The two ships of the Oklahoma class, USS Nevada and USS Oklahoma, were authorized in 1911 and launched in 1912. The Oklahoma displaced 34,000 tons, with an overall length of 583 feet, and a beam of 107 feet, 11 inches. Her reciprocating engines produced 25,300 horsepower through twin screws driving the ship at 20.5 knots. Her main armament consisted of ten 14-inch .45 caliber rifles and for her second battery; she carried twelve 5-inch .25 caliber anti-aircraft guns. The ship normally carried three scouting seaplanes atop her turrets and quarterdeck catapult, and a crew of 1,301.
On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, the USS Oklahoma was moored outboard the USS Maryland in a state of complete unreadiness. Most of her watertight manhole covers had been removed, and she was moored in a very exposed position on the east side of Ford Island. She received torpedo hits almost immediately after the attack began and started listing over the starboard side. Ultimately, she was to absorb a total of approximately nine torpedoes. During the war the ship was salvaged in a singularly grand effort, but spent the remainder of the war at quayside, awaiting the decision of what was to be done with her. Probably due to her reciprocating engines, the decision was made not to restore her. Her guns were used as replacements for the battleship USS Pennsylvania and others. After the decision had been made to sell her for scrap, after the 1946 tugs began towing towards the US, towards scrapping, the once proud hulk, five hundred miles out of Pearl Harbor, unaccountably began to list. During one dark, calm night, USS Oklahoma sank at the end of her towline, rejecting the final indignity of being scrapped.
In this painting USS Oklahoma is portrayed departing Southampton on her North Atlantic Cruise of 1936. In the background to the left sails a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship. Second painting of USS Oklahoma by James Flood. See first USS Oklahoma painting
Excellent Resource Dedicated to USS Oklahoma : The Official Website of the USS Oklahoma
Model Of USS Oklahoma (scratch built by James Flood) that resides at the Wall of Honor Museum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma : Six Foot Model of USS Oklahoma