What was the last US capital ship to be sunk in battle?

Qualified to include only fast attack carriers and battleships, but could include battle cruisers (if there was any.) After the carrier Wasp was torpedoed off Guadalcanal, I can’t recall any other capital ship sunk after. Escort/light carriers sunk at Leyte gulf don’t count.

USS Hornet ,a fleet carrier, was sunk October 27, 1942
Thats after the Wasp,

And if you count Light carriers ,but not escort carriers.
Princeton was sunk in Battle of Leyte Gulf October 24, 1944 .,
along with a bunch of escort carriers.

318 people DIED when Bismarck Sea goes down. That is more that the loss of Hornet and Wasp together , and the Hornet is worth 5 battleships IMO, thats why the japs targetted it. But it only had 25 very valuable aircraft, so its classes as an escort carrier.

As you are defining thing, I believe the Hornet gets the honors.

The USS Indianapolis was the last major US ship sunk in WWII. But I guess the OP doesn’t count it as a capital ship, since it was a heavy cruiser.

Not sunk, but the carriers Franklin and Bunker Hill had to written off due to very extensive battle damage in 1945.

Here is a question. When was the last capital ship, period…sunk.

The Amagi was capsized on July 29, 1945 by a US airstrike while it was in Kure Harbor. Would that be it?

Really depends on what we call a capital ship. The Argentinians probably felt the General Belgrano was a capital ship, despite it being only a converted light cruiser. (Sunk 1982 in the Falklands War after being torpedoed by HMS Conqueror) I’m tempted to call a submarine like the Russian SSGN Project 949A (NATO “Oscar II” class) K-141, Kursk, a capital ship. (Sunk due to internal explosion, 2000) If not that, then the Soviet SSBN Project 667AU (NATO “Yankee” class) K-219 would qualify, IMHO, considering it alone had more explosive power than all of the world’s battlefleets combined until the age of nuclear weapons. (Sunk 1986, due to internal fire caused by a saltwater reaction with missile propellant. This was due to either poor maintenance or, if you like conspiracy theories, a collision with a US submarine, probably USS Augusta.)

If we’re going old-school, like the OP, then I like using whichever casualties you want from Test Baker during Operation Crossroads in July 1946. IJN BB Nagato took five days to eventually sink after the test. This was longer than the several hours that USS CV Saratoga took to sink. USS BB *Arkansas *was spectacularly sunk in the first seconds after detonation (getting stood on end by the blast will do that.) KM CA Prinz Eugen took five months to eventually sink after Test Baker, but we were excluding cruisers from the definition of capital ships.

It’s not really the OP’s definition of a capital ship; while there is no formal hard and fast definition of the term it is generally accepted to mean ships of the line in the days of sail, battleships and battlecruisers in the more modern era and to include with that fleet aircraft carriers once the aircraft had proved itself.

Neither was written off, both were fully repaired and returned to service. USS Franklin was struck in 1964 and sold for scrap in 1966, USS Bunker Hill was struck in 1966 and sold for scrap in 1973. Neither saw any post-war service after they were decommissioned to the reserve fleet in 1947, but this wasn’t due to battle damage, indeed as noted in the article for the USS Franklin:

Though never put out of action due to damage, facing hard economic times the Royal Navy classified HMS Formidable as beyond economical repair and placed her in reserve without repair before scrapping her in 1956.

Not entirely sure, since the question was broadened by someone other than the OP, but I suspect losses of ships due to accidents or weapons testing isn’t really within the spirit of ‘sinking’ a ship as used in this thread.

Nah, those definitely weren’t in the spirit of the OP, but still it won’t stop me from mentioning as perhaps the last US Naval capital ship that was sunk as being the USS Oriskany (intentionally sunk off Florida in 2006 for use as an artifical reef) simply because my father served on her during the Korean War. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, as escort carriers don’t count—and she technically wasn’t even that, at the time—the USS Card is disqualified.