The first NEVADA was a 335-foot, 3850-ton screw steamer built for the
Navy in 1863. Because of inferior construction, she was never armed and
was sold after nine years.
The second USS NEVADA (BM 8) was a 252-foot, 3200-ton harbor defense
monitor. She was built in 1898 and served in the Atlantic until 1906.
At that time NEVADA and several of her sister ships were transferred
from the fleet to duty at the Naval Academy. They were kept active
during the summer months for the annual Midshipmen cruise. She was
renamed TONOPAH in 1909 to allow Battleship Number 36 to be named
NEVADA and was sold in 1922.
The third NEVADA (BB 36), a 583-foot, 27,500-ton battleship, began her
long and distinguished career in 1916. Her Commanding Officer was
Captain William S. Sims, who later became Fleet Admiral. She entered
World War I at Norfolk, VA as a training ship for the crews of
"four-stacker" destroyers and as a gunnery training ship for men who
would be the armed guards on merchant ships. In 1918, NEVADA joined
OKLAHOMA (BB 37) and UTAH (BB 31) as part of a deterrent squadron to
prevent German battle cruisers from breaking out of the North Sea and
attacking North Atlantic convoys. The Germans never challenged her. The
super dreadnought was a menace to the enemy without firing a shot.
Between the wars, NEVADA conducted two diplomatic South American
cruises and in 1922 became part of the Pacific Fleet.
December 7, 1941, found NEVADA moored at the east end of "battleship
row" in Pearl Harbor. Perhaps because she was singly moored, NEVADA was
the only battleship able to get underway during the Japanese attack.
Severely damaged from multiple torpedo and bomb explosions, she was
beached to prevent being sunk in the channel.
Refloated in 1942, NEVADA went on to provide fire support in the
capture of Attu Island in the Aleutians. NEVADA then sailed south,
through the Panama Canal to participate in the Allied invasion of
France. For 12 days she roamed the coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula,
building the legend of her incredibly accurate firepower by placing her
huge 14-inch shells within 600 yards of the Allies' front lines. Once
the Atlantic coast was secure, NEVADA proceeded through Gibraltar to
support the invasion of France's Mediterranean coast, leaving nothing
but rubble and twisted steel to identify the former Nazi shore
batteries of Toulon.
Her duty in the Mediterranean completed, NEVADA sailed again for the
Pacific and the closing engagements of the war. At Iwo Jima she moved
in 600 yards from shore to provide maximum fire power allowing the U.S.
Marine Corps to advance and capture the island. At Okinawa, though
damaged by a Kamikaze (suicide plane) attack, NEVADA survived to fight
again. She received seven battle stars for her distinguished World War
The fourth NEVADA (SSBN 733) is the eighth OHIO Class nuclear powered
fleet ballistic missile submarine.