Posted August 30, 2018 11:00 am by Comments

By Chris Eger

These guns could fire a 2,700-pound armor-piercing shell some 23 miles away. (Photos: USS Massachusetts Facebook)
The 16-inch guns on the USS Massachusetts were used to plaster enemy ships and troops during World War II and her caretakers are looking for help uncovering their lost history.
Commissioned in 1942, “Big Mamie” earned an impressive 11 Battle Stars during the War the hard way. Her mighty 16-inch/45cal guns (that’s a bore 16-inches wide and a barrel tube 45 calibers, or 720-inches long) silenced the Vichy French battleship Jean Bart in Morocco, then bombarded  Kwajalein, Iwo Jima, the Philippines and even the Japanese Home Islands. In fact, she wore her guns down to the point that they had to be relined at least once during the war.
Each barrel is 60 feet long and each of the nine guns weight 192,000 pounds. Barrel life was some 395 rounds.
Decommissioned in 1947, she has been on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts, since 1965, where museum officials are hard at work figuring out the lost names to three of her big guns. You see, the trio in Turret One, towards the bow of the ship, are named after women, (Clara, Jeannie, and Lydia) while the


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