U.S.S. New Mexico (1917)

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U.S.S. New Mexico (1917)
Hull Number: BB-40
Builder: New York Navy Yard[1]
Laid down: 14 Oct, 1915[2]
Launched: 23 Apr, 1917[3]
Commissioned: 20 May, 1918[4]
Decommissioned: 19 Jul, 1946[5]
Scrapped: 9 Nov, 1947[6]

U.S.S. New Mexico (BB-40) was laid down 14 October 1915 by the New York Navy Yard; launched 13 April 1917; sponsored by Miss Margaret C. DeBaca, daughter of the Governor of New Mexico; and commissioned 20 May 1918, Captain Ashley H. Robertson in command.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

After initial training, New Mexico departed New York 15 January 1919 for Brest, France, to escort home transport George Washington carrying President Woodrow Wilson from the Versailles Peace Conference, returning to Hampton Roads 27 February. There on 16 July she became flagship of the newly-organized Pacific Fleet, and three days later sailed for the Panama Canal and San Pedro, Calif., arriving 9 August. The next 12 years were marked by frequent combined maneuvers with the Atlantic fleet both in the Pacific and Caribbean which included visits to South American ports and a 1925 cruise to Australia and New Zealand.

Modernized and overhauled at Philadelphia between March 1931 and January 1933, New Mexico returned to the Pacific in October 1934 to resume training exercises and tactical development operations.

World War II

As war threatened, her base was Pearl Harbor from 6 December 1940 until 20 May 1941, Then she sailed to join the Atlantic fleet at Norfolk 16 June for duty on neutrality patrol. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she returned to the west coast, and sailed 1 August 1942 from San Francisco to prepare in Hawaii for action. Between 6 December and 22 March 1943, she sailed escort troop transports to the Fijis, then patrolled the southwest Pacific, returning to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the campaign against the Japanese in the Aleutians. On 17 May she ar rived Adak, her base while serving on the blockade of Attu, and on 21 July she joined in the massive bombardment of Kiska that forced its evacuation a week later.

After refitting at Puget Sound Navy Yard, New Mexico returned to Pearl Harbor 25 October to rehearse the assault on the Gilbert Islands. During the invasion, begun 20 November, she pounded Butaritari, guarded transports during their night withdrawals from the islands, and provided anti-aircraft cover during unloading operations, as well as screening carriers. She returned to Pearl Harbor 5 December.

New Mexico received 6 battle stars for World War II service, but the details are beyond our scope.


Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also


  1. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  2. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  3. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  4. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  5. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  6. Friedman. U.S. Battleships. p. 420.
  7. Register of Officers, 1919. pp. 14-15.
  8. Register of Officers, 1920. pp. 12-13.
  9. Register of Officers, 1922. pp. 12-13.
  10. Register of Officers, 1925. pp. 12-13.
  11. Register of Officers, 1925. pp. 12-13.
  12. Register of Officers, 1928. p. 14.
  13. Wikipedia.


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