USS Tennessee and her sister ship, California (BB-44), were the first American battleships built to a "post-Jutland" hull design. As a result of extensive experimentation and testing, her underwater hull protection was much greater than that of previous battleships; and both her main and secondary batteries had fire-control systems. The Tennessee class, and the three ships of the Colorado-class which followed, were identified by two heavy cage masts supporting large fire-control tops. This feature was to distinguish the "Big Five" from the rest of the battleship force until World War II. Since Tennessee's 14-inch turret guns could be elevated to 30 degrees, rather than to the 15 degrees of earlier battleships, her heavy guns could reach out an additional 10,000 yards. Because battleships were then beginning to carry airplanes to spot long-range gunfire, Tennessee's ability to shoot "over the horizon" had a practical value.
USS Tennessee (BB-43)
Ordered: 28 December 1915
Laid down: 14 May 1917
Launched: 30 April 1919
Commissioned: 3 June 1920
Decommissioned: 14 February 1947
Struck: 1 March 1959
Fate: Sold 10 July 1959
Status: Broken up for scrap
Displacement: 33,190 long tons (33,723 t) (original) 40,950 long tons (41,607 t) (rebuilt)
Length: 600 ft (180 m) pp 624 ft (190 m) oa
Beam: 97 ft 5 in (29.69 m) (original) 114 ft (35 m) (rebuilt)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Installed power: 26,800 shp (20,000 kW) (original) 29,000 shp (22,000 kW) (rebuilt)
Propulsion: 4 × turbo-electric transmission 4 × screws
Speed: 21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h)
12 × 14 in (356 mm)/50 cal guns (4×3)
14 × 5 in (127 mm)/51 cal guns
4 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns
2 × Mark 15 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
12 × 14 in (356 mm)/50 cal guns (4×3)
16 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal Mark 12 guns (8×2)
40 × Bofors 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft guns
41 × Oerlikon 20 mm (0.8 in) cannons
Belt: 8–13.5 in (203–343 mm)
Barbettes: 13 in (330 mm)
Turret face: 18 in (457 mm)
Turret sides: 9–10 in (229–254 mm)
Turret top: 5 in (127 mm)
Turret rear 9 in (229 mm)
Conning tower: 11.5 in (292 mm)
Decks: 3.5 in (89 mm)
USS Tennessee 1920:
By 1922 declination markers were installed on Turrets II and III. The after 5in/51cal guns were replaced by two additional 3in guns.
Here is Tennessee in 1927. A float plane catapult has been added to her stern along with a light boom crane to service two Vought O2U float planes.
The eight 3in anti-aircraft guns have been replaced with eight 5in/25cal guns.
By 1932 the fire control director on turret III was moved to Turret II and a second catapult placed atop turret III.
In 1935 machine gun tubs were added to the fore and main mast tops.
In 1940 Mk 19 gun directors were added along side of the foremast with two smaller directors one deck below. Splinter shields were added to the 5in/25cal gun emplacements.
By the evening of 7 December, the worst of the effects of the attack on Pearl Harbor was over. Oil was still blazing around Arizona and West Virginia and continued to threaten Tennessee for two more days while she was still imprisoned by the obstacles around her. Although her bridge and foremast had been damaged by bomb splinters, her machinery was in full commission; and no serious injury had been done to ship or gunnery controls. Ten of her 12 14-inch guns and all of her secondary and antiaircraft guns were intact. By comparison with most of the battleships around her, Tennessee was relatively unscathed.
Temporary repairs were quickly made. From Turret III to the stern on both sides of the ship, Tennessee's hull gave mute evidence of the inferno that she had survived. Every piece of hull plating above the waterline was buckled and warped by heat; seams had been opened and rivets loosened. These seams had to be rewelded and rivets reset, and a considerable amount of recaulking was needed to make hull and weather decks watertight. The damaged top of Turret III received a temporary armor patch.
On 20 December, Tennessee departed Pearl Harbor with USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) and Maryland, both superficially damaged in the Japanese attack. Nearing the west coast, Pennsylvania headed for Mare Island while Maryland and Tennessee steamed north, arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 29 December 1941, and commenced permanent repairs.
Working around the clock during the first two months of 1942, shipyard craftsmen repaired Tennessee's after hull plating and replaced electrical wiring ruined by heat. To allow her antiaircraft guns a freer field of fire, her tall cage mainmast was replaced by a tower similar to that later installed in USS Colorado (BB-45) and Maryland. An air-search radar was installed; fire-control radars were fitted to Tennessee's main- battery and 5-inch antiaircraft gun directors. Her three-inch and .50-caliber antiaircraft guns were replaced by 1.1-inch and 20-millimeter automatic shell guns, and her 5-inch antiaircraft guns were protected by splinter shields. Fourteen-inch Mark-4 turret guns were replaced by improved Mark-11 models. Other modifications improved the battleship's habitability.
Arriving at Pearl Harbor on August 14th, Tennessee returned to Puget Sound on the 27th for modernization. By the time Tennessee emerged from the Navy Yard on 7 May 1943, she bore virtually no resemblance to her former self. Deep new blisters increased the depth of her side protection against torpedoes by eight feet-three inches on each side, gradually tapering toward bow and stern. Internal compartmentalization was rearranged and improved. The most striking innovation was made in the battleship's superstructure. The heavy armored conning tower, from which Tennessee would have been controlled in a surface gunnery action, was removed, as were masts, stacks, and other superstructure. A new, compact, superstructure was designed to provide essential ship and gunnery control facilities while offering as little interference as possible to the fields of fire of the ship's increasingly essential antiaircraft guns. A low tower foremast supported a main-battery director and bridge spaces; boiler uptakes were trunked into a single fat funnel which was faired into the after side of the foremast. Just abaft the stack, a lower structure accommodated the after turret-gun director. Tennessee's old 5-inch battery, and combination of 5"/25 antiaircraft guns and 5"/51 single- purpose "anti-destroyer" guns, was replaced by eight 5"/38 twin mounts. Four new directors, arranged around the superstructure, could control these guns against air or surface targets. All of these directors were equipped with fire-control radar; antennas for surface and air-search radar were mounted at the mastheads. Close-in antiaircraft defense was the function of 10 quadruple 40-millimeter gun mounts, each with its own director and radar.
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/ships/batt ... -tenn.html