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World War Two in Pictures

Warships at Morocco 1942: Battleship duel between USS Massachusetts and Jean Bart. (much more in the book at left

Also, a rare photo of the French battleship, Richelieu

Glimpses of a Cleveland class cruiser that has just refueled a destroyer, in the Pacific

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Except where noted, Ships and Aircraft of World War II(many photos from U.S. Navy WW 2 Recognition Training Slide Set)

USS Massachusetts, BB-59, shown in her retirement berth at Fall River,  Massachusetts in 2003. She was the U.S. offshore 'heavy' at Torch in November 1942, and dueled Jean Bart. Visitors boarding her

USS Massachusetts BB-59, as Fall River, Massachusetts' visitors saw her on boarding her stern in 2003

The USS Texas, BB-35, and USS New York, BB-34, were the other two battleships that participated as part of the Western Naval Task Force in the three pronged landing effort made by Task Force 34 on Morocco's Atlantic Coast on November 8, 1942. Texas is now a museum ship. New York was sunk in Pacific A-bomb tests after WW II.

Massachusetts led the Covering Group for the entire Western Naval Task Force operation and spent most of that period countering the heavy guns of the French Battleship, Jean Bart. The latter could not get underway, but was alongside a dock in Casablanca so that she was facing the sea, with her forward turrets and fire control system operable.

This author was aboard the destroyer, USS Edison DD-439, screening for Augusta on one foray on November 9, 1942, when two giant shell splashes bracketed Augusta's stern. An acknowledged French Navy capability was excellent fire control.

.French battleship Richelieu. Sister ship of Jean Bart. This is what TORCH participants would have seen if Jean Bart had been able to put to sea.

From the U.S. Navy's recognition slide set in WW II, this is the French battleship Richelieu, sister ship of the Jean Bart. This provides an idea of what Jean Bart would look like had she had her propulsion installed and been able to steam at sea.

(The U.S. Navy's recognition slide set for World Wqr II is not involved in photos shown on the rest of this page.Here now, corrections.)

04/24/2015 Internet visitor to these pages, Ed Crutchfield, has pointed out a substantial error in the following paragraphs, phrases of which which I have boldened, to show the original errors,

Now, we switch to late World War II, the closing days of the naval war in the Pacific. The subject ship is the USS Wisconsin, an Iowa class batteship (the others were the USS Missouri and the USS New Jersey) the last of the big ships laid down in U.S. shipyards to play a role in the war. All have now been retired, and likely no ships of that type will ever be built again.

The USS Wisconsin, and Iowa class battleship built during World War II, and soon enough to join U.S. Navy forces in the war in the Pacific.

The USS Wisconsin, Iowa class battleship, shown in convoy in the Pacific just after fueling the U.S. destroyer Edison

Ed Crutchfield points out that the ship above is a Cleveland class light cruiser, not the USS Wisconsin.

USS Wisconsin, Iowa class battleship, just after the destroyer USS Edison pulls away from its enroute fueling event.

The stern of the USS Wisconsin, an Iowa class battleship, in photo taken from the USS Edison, DD-439, just as the latter opens up water between the two ships that had seen the battleship refueling this 'small boy,' as destroyers were known to the higher brass.

The first phrase in the para above should be changed to, "The stern of a Cleveland class cruiiser .." In the second line, "the cruiser" should replace "the battlehship." Again, thanks to Ed crutchfield.

The two photos immediately above are from the collection of Russ Rossell, an Edison officer during her Pacific months while attached to the CincPac.. Rossell's story of the Edison's cruise in the Pacific in 1945 can be found at Interestingly, though these photos are not from the U.S. Navy Recognition Slide Set, Russ Rossell was the Edison ship's officer assigned to make Edison's crew familiar with Japanese aircraft using a later version of the Slide Set.

We have dwelt at length with floatplanes in the early pages of this folder covering U.S. Navy Ships and Aircraft, and here we see the clear outlines of the OS2U Kingfisher floatplane on the USS Wisconsin's catapault, on her stern.

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