United States Navy
The United States Navy was growing rapidly into a new maturity during the Dreadnought Era. It won its nation a new, vital role in world affairs by its exertions in the Spanish-American War, which in no way prepared it for the challenges of the Great War, which its massive building programs of 1916 and onward did little to address, in practice, as its fruit was ready for action too late to help the naval war.
America's triumph over Spain in this short war that saw substantial naval action in Philippine and Cuban waters spawned a new generation of naval heroes and ambition, as manifested in Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet.
World War I
America built over 260 "four piper" destroyers as it fell into war, but only a small handful of these saw action in World War I. A few recent coal-burning battleships ventured across the Atlantic to comprise the Sixth Battle Squadron and act in concert with the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, but the ships that made the greatest contribution were the destroyers that bolstered anti-submarine patrols near Ireland.
Post-World War I