SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Another University of Utah athletic program is paying tribute to the USS Salt Lake City.
Last weekend, the U of U football squad donned a monochromatic, all-gray look to honor and celebrate the USS Salt Lake City, one of the most decorated battleships to serve in World War II, during Military Appreciation Night.
The uniforms, seen in the slideshow below, included hand-painted helmets featuring a dramatic, air-brushed scene of the ship firing her cannons as she may have looked during one of her many conflicts in the Pacific during the war. ABC4.com spoke with the helmet artist, who called the task “very humbling.”
SLIDESHOW: USS Salt Lake City uniforms
Now, two more teams in the Utes fleet will wear monochromatic kits for the USS Salt Lake City.
Utah Athletics unveiled the uniforms the men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear this season. In the slideshow below are photos of the uniforms, courtesy of Utah Athletics. The men’s jersey is #25 with USS Salt Lake City above the numbers the women’s jersey is #11 with USS Salt Lake City below the numbers.
SLIDESHOW: Utah basketball USS Salt Lake City jerseys
The U. hasn’t yet announced when each team will wear these uniforms.
Notable features on these jerseys that were also seen on the Utes football kit include:
- USS Salt Lake City is written across the back of the jersey and ‘one ship fleet’ is seen on the back neckline
- The number 25 is a nod to the vessel’s hull number while 11 represents the 11 battle stars the USS Salt Lake City earned
- The base color is dark gray with camo accents like those seen on the vessel
- A single battle star is seen on the back of the jersey below the neckline
According to the Utah Division of State History, the USS Salt Lake City “helped gain revenge for the sinking of the USS Utah at Pearl Harbor.”
WATCH: Ute Equipment explains significance of USS Salt Lake City
The cruiser named after Utah’s capital would unofficially be credited with taking part in more naval engagements than any ship in the fleet, even being dubbed “the one-ship fleet.” The USS Salt Lake City “survived everything, including its own nation’s most destructive weapons.”
SLIDESHOW: Archived photos of the USS Salt Lake City
The Division of State History reports the USS Salt Lake City is credited for being the first ship to fire on Japanese-held territory when it apparently opened fire on Wotje Island in retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The vessel launched in January 23, 1929, and continued serving the U.S. Navy until the late 1940s.
Here is an excerpt from the Division of State History’s website about the USS Salt Lake City:
The immense atomic explosions that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war and inaugurated a new and frightening chapter in modern warfare. The Salt Lake City played a role in the further development of these powerful weapons. In 1946 the Swayback Maru and other obsolete vessels served as part of the atomic bomb test fleet near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. Although the ship survived, she was deemed highly radioactive and on May 25, 1948, ships and aircraft sank the Salt Lake City off the southern California coast.
The Utes football squad toppled the then-3rd ranked University of Oregon Ducks, 38-7, while wearing their USS Salt Lake City uniforms.