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Wayback Wednesday: Oklahoma gets a battleship

Oklahoma was only taking its first steps as a state in 1911 when the Navy ordered a new Nevada class battleship named after it.

The Oklahoma's keel was laid down on October 26, 1911. By the time she rolled out of the New York Ship Building Corporation's yard two years later she was 583 feet long, had a 95 foot beam and displaced 27,500 tons.

The Oklahoma was armed with 27 weapons of various sizes, including two torpedo tubes and ten 14 inch guns. She was ringed in an armor belt ranging from eight to 13 inches thick.

The Oklahoma served for nearly 30 years on missions ranging from escorting Woodrow Wilson across the Atlantic during World War I to rescuing refugees of the Spanish civil war.

Japanese torpedo bombers sunk the Oklahoma in the attack of Pearl Harbor, killing more than 400 of her crew. The Oklahoma wasn't done, though. An eight month salvage operation yielded parts that could be used on other ships.

It was finally decommissioned in late 1944. What was left of her was lost at sea during a storm in 1947 as the hull was being towed from Pearl Harbor to a San Francisco scrapyard.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›