In a sense, the torpedoes that sank one of the battleships in Pearl Harbor were meant for a ship that wasn’t there. The USS West Virginia (BB-48), most heavily damaged of the battlewagons to be salvaged later, would have left a week earlier for a West Coast overhaul, but an engineering casualty detained her relief. At the time of the Japanese attack, the Colorado (BB-45) was still at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington.
The 18-year-old Colorado, one of the youngest of the prewar battleships, had reached Bremerton for overhaul on 3 August 1941. Repair work included refitting part of the 16-inch battery, installation of fire-control and surface-search radar, rewinding one of the main electric propulsion motors, and replacement of two 5-inch/51s with 20-mm. Oerlikons. A week after arriving, the Colorado was joined in the yard by HMS Warspite which had suffered a severe mauling by the German Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean and was to be repaired under provision of the Lend-Lease Act.