Discovering USS Nevada

Re-locating an Iconic World War II Battleship
USS Nevada escaped Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 in an inspirational dash to the sea.
The battleship served throughout World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
USS Nevada survived the 1946 atomic tests at Bikini Atoll before it was sunk by naval ships and aircraft as part of a targeted weapons exercise in 1948.
The overturned hull was largely intact and major pieces such as turrets lay scattered in a vast debris field.
The story of its rediscovery inspired the nation at the start of the pandemic as USS Nevada was fabled as a ship that was “too tough to die,” a reputation that began at Pearl Harbor.

SEARCH, together with Ocean Infinity, discovered the wreck of USS Nevada (BB-36)--one of the US Navy’s longest serving battleships. The wreck is located 65 nautical miles southwest of Pearl Harbor at a depth of over 15,400 feet. The mission was jointly coordinated between SEARCH’s operations center and one of Ocean Infinity’s research vessels amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The discovery of USS Nevada adds to our ongoing archaeological study of ships of war, including those used in atomic testing.

“Nevada is an iconic ship that speaks to American resilience and stubbornness. It survived torpedoes, bombs, shells and two atomic blasts. The physical reality of the ship, resting in the darkness in the great museum of the sea, reminds us not only of past events, but of those who took up the challenge of defending the United States in two global wars.”

Dr. James P Delgado, Senior Vice President, SEARCH, Inc.

The battleship Nevada was considered "too tough to die."

Selected media Coverage

News of the discovery reached millions via outlets such as National Geographic, The Washington Post, BBC, and Gizmodo.

Following the discovery, the US Navy conducted a memorial fly-over of the site to honor the ship.

In 2021, the US Coast Guard dropped a weighted memorial wreath on the wreck site from a rescue helicopter on the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. 

SEARCH published a scientific report on the discovery for the Journal of Maritime Archaeology.

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