DeVan Family History and Genealogy

DeVan Family Veterans

Lewis E. DeVan

USS Maryland BB 46 - December 7, 1941

Lewis was aboard the USS Maryland that fateful day when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The USS Maryland was along side the USS Oklahoma when the Oklahoma was capsized.

This view of "Battleship Row" was taken from a Japanese aircraft during the early part of the attack on the ships. Ships seen, left to right, are:
  USS Vestal USS West Virginia USS Oklahoma
USS Nevada USS Arizona USS Tennessee USS Maryland
All of the ships in this photo were damaged in the attack. The Arizona was hit near the stern, and later received the bomb that detonated her forward magazines. The Vestal took two bomb hits and was further damaged when the Arizona's magazines exploded. The West Virginia and Oklahoma were leaking oil after receiving many torpedo hits and were listing to port. The Oklahoma capsized shortly after this picture was taken, and the West Virginia settled on the bottom. The Nevada was also torpedoed, and the Tennessee took two bomb hits. The Maryland took two hits in the bow, which resulted in two large holes below the water line.

The USS Maryland received battle damage three times during the period of June 1944 to April 1945. In June 1944 she was damaged in the battle for Saipan when a Japanese "Betty" bomber sneaked in and dropped a torpedo, which opened a gaping hole in her port bow. Casualties were light and in 13 minutes she was underway for the repair yards at Pearl Harbor.

Kamikazi hits USS Maryland, November 29, 1944

In the aftermath of the important victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Japanese air attacks continued to pose a definite threat. Shortly after sunset on November 29, 1944, a determined suicide plane dove through the clouds and crashed Maryland between turrets 1 and 2. Thirty-one sailors died in the explosion and fire that followed; however, the sturdy battleship continued her patrols until relieved on December 2nd. She reached Pearl Harbor on December 19 and during the next two months workmen repaired and refitted "Fighting Mary."

At dusk on the 7th of April 1945, Maryland took her third hit in ten months from enemy planes. A suicide plane loaded with a 500-pound bomb crashed the top of turret No. 3 from starboard. The explosion wiped out the 20mm mounts, causing 53 casualties. As before, however, she continued to blast enemy shore positions with devastating 16- inch fire. While guarding the western transport area 12 April, she splashed two planes during afternoon raids.

Read more about the history of the USS Maryland.

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