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Iowa Class Battleship: Kentucky (BB66)

by Nov 17, 2019

Top left image: The uncompleted battleship Kentucky at Norfolk Navy Yard, December 1949.
Top right image: The hull of the battleship Kentucky, minus her bow, being towed to the Boston Metals.

Battleship Kentucky, BB 66, the fifth in the planned series of Iowa-class battleships, was partially built but never completed.

Her keel was laid at Norfolk Navy Yard in March 1942, but construction was suspended three months later and not resumed until the end of 1944, than suspended again in 1947.

The uncompleted hull was finally launched in January 1950 to make the dry dock available for other uses, among those were repairs to her sister ship the USS Missouri, for damages incurred following grounding on Thimble Shoals in Chesapeake Bay.

Though various alternative design plans for the uncompleted Kentucky were considered by the Navy, none were pursued.

Her bow was removed in 1956 for repair of the damaged USS Wisconsin (BB-64) after her collision with the destroyer USS Eaton (DD 510) in May 1955.

The remainder of Kentucky’s hull was finally sold to Boston Metals Company in October 1958 for $1,176.666, following construction costs estimated at $55,000,000.