In 1945 the USN still had two battleships under construction, the IOWA class units BB-65 ILLINOIS and BB-66 KENTUCKY. Both ships were begun late as they were approved with the MONTANA class in 1940, under the Two Ocean Navy Act. Both ships were stopped in construction for longer periods and BB-65 was even re-laid. In 1945 there were already plans formulated by Adm. King and Nimitz to get the last pair modified along the lines of the OREGON CITY and FARGO class cruiser sub-classes ie with much reduced superstructures to clear sky arcs. This came to nothing and the war ended, while both ships lingered around half complete. KENTUCKY was the much more advanced of the two so obviously the Navy looked for some tasks for it’s surplus BB hulls to salvage some of the cost sunk into them. At the same time the rapid fire 8″ gun was under development and for the first time it seemed the Navy will have a heavy gun with a RoF of a manually loaded 5″ gun. This allowed for the ship to get it’s main guns to bear against enemy aircraft at very long distances with a special AA ammo.
Unfortunately the design is not detailed by any reliable secondary sources (Friedman, Garzke etc.), the drawings were found by an old Warship Projects Forum member (ShinRa) so credits go to him. However the drawings style and the hand written text in the lower right corner indicates this is an official “Spring Style”. Scheme “F” is the two quad turret variant, “G” is with three and “H” with four such mounts.
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That is very interesting, especially as I had heard that the ‘Spring Style’ volume covering that period (1946-1954) had never been digitized, it makes you wonder what else is in it.