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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-31 USS UTAH
December 7 1941 - Present


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1927 - December 6, 1941


Florida Class Battleship: Displacement 21,825 Tons, Dimensions, 521' 6" (oa) x 88' 3" x 30' 1" (Max). Armament 10 x 12"/45 16 x 5"/51, 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 11" Belt, 12" Turrets, 3" Decks, 11 1/2" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,000 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 20.75 Knots, Crew 1001.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Shipbuilding, Camden NJ., March 15, 1909. Launched December 23, 1909. Commissioned August 31, 1911. Converted and reclassified Target Ship AG-16, April 1, 1932. Decommissioned (War Loss). Stricken November 13, 1944.
Fate: Sunk by Japanese aircraft during attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Her hulk still rests rolled over in her berth, serving as a memorial to this day. 6 Officers and 58 Men were lost with the ship and remain on duty.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Penelope's Song courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
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BB-31 Utah 245k A painting by the artist Wayne Scarpaci showing the Utah (AG-16) being torpedoed.
The attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor lasted a little under two hours, but for Utah, it was over in a few minutes. At 0801, soon after sailors had begun raising the colors at the ship's fantail, the erstwhile battleship took a torpedo hit forward, and immediately started to list to port.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Drawing courtesy of artbywayne.com via Wayne VanDerVoort.
Photo added 06/29/12.
BB-31 Utah62kUtah (AG-16) capsizing off Ford Island, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. Photographed from Tangier (AV-8), which was moored astern of Utah. Note colors half-raised over fantail, boats nearby, and sheds covering Utah's after guns. USN photo.
BB-31 Utah65kUtah (AG-16) lies with her bottom up at Berth F-11, after she was torpedoed by Japanese planes and capsized on 7 December 1941. In the right background is Raleigh (CL-7), also hit by a Japanese torpedo, which is being assisted in staying afloat by a barge and a tug tied up along her port side.Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # NH 97401, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-31 Utah70kCapsized hull of Utah (AG-16) off the western side of Ford Island on 12 December 1941, five days after she was sunk by Japanese aerial torpedoes during the Pearl Harbor Attack. View looks toward Ford Island, with Utah's bow at left. Tangier (AV-8) is in the right background.USNHC # NH 50857.
BB-31 Utah93kBow view of the capsized Utah (AG-16), as seen from the stern of Raleigh (CL-7), on 12 December 1941. Utah had been torpedoed and sunk during the Japanese attack five days earlier.USNHC # NH 64498.
BB-31 Utah55kView of Utah (AG-16) lying on her port side on Pearl Harbor floor.Courtesy of Submerged Cultural Resources Unit/Jerry Livingston. Historic Naval Ships Association.
BB-31 Utah 117k Utah (AG-16) Rightening, 8 February 1944. Photo Source: NARA San Francisco, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard General Correspondence files 1941-45.
Photo courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-31 Utah 78k Utah (AG-16) Rightening, 10 February 1944. Photo Source: NARA San Francisco, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard General Correspondence files 1941-45.
Photo courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-31 Utah76kSalvage of Utah (AG-16), 1943-44. View from offshore, looking toward Ford Island, showing the sunken ship's starboard deck edge area during righting operations, 10 February 1944. Visible on her superstructure deck, in center, are an open 5"/38 single gun mount and a 1.1" quad machine gun mount.USNHC # NH 83059.
BB-31 Utah124kUnder salvage at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 13 February 1944. The ship, which capsized to port after being torpedoed in the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941, is seen at about the 68 degree position at the completion of the first pulling period. Her blister plating has been cut away around the turn of the bilge to provide fair lead to hitch pads. Salvage efforts rolled her back toward Ford Island, but she was not refloated.USNHC # NH 64301.
BB-31 Utah111kWreck of the Utah (AG-16) after righting, 13 March 1944.USNHC # NH 64302.
BB-31 Utah112kUtah (AG-16) memorial plaque mounted on the ship's wreck, off the west side of Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Photographed on 9 December 1950. The plaque's inscription reads: "In Memory - Officers and Men - Utah - Lost in Action - 7 December 1941".Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # NH 80-G-484354, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-31 Utah86kChief Water tender Peter Tomich, USN, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on board Utah (AG-16) during the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor. Halftone reproduction, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1948, The Navy", page 270.USNHC # NH 79593.
BB-31 Utah88kUtah (AG-16) plaque erected near the ship's wreck, off the west side of Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # NH 80-G-484355, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-31 Utah80kThe Utah's (AG-16) wreck, off the western side of Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1951, the tenth anniversary of the Japanese attack that sank her. At right is a memorial plaque giving historical information on her loss.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 80-G-436639, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-31 Utah77kThe Utah's (AG-16) hulk is seen from the flight deck of the Lexington (CV-16) in May, 1959. NA photo # USN 1056771. from the WARSHIP SERIES #7--"PARALLEL FATES--The Utah (BB-31/AG-16) and the Oklahoma (BB-37) in Peace and in War", by Harvey M. Beigel, courtesy of Mike Green.
BB-31 Utah67kLooking at the Utah Memorial from Ford Island at Pearl Harbor.Daniel W. Gless.
BB-31 Utah189kUtah Memorial as seen on August 1987 against the backdrop of Ford Island.
Courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-31 Utah323k Utah Memorial Plaque at Pearl Harbor. Daniel W. Gless.
World War II Memorial267kAn overhead view of the Radio Control - Bombing & Submarine Target and Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Training Ship Utah (AG-16), under the water in the East Loch at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 10 Mar 1989. The Utah Memorial is one of two National Memorials at Pearl Harbor.USN photo # DN-SC-04-14300, by PH3 Bos, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
(NISMF)926kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
BB-31 Utah74kTaken in 1992 during the first ever unlimited hydro races held at Pearl Harbor. Shows the 01 level area on the starboard side near the bridge of the Utah (AG-16) . Plaque on this level commemorates the 58 lives lost on this ship 7 December 1941. The same plaque can be seen ashore. Courtesy of Larry Lee.
BB-31 Utah135k Bows on view of the ship showing the final resting place of the ship. The ship was pulled back towards shore in 1944 and now rests at a 38 degree angle. The ship would have been salvaged if it had not been for the fact the ship slid towards Ford Island instead of rolling over like the Oklahoma (BB-37). Courtesy of Larry Lee.
BB-31 Utah109kView of the side of the ship and 01 level superstructure as seen from Ford Island. Interesting detail view of the overhang area showing portholes, WTD door, and rusted area of the ship. Courtesy of Larry Lee.
BB-31 Utah138k Close up of the forward starboard quarter of the ship with one of cables used in righting operations in '43/44. Again more port holes can be seen - all battened up, as well as the barbett of the original 12 inch gun of turret no. 2. This turret was removed in the 30's and the barbet covered over and a non-shielded 5"/38 gun was put in its place. Courtesy of Larry Lee.
BB-31 Utah90k Taken from Ford Island showing most of the above water remains of the Utah (AG-16) . Shot taken in January 1988, when I just reported aboard the Coronado as part of COMTHIRDFLT staff. I walked all around Ford Island that day and there were still lots of WWII buildings around so it was kinda like walking back into history for a while there. Courtesy of Larry Lee.
BB-31 Utah262k Sailors assigned to ships based at Pearl Harbor bring the flag to half-mast over the Utah Memorial on Ford Island in honor of Memorial Day 31 May 2004. U.S. Navy photo # N-9643K-008, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
World War II Memorial371kA quote made by Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is inscribed on a granite wall at the National World War II Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Fleet Adm. Nimitz was the United States signatory to the surrender terms aboard the battleship Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, Japan on 2 September 1945, thus ending World War II. Established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the memorial honors all military veterans of World War II, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms. On 29 May 2004, the memorial was formally dedicated with an estimated 200,000 people expected to attend, and includes 100,000 visiting veterans of all wars.U.S. Navy photo # N-0295M-011 by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
World War II Memorial342k Nina and Mary Kreigh prepare to raise the American flag at sunset at the Utah Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 6 December 2005. Mary's father Albert T.D. Wagner, was the chief yeoman aboard the Utah (AG-16) when it was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
She was supposed to be scattered at sea, her ashes thrown to the waves in a ceremonial burial in the old Navy tradition.
Instead, the urn containing Nancy Lynne Wagner went down with the ship off Ford Island, where it remains today.
Every December, Mary Wagner Kreigh, the twin sister of "Baby Nancy," visits Pearl Harbor, gazing out at the rusted hull of the Utah, and she plucks a flower from a wreath.
"I throw it over into the water and thank the sailors for watching over her. She couldn't have better guardians."
Born premature in the Philippines, the two girls weighed three pounds a piece. One had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and died two days later.
Her father, Navy Chief Yeoman Albert T.D. Wagner, took the ashes aboard the Utah, so when the ship went out for maneuvers they could be scattered at sea.
"The chaplain was supposed to come aboard and go out to sea and they would have the ceremony," Kreigh said.
The somber plans were interrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor, and while Wagner was able to escape with his life, his daughter's ashes were left behind.
Years later, the surviving twin would accompany her father to see what remained of the Utah, and watch as the tears streamed down his face.
"There was nothing there, no memorial, nothing but this old ship, and we had to wander down through the mud. He looked at me and asked, 'Don't they care?'"
Within a few years, her father was dead. From then on, Kreigh has made it her life's work to spread the story of the Utah, Baby Nancy, and the men who went down and the men who survived.
She soon found herself appointed as the public relations director of the Utah Association and as the go-to girl for organizing the reunions.
"The Utah survivors are my family. They are my survivors, and I know them all quite intimately. They are not just people to me, they are total family."
For years now, Kreigh has traveled to Hawaii to visit the Utah, participating in a December 6 ceremony held one day prior to the attack so it doesn't conflict with the events on the actual anniversary.
More than a few times, she's stood at the shore and watched as the ashes of yet another fallen survivor are placed on the ship to join his shipmates.
"It's a breathtaking ceremony, one of the most wonderfully beautiful things you'll ever see," she said.
Even though the Utah is long gone and Baby Nancy with her, Kreigh says she never feels very far away from her twin.
"Nancy has always been with me. Baby Nancy was my playmate always."
Kreigh likes to stand at the edge of the water, look to the Utah and picture the sailors singing lullabies to her twin.
"It is so peaceful and quiet. I wouldn't want her any place else."
U.S. Navy photos # N-6507M-033 by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class TeResa R. Martinez, courtesy of news.navy.mil. & USS Utah Public Relations
Text by Amy Joi O'Donoghue, courtesy of deseretnews.com. via Robert Hall.
World War II Memorial214k Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Adm. Harry Ulrich will present a posthumously awarded Medal of Honor to the family of Chief Water tender Peter Tomich at a ceremony on 18 May 2006. Retired Croatian Army Lt. Col. Srecko Herceg Tonic will receive the U.S. military's highest award on behalf of the Tomich family. Tomich was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions aboard the battleship Utah (AG-16) on 7 December 1941, during the surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy photo # N-0000C-001 by Cmdr. Jane Campbell, courtesy of news.navy.mil.

Utah (BB-31) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Utah (BB-31) Association Web Site Webmaster


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Utah (BB-31) Report of Pearl Harbor Attack.

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