 at her final refitting at Puget Sound Navy Yard.


Bow on view of the Maryland (BB-46) sometime after her final refitting at Puget Sound Navy Yard on 21 August 1945 and prior to her decommissioning 3 April 1947.



1959 photo showing the Maryland (BB-46) at Alameda, California in 1959 awaiting scrapping.



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