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Press Release: New Display Tells the Story of the USS Pennsylvania

November 10, 2016

Filed under Exhibits, Military History

A new display commemorating the anniversaries of the U.S. involvement in World War I and of the Attack on Pearl Harbor will open this fall at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania at War: The Saga of the USS Pennsylvania will spotlight the history and artifacts of the USS Pennsylvania. Launched shortly before the U.S. entered World War I and later damaged during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the USS Pennsylvania served as the flagship of the U.S. Navy.

Chronicling the ship’s incredible witness to history, this special display will open on Sunday, December 4 at 2 PM. Scott LaMar, host and executive producer of WITF-FM’s Smart Talk, will serve as guest speaker for the opening of the display located on the first floor of the museum. This event is included with general museum admission.

Pennsylvania at War will be on display through December 30, 2017.

Visitors will see an intricately detailed, scale model of the USS Pennsylvania. The model, made of wood, fiberglass and other materials is on loan from Daniel Deatrich of Franklin County, Pa., and depicts the ship as it appeared during the 1930s.

The display also highlights the majestic centerpiece from the ship’s official Silver Service, uniforms, personal effects of crew members and a shrapnel fragment taken from the USS Pennsylvania in the days after it was damaged by a torpedo in 1945.

The story of the USS Pennsylvania begins in 1912 when the U.S. Congress authorized the construction of a battleship intended to be the most powerful ship of its type in the world.  The Pennsylvania spent World War I patrolling the Atlantic Coast, never sighting a German ship.

After the war, as the flagship of the U.S. Navy, the Pennsylvania served as the venue for special ceremonies such as the changing of commanding admirals or presidential visits. While at Pearl Harbor, the USS Pennsylvania took on damage during the December 7, 1941 attack. Repaired and modernized, the battleship spent much of World War II taking part in strategic island operations across the Pacific.

Later, the Pennsylvania was awarded a U.S. Navy Unit Commendation as the only battleship to take part in every amphibious combat operation between May 4, 1943 and February 10, 1945.

More stories of Pennsylvania’s involvement in the 20th century’s greatest conflicts, World War I and World War II, can be found at www.statemuseumpa.org/pennsylvania-at-war.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary era, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12-64), $6 for senior citizens (ages 65 and up), and $5 for children (ages 1-11).

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639