U.S.S. Massachusetts (1893)

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U.S.S. Massachusetts (1893)
Builder: William Cramp & Sons[1]
Ordered: 3 June, 1890[2]
Laid down: 25 Jun, 1891[3]
Launched: 10 Jun, 1893[4]
Commissioned: 10 Jun, 1896[5]
Expended: 1921[6]
Fate: as target
This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

The battleship U.S.S. Massachusetts was laid down by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., 25 June, 1891; launched 10 June, 1893; sponsored by Miss Leila Herbert, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Hilary Herbert; and commissioned 10 June, 1896, Capt. Frederick Rodgers in command.

Service

Underway for shakedown on 4 August, 1896, Massachusetts conducted trials and maneuvers off the middle Atlantic coast until 30 November, when she entered New York Navy Yard for overhaul. Following a brief voyage to Charleston, S.C., 12 to 20 February, 1897, the battleship departed New York 26 May for Boston, arriving 2 days later for a celebration in her honour, including the presentation of the Massachusetts Coat of Arms 16 June, and a gift of a statue of victory the next day. She departed Boston on the 19th to cruise to St. Johns, Newfoundland, arriving 23 June. Sailing on the 28th the warship operated off the Atlantic coast for the next 10 months, participating in training maneuvers with the North Atlantic Squadron off Florida, and making calls at major east coast ports. On 27 March, 1898, she was ordered to Hampton Roads, Va., to join the Flying Squadron for the blockade of Cuba.

Massachusetts departed Norfolk 13 May for Cienfuegos, Cuba, where she took up blockade duties on the 22nd. On the afternoon of 31 May in company with the battleship Iowa and the cruiser New Orleans, she bombarded the forts at the entrance to Santiago de Cuba, and exchanged fire with Spanish cruiser Cristobal Colon, forcing the enemy ship to retire into the inner harbor of Santiago. The battleship remained on patrol off Santiago, intermittently bombarding Spanish fortifications, until 3 July, when she stood out to coal at Guantanamo Bay. Missing the Battle of Santiago, the battleship steamed back to her station on the 4th, arriving in time to help the battleship Texas force cruiser Reina Mercedes to beach and surrender at midnight 6 July. Following duty in support of the American occupation of Puerto Rico, 21 July to 1 August, Massachusetts steamed for home, arriving New York 20 August.

During the next 7 years, Massachusetts cruised the Atlantic coast and eastern Caribbean as a member of the North Atlantic Squadron. From 27 May to 30 August, 1904, the warship served as a training ship for United States Naval Academy midshipmen off New England and then entered New York Yard for overhaul. Departing New York 13 January, 1905, the battlewagon then steamed for the Caribbean on training maneuvers, operating there until she returned north to cruise off New England in May. Putting into New York 12 November, 1905, she underwent inactivation overhaul and then decommissioned 8 January, 1906.

Massachusetts was placed in reduced commission 2 May, 1910 to serve as a summer practice ship for Naval Academy midshipmen. During the next 4 years she made three midshipman cruises-twice to Western Europe before entering the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in September 1912. Following a brief voyage to New York 5 to 16 October for the Presidential Fleet Review, the warship returned to Philadelphia where she remained until decommissioning 23 May 1914.

Massachusetts recommissioned 9 June, 1917 at Philadelphia. Sailing 9 October, she arrived at the Naval Training Station, Newport, R.I., on the 15th, where she embarked Naval Reserve gun crews for gunnery training in Block Island Sound. Continuing on this duty until 27 May, 1918, the old battleship then underwent repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Assigned to battle practice, "A" Division, Battleship Force 1, Atlantic Fleet, 9 June, 1918, the veteran battlewagon steamed to Yorktown, Va., the same day, and for the remainder of the First World War served as a heavy gun target practice ship in Chesapeake Bay and local Atlantic waters. Massachusetts returned to Philadelphia 16 February, 1919. Redesignated Coast Battleship No. 2, 28 March, the warship decommissioned for the final time on the 31st. She was struck from the Navy list 22 November, 1920 and loaned to the War Department as a target ship. Scuttled off Pensacola Bay, Fla., 6 January 1921, the hulk was bombarded by batteries from Fort Pickens for 4 years and then returned to the Navy 20 February 1925. Though offered for sale for scrap, no acceptable bids were received and finally, on 15 November, 1956, the ship was declared the property of the state of Florida.

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 140.
  7. List and Station, July 1898. p. 5.
  8. Register of Officers, 1900. p. 8.
  9. Register of Officers, 1903. p. 8.
  10. Register of Officers, 1904. p. 8.
  11. Register of Officers, 1905. p. 8.
  12. Register of Officers, 1905. p. 8.
  13. Register of Officers, 1906. p. 8.
  14. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 14.
  15. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 14.
  16. Register of Officers, 1912. p. 20.
  17. Register of Officers, 1914. p. 16.

Bibliography


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