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Washington VII Arm. Cruiser No. 11 - History

Washington VII Arm. Cruiser No. 11 - History

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Washington VII

Arm. 11

Washington VII

(Armored Cruiser No. 11: dp. 15,712, l. 504'5" b. 72'10"; dr. 25'0"; s. 22.0 k.; cpl. 887, a. 4 10" 16 6", 22 3", 12 3-pdrs., 2 1-pdrs., 4 18" tt.; cl. Tennessee)

The seventh Washington (Armored Cruiser No. 11) was laid down on 23 September 1903 at Camden, N.J. by the New York Shipbuilding Co., launched on 18 March 1905, sponsored by Miss Helen Stewart Wilson, daughter of United States Senator John L. Wilson of Washington state; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 7 August 1906, Capt. James D. Adams in command.

Washington was fitted out there until 1 November when she got underway for Hampton Roads, VA. whence she departed a week later as an escort for Louisiana (Battleship No. 19) which was then carrying President Theodore Roosevelt to Panama for an inspection of progress of work constructing the Panama Canal. During that voyage, the armored cruiser touched at Hampton Roads and Piney Point, VA., Colon, Panama; Chiriqui lagoon; and Mona Passage before she returned to Newport News on 26 November. She headed back toward the Delaware capes on 8 December, arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on the 11th, and remained there undergoing repairs into the spring of 1907.
Washington departed League Island on 11 April and arrived at Hampton Roads the next day. She remained there into May participating in festivities of the Jamestown Tercentenary Exposition which commemorated the founding of Jamestown in 1607, the first permanent settlement of Anglo-Saxon people in America. She returned northward soon thereafter spending most of May undergoing docking and tests at the New York Navy Yard. She then shook down off Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y., from 28 May to 5 June before she returned to Hampton Roads for further observances at the Jamestown Exposition.

Washington departed Hampton Roads on 11 June and proceeded via Bradford, R.I., to Newport where she joined Tennessee (Armored Cruiser No. 10) before heading across the Atlantic on the 14th, bound for European waters. The sisterships visited the French ports of Royan, Ile d'Aix, La Pallice, and Brest between 23 June and 25 July, before returning to Tompkinsville in August to run speed trials.

Following those trials and a period of yard work at the New York Navy Yard, Washington set sail for the Pacific Station, again in company with Tennessee. The two armored cruisers subsequently called at Hampton Roads; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Montevideo, Uruguay, Punta Arenas, Chile, Callao, Peru, Acapulco, Mexico, and Pichilinque Bay, Mexico; before they joined the Pacific Fleet in time to fire target practices with them at Magdalena Bay, Mexico, from late December 1907 into January 1908. Washington subsequently operated both in company with the Fleet and on independent tactical exercises out of Magdalena Bay into March, operating also off Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Diego, as well as San Pedro, Calif. Other ports visited by the armored cruiser into the summer of 1908 included Redondo Beach, Venice, Monterey, Angel Island, Calif.; and Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Seattle Tacoma, and Bremerton, Wash. She was among the units of the Fleet reviewed by the Secretary of the Navy at San Francisco between 6 and 17 May

Washington operated off the west coast into 1909 before she made preparations to sail in company with the Armored Cruiser Squadron to "show the flag" in the Far East. She accordingly got underway from San Francisco on 5 September 1909 and called, in suceession, at Honolulu, Hawaii, from 10 to 20 September; and Nares Harbor, Admiralty Islands—where she coaled ship between 17 and 25 October—before she arrived at Manila, Philippine Islands, on 30 October.

After visiting Woosung (near Shanghai), China, from 14 to 30 December 1909, Washington and her sisters called at Yokohama, Japan, from 3 to 20 January 1910, and Honolulu from 31 January to 8 February, before returning to the west coast. Washington made port back at San Francisco via Port Discovery and Bremerton, Wash., on 3 March. She then returned to Bremerton where she commenced a period of repairs on 21 March.

Washington next operated off the west coast into the autumn of 1910, holding target practices off Santa Cruz, Calif., before returning to San Francisco, She coaled ship at Tiburon, Calif., on 7 and 8 August before shifting to San Francisco to prepare for her next deployment. On 14 August, she departed San Francisco, bound for South America on the first leg of her voyage to the east coast to join the Atlantic Fleet. With the ships of the 1st Division of the Pacific Fleet, Washington visited Valparaiso, Chile, and took part in the observances of the Chilean Centennial Celebration from 10 to 23 September. She then resumed her voyage around South America, touching at Talcahauano and Punta Arenas, Chile, Rio de Janeiro, Carlisle Bay, Barbados, and St. Thomas, Danish West Indies, before she arrived at Culebra, Puerto Rico, on 2 November to prepare for target practice with the Fleet.

Washington's next area of operations was the Tidewater area of Virginia—especially Hampton Roads and Lynnhaven Bay—before the armored cruiser underwent repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard from 20 December 1910 to 2 January 19ll. The armored cruiser subsequently underwent another period of repairs at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard before heading south with stores and material for delivery to the 5th Division of the Fleet in Cuban waters. She arrived at Guantanamo Bay on 20 March and remained there into the sunmmer, conducting trials and exercises with the 5th Division. She then returned northward and stopped at Hampton Roads from 21 to 24 June before pushing on to New York, where she arrived on the 25th.

The armored cruiser operated off the northeastern seaboard through the summer, holding exercises and maneuvers in areas ranging from Cape Cod Bay to Hampton Roads. During that time, she cruised briefly with the Naval Militia from 19 to 21 July 1911- acted as a reference ship for torpedo practice off Sandwich Island, Mass., on 2 August, witnessed the Delaware (Battleship No. 28) as that man-of-war fired at the target hulk San Marcos on 27 and 28 August, and then conducted battle practice with the Fleet off the southern drill grounds. In early November Washington was among the ships of the Fleet reviewed by President William H. Taft.

The cruiser then participated in a search problem out of Newport, R.I., from 9 to 18 November before she sailed for the West Indies in company with North Carolina (Armored Cruiser No. 12), arriving at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 26 November. Washington subsequently returned home to Hampton Roads in company with her sistership and went into drydock at the Norfolk Navy Yard three days before Christmas of 1911.

After returning to the Fleet and participating in maneuvers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in late January and early February 1912, Washington steamed back to the Norfolk Navy Yard where, between 13 and 19 February, she underwent special preparations to embark the Secretary of State and his party. The armored cruiser then shifted to Key West where she embarked the Secretary on 23 February. In the ensuing weeks, Washington carried the honorable Philander C. Knox and his guests to such ports as Colon, Panama, Port Limon, Costa Rica; Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, La Guaira, Venezuela, Santo Domingo, St. Thomas; Puerto Cabalo, Venezuela, San Juan, Port-au-Prince Guantanamo Bay, Kingston, Jamaica; and Havana, before disembarking her distinguished guests at Piney Point, MD., on 16 April.

The high point of the spring of 1912 for Washington was her service as temporary flagship for the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, while she was at the Philadelphia Navy Yard between 19 April and 3 May. The warship subsequently paused at New York from 9 to 12 May and at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard for an inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey for ships before she conducted maneuvers out of Provincetown and Newport and then received Rear Admiral Hugo Osterhaus—the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet—on board on 26 May. After shifting to Hampton Roads, Washington embarked a detachment of additional marines on 27 May, took on stores; and set out that day for Key West. There, she awaited further orders between 30 May and 10 June, while President Taft concentrated a strong naval force there to prepare for possible action which might be required by internal problems in Cuba.

In the late spring and early summer, a rebellion on that Caribbean island occasioned a show of force by the United States. Washington accordingly departed Key West on 10 June and arrived at Havana later that day. She remained there on "duty in connection with the Cuban rebellion" until 1 July when she shifted to Guantanamo. The rebellion on the island was put down by the Cuban Government, resulting in the withdrawal of the American naval and marine representation there. Accordingly, Washington sailed to Hampton Roads, where she discharged her marines and equipment and went into "first reserve" at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard on 9 July.

She remained inactive until 8 October when she sailed for New York to participate in the naval review held there between 10 and 15 October and then resumed her reserve status at Portsmouth on 17 October. Shifted subsequently from Portsmouth to the New York Navy Yard—via President Roads, Mass., and Tompkinsville Staten Island—Washington was assigned duty as receiving ship at the navy yard on 20 July.

The armored cruiser was placed in commission again on 23 April 1914, Capt. Edward W. Eberle in command. Later that spring, the armored cruiser took on board drafts of men from Norfolk and Port Royal, S.C. on 30 May and 2 April; touched at Key West, Fla.; an proceeded to Santo Domingo.

Once again there was unrest in the Dominican Republic. A revolution in the northern province of Santiago, against the rule of Provisional President Jose Bordes Valdes, had been quelled; but one in the province of Puerto Plata—near the capital of Santo Domingo itself—continued unchecked and was marked by severe fighting—fighting so severe that "marked apprehension" existed in Washington.

On 1 May, the gunboat Petrel had been ordered to Dominican waters, but a further show of force seemed to be in order. Accordingly, Washington was chosen to "show the flag" in those troubled waters. She departed Key West on 4 May and arrived at the beleaguered city of Puerto Plata on 6 May to protect American interests, joining the gunboat Petrel. Six days later, Capt. Eberle invited representatives of both warring parties—the insurgents and the government— out to his ship, in an attempt to persuade both sides to come to an amicable settlement.

Unfortunately, the attempt failed, and the fighting continued. The insurgents were aided by a recent large consignment of guns and ammunition smuggled across the Haitian border that had given them new blood. The revolutionaries soon recaptured the key city of Le Vega and were successfully holding Puerto Plata. Government forces, laying siege to that port and shelling the insurgents, clearly endangered the lives of the neutral citizens still living in the city. Capt. Eberle objected to the bombardment and warned President Valdes repeatedly.

Washington departed Puerto Plata on 6 June with the conflict between the insurgents and the government of President Valdes still unresolved. Her place had been taken by Machias (Gunboat No. 5). Washington coaled ship and took on stores at Guantanamo Bay from 7 to 10 June before she sailed for Veracruz, Mexico. She then remained in Mexican waters between 14 and 24 June before she shifted to Cape Haitien, Haiti, to protect American interests there during an outbreak of violence that summer.

Washington remained at Cape Haitien into July. In the meantime, the situation in the Dominican Republic had worsened when government shellings of rebel positions in Puerto Plata resulted in an inevitable "incident." On 26 June, a stray shell killed an English woman in Puerto Plata causing the gunboat Machias to shift to a berth in the inner harbor and shell one of President Valdest batteries, silencing it with a few wellplaced shots. During early July, Machias again fired her guns in anger when stray shots hit the ship

In view of those developments, Washington returned to Puerto Plata on 9 July and remained there into the autumn, keeping a vigil to protect American lives and property and standing by to land her landing force if the situation required it. That August, Capt. Eberle's attempts to bring about a conference finally bore fruit. The United States government sent a commission—consisting of J. F. Fort, the former governor of New Jersey, James M. Sullivan, the American Minister to Santo Domingo; and Charles Smith, a New Hampshire lawyer—to mediate a peace in the Dominican Republic.

Both sides ultimately accepted the American suggestions which provided for the establishment of a constitutional government and the institution of elections under United States "observation."

Washington left Santo Domingo on 20 November; but, later that month, continued high feelings over the closely contested election resulted in further unrest— unrest met by the dispatch of additional marines to Santo Domingo. For Washington, however, her part in the Dominican intervention of 1914 was over. She sailed for home and arrived at Philadelphia on 24 November and became flagship of the Cruiser Squadron.

Following an overhaul at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard from 12 December 1914 to 11 January 1915, Washington sailed—via President Roads, Mass. (where she took on ammunition on 11 January)—for Hampton Roads, arriving there on 14 January. After a five-day visit, during which she took on stores and provisions and an expeditionary force of marines, Washington sailed for the Caribbean once more.

Two revolutions had rocked Haiti in 1914 a third, in January 1915, led by General Vilbrun Guiliaume Sam, had resulted only in further unrest for that troubled nation. Washington arrived at Cape Haitien on 23 January, a week after General Sam's troops had invested it. The armored cruiser, flying the flag of Rear Admiral Caperton and commanded by Capt. Edward L. Beach— the father of the future naval officer who would win fame as a famous submariner and author—stayed in port there until the 26th investigating "political conditions" before she shifted to the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on 27 January. There, she again observed local political conditions in the wake of General Sam's takeover of the government before sailing via Guantanamo for Mexican waters.

Washington conducted sub-caliber practices, observed political conditions, and conducted torpedo practices off the ports of Tampico, Tuxpan, Progreso, and Veracruz into the summer. Receiving provisions and stores from the supply ship Celtic off Progreso on 26 and 27 June, the armored cruiser sailed for Guantanamo where she coaled and took on water on 30 June. She sailed the same day for Cape Haitien, as all reports from the American minister there indicated that yet another crisis was brewing.

While Washington awaited further developments at Cape Haitien, events in Port-au Prince deteriorated, moving American Charge d'Affaire Davis to send a telegram on 27 July to the Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, reporting the troubled conditions. He reported that President Sam and some of his men had been surrounded in the presidential palace and that the presence of American war vessels was desirable.

In accordance with that message, the Navy dispatched Washington to that port. Meanwhile, Sam took refuge in the French legation where he hoped that diplomatic immunity would prevail. The mobs of angry Haitians, however, were not concerned with such international niceties: they invaded the legation at 1030 on 28 July 1915, forcibly removed former President Sam, killed and dismembered him, and paraded portions of his body on poles around the city.

Washington arrived at Port-au-Prince that day. Upon reviewing the situation, Admiral Caperton acted quickly. He ordered marines and a landing force ashore from his flagship to protect not only American interests but those of other foreign nations as well. Washington remained at Port-au-Prince into the winter. During that time, the United States effectively ran Haiti. On 12 August, Philippe Sudra Dartinguenave was elected president; and his government was recognized by the United States on 17 September 1915.

Ending that lengthy in-port period, Washington departed Port-au-Prince on 31 January 1916 and arrived at Guantanamo the following day. There, she transferred passengers and stores to other ships of the Fleet and later transferred a company of marines to Norfolk soon after her arrival in Hampton Roads on 5 February. The armored cruiser steamed north via New York and Boston; reached Portsmouth, N.H., on 29 February; and began an overhaul in the navy yard there which lasted until the end of Mach. Then, on 31 March, she was placed in reserve.

On 9 November 1916, Washington was renamed Seattle (retaining her classification as Armored Cruiser No. 11). She was simultaneously taken out of reserve and recommissioned for duty as flagship of the Destroyer Force.

Seattle's peacetime duties as flagship for the Detroyer Force were short. On 6 April 1917, the United States, after attempting patiently but futilely to remain neutral, despite repeated incidents on the high seas, finally entered World War I.

Seattle arrived at New York on 3 June 1917 to be fitted out at the New York Navy Yard for war service. She sailed on 14 June as an escort for the first American convoy to European waters and as flagship for Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves. At 2215 on 22 June, she encountered her first enemy submarines in latitude 48-00 N, longitude 25-50 W.

Shortly before the convoy was attacked, Seattle's helm jammed; and she sheered out of formation sharply, sounding her whistle to warn the other vessels. A few minutes later, the ship was brought back on course. Soon lookouts noted a white streak in the water 50 yards ahead of the vessel, crossing from starboard to port at right angles to Seattle's course. Admiral Gleaves, asleep in the charthouse at the time, awoke and was on the bridge in time to see the armored cruiser's gun crews manning their weapons and the transport De Kalb opening fire on the U-boat.

Subsequently, the destroyer Wilkes ( Destroyer No. 67) attacked an enemy submersible but failed to sink the German submarine. Later information indicated that the enemy, probably aware of the approach of the first American expeditionary forces, had dispatched a pair of submarines to lie in wait for it. The attack, conducted under "ideal" conditions, was fortunately for the Americans, unsuccessful. Admiral Gleaves, in his report to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, on 12 July 1917, reported unequivocally: "their [the enemy's] failure to score hits was probably due to the attack being precipitated by the fortuitous circumstances of the Seattle's helm jamming and the sounding of her whistle, leading the enemy to suppose he had been discovered."

Seattle operated on comparatively uneventful escort duties for the remainder of World War I, completing her ninth round-trip voyage at New York on 27 October 1918. After the armistice of 11 November 1918, Seattle—like many other ships—was fitted with extra accommodations to enable her to function as a transport, and she brought back doughboys from France until 5 July 1919. Later, after all of her special troop fittings had been removed, Seattle sailed for the west coast to join the Pacific Fleet.

Reviewed by President Woodrow Wilson on 12 September at her namesake city—Seattle—the armored cruiser shifted to the Puget Sound Navy Yard where she was placed in "reduced commission." While in that inactive status, Seattle was reclassified a heavy cruiser, CA-11, on 17 July 1920.

Placed in full commission again on 1 March 1923 Capt. George L. P. Stone in command, Seattle became the flagship for the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet. In that role, over the next four years, she wore the four-starred flags of a succession of officers: Admiral Hilary P. Jones, Admiral Robert E. Koontz Admiral Samuel S. Robison (who was embarked in the ship at the time of the Australian cruise of 1925), and Admiral Charles F. Hughes. During that time, the armored cruiser operated from Seattle to Hawaii and from Panama to Australia.

Subsequently returning to the Atlantic in June of 1927, Seattle passed in review before President Calvin Coolidge on 3 June 1927. After a cruise along the east coast, the ship arrived at New York on 29 August to assume duties as the receiving ship at that port. On1 July 1931, the ship's designation was changed to " unclassifie d . "

As receiving ship, Seattle served as a floating barracks—a "clearance house for personnel"—at New York into the 1940's. Ships and stations transferred men to her for attending various schools in the 3d Naval District, she provided men for tugs and other district craft, as well as naval escorts for patriotic functions (parades and funerals, etc.) and, on board her, crews for ships preparing to go into commission were assembled. Among those ships was the light cruiser Honolulu ( CL-48).

On 17 February 1941, the erstwhile armored cruiser was reclassified as IX-39. She was ultimately placed out of commission at New York on 28 June 1946 and was struck from the Navy list on 19 July of the same year. Sold on 3 December 1946 to Hugo Neu, of New York City, the former flagship of the United States Fleet and receiving ship at New York was subsequently scrapped.

Morton Deyo

Vice Admiral Morton Lyndholm Deyo (1 July 1887 – November 1973) was an officer in the United States Navy, who was a naval gunfire support task force commander of World War II.

Born on 1 July 1887 in Poughkeepsie, New York, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1911, and served over a career of 38 years. His highest Navy rank in active service was Rear Admiral, attaining Vice Admiral at retirement. He was awarded three medals of personal honor, the Distinguished Service Medal (Navy), and the Legion of Merit with Gold Star. [ 1 ]

Deyo served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. In the Atlantic, he commanded the destroyers which provided the first American escort assistance to allied convoys to England just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He later commanded naval gunfire support at Utah Beach in the Normandy invasion, Task Force 129 at the Bombardment of Cherbourg, as well as during the invasion of Southern France.

When transferred to the Pacific, Rear Admiral Deyo assumed command of Cruiser Division 13 (CruDiv 13). He commanded gunfire and covering force for the assault and occupation of Battle of Okinawa. During the battle, he was the last naval commander to form a battle line with battleships as they prepared to intercept the Japanese battleship Yamato. At the war's end, he accepted the surrender of Japanese forces at Sasebo, Kyushu and directed the Allied Occupational of Western Japan.


Cruiser race Japanese rumblings Edit

A race to build armored cruisers to protect maritime trade, attack commerce and maintain a presence at foreign stations had been taking place since the 1890s, with ships built with larger guns and an arrangement of guns and armor similar, at least in overall design if not in degree, to that of battleships. [1] The Royal Navy had pursued an extended period of armored cruiser construction as part of the arms race between it and the Imperial German Navy and to have enough ships to safeguard the vast British Empire. Beginning with the Cressy class in 1898, it had laid down or was planning seven classes of armored cruisers, a total of 35 ships. [2] [ clarification needed ] [3] [ clarification needed ] [4] The last of these, the Minotaur class, would displace 14,600 tons, be capable of 23 knots (43 km/h 26 mph) and be armed with four 9.2-inch (234 mm) and 10 7.5-inch (191 mm) guns. This would give Great Britain the largest armored cruiser force in the world. [5] [ clarification needed ] [6] [7] France was building a series of increasingly large armored cruisers for scouting and commercial warfare, beginning with the 11,000-ton Jeanne d'Arc in 1896, protected with a 6-inch (152 mm) belt and armed with 7.6-inch (193 mm) and 5.5-inch (140 mm) guns, and culminating with the 14,000-ton Edgar Quinet class, slightly faster at 23 knots, armed with 14 7.74-inch (197 mm) guns and armored with up to 6.7 inches (170 mm) on their belts, almost 4 inches (100 mm) on their decks and 6 inches (150 mm) on their turrets. [8] [ clarification needed ] [9] [ clarification needed ] Germany, as part of its Second Naval Law, began a series of 14 armored cruisers envisioned for use on overseas stations. Between 1897 and 1906 they would lay down eight, the initial two armed with 9.44-inch (240 mm) guns, the other six with more modern 8.2-inch (208 mm). The final pair, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, would displace 12,781 tons, steam at 23.5 knots, carry 6 inches (152 mm) of belt and 2 inches (51 mm) of deck armor and carry eight 8.2 inch guns. [6]

Then there was Japan. Its naval build-up following the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895 and its forced return of the Liaotung peninsula to China under pressure from Russia, Germany and France (in what became known as the "Triple Intervention") had at its core a "Six-Six Program" of six battleships and six (eventually eight) armored cruisers comparable to the British Cressy class. [10] [ clarification needed ] [11] The Japanese cruiser Yakumo followed the basic pattern for these cruisers—on a 9,646 long tons (9,801 t) displacement, she carried four 7.99-inch (203 mm) and twelve 6-inch (150 mm) guns, was protected by a 3.5–6.7-inch (89–170 mm) main belt, 2.4-inch (61 mm) armored deck and 5.9-inch (150 mm) turret armor and steamed at 20.5 knots (23.6 mph 38.0 km/h). United States President Theodore Roosevelt, while impressed with Japan's success in the war and its modernization overall, considered its actions a threat to American interests in the Pacific region. This in turn had motivated him to maintain a "controlling voice" in the Philippines after the Philippine–American War ended in 1902 and would encourage him to send the Great White Fleet on its worldwide voyage in 1907. (Unfortunately, the visit of the fleet would inspire Japan to step up its building program still further.) [12] [a] Japan's 1905 victory in the Russo-Japanese War would usher its entrance as a world power and begin a rivalry with the United States over dominance in the Pacific. [15] As Roosevelt would surmise during that conflict in a letter to British diplomat Cecil Spring Rice, "The Japs interest me and I like them. I am perfectly well aware that if they win out it may possibly mean a struggle between them and us in the future." [16]

To keep up with these developments and better protect the large sea areas the U.S. had recently won in the Spanish–American War, the U.S. Navy had built six 13,680-ton Pennsylvania-class cruisers. Armed with four 8-inch (203 mm) and 14 6-inch (152 mm) guns, covered with 6 inches (152 mm) of belt armor and with a top speed of 22 knots, they were considerably bigger than USS New York and USS Brooklyn which preceded them and improved in overall protection. However, the Navy considered the armored area of these ships restricted and the caliber of their heavy guns small compared to their displacement. This did not stop the Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair (C&R) from requesting funds from Congress for two additional units as part of the 1901 naval building program. [17] When Congress did not approve funding for these ships, this obligated the Secretary of the Navy under law to order a new study of capital ship and armored cruiser designs that Congress might approve. A smaller, 11,000-ton design with thinner armor than the Pennsylvanias was favored by the Board's new Chief Constructor, F. T. Bowles, who considered the Pennsylvanias "indefensible on account of their size." However, reducing the size of any new warships was considered unacceptable politically, as Congress had already opposed the growth in size and cost of vessels recently commissioned. Also, Rear Admiral R.B. Bradford of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, who had supported the building of the Pennsylvanias, wanted to keep the new ships as homogeneous in size as possible to the earlier ones and at least comparable to them in fighting strength. [18]

Development Edit

Several design issues on the new cruisers had to be worked out by C&R before a proposed design could be finalized. Bowles was concerned over what he considered inadequate protection in the Pennsylvanias, especially the thin deck armor near the main magazines. British designs placed these magazines well below the ship's waterline and far back from her sides but tended to be much smaller than in US designs. Since US cruisers generally carried heavier armament than their British counterparts, this necessitated magazines with greater volume to ensure adequate ammunition. In his 14,500 proposed design labeled "F," Bowles extended the casemate armor to include the turrets and increased the ship's beam slightly to compensate for the added weight. He also wanted to make the side armor one inch thinner than in the Pennsylvanias and concentrate the 6-inch guns at the ends of the ships to increase the areas covered by their protection. [19]

There was also the question of whether any new armament should be included in the proposed cruiser. New weapons under consideration included a 10-inch (254 mm) heavy gun and a 7-inch (178 mm) secondary gun. The 7-inch gun was especially scrutinized since its shell was the heaviest that could be handled manually. Proposed design "G" included both these weapons however, Bradford suspected that, due to the issue of weight, the 8-inch cannons used in the Pennsylvanias might be more practical as main armament. The weight of four 10-inch and 16 7-inch guns was such that the armor over the casemates would have to be reduced to 1.5 inches (38 mm) for flat surfaces and by 1 inch (25 mm) for the outside slopes. Proposed design "H," armed with four 10-inch and 16 6-inch (152 mm) guns, offered better protection, with 5 inches (127 mm) of casemate armor extended from top to bottom between the two turrets to protect ammunition for the 3-inch (76 mm) anti-torpedo boat guns. This was the design submitted to the Secretary of the Navy on 31 July 1901 with a request to include two additional 3-inch guns and greater isolation of the 6-inch battery. [20]

Meanwhile, Congress had become concerned about the growing size of new Navy ships of all ratings and set a firm limit of 14,500 tons, the same as the Pennsylvanias, for armored cruiser project to be considered for the 1902 naval building program. This limit paralleled one that Congress had previously set for battleships. The estimated weight for proposed design "H" was 14,700 tons. Also, Engineer in Chief George Wallace Melville had requested engines for these ships with 2000 more indicated horsepower than the Pennsylvanias to compensate for 1500 tons of accumulated weight during the design process. The added horsepower would ensure a top speed of 22 knots, the same as the Pennsylvania class. The tonnage limitation may have been expected since means to save weight on the new design were already being sought in the fall of 1901. At that time, Melville was asked about reducing boiler weight, to which he refused, claiming it was impossible for him to install reliable machinery of 25,000 horsepower for the same amount of weight as he had been allocated for 23,000 horsepower in the Pennsylvanias. [21]

The issue of reducing engineering weight reemerged when Bowles asked for 200 extra tons to increase deck armor. Even with the decrease, he argued, the ships would still be able to make 22 knots. Bradford sided with Bowles but Melville claimed he could save only 50 tons the other 140 tons could be saved by reducing the amount of coal the ships carried on trials from 900 to 750 tons. This, Bowles replied, would make the new cruisers a "fake design." Nor was it entirely clear whether they really needed 25,000 horsepower to attain their designed speed. Model testing, then new, was apparently something in which Melville did not believe and none of the Pennsylvanias had yet run trials. Melville cited British cruisers of the same size as the new design, which used 30,000 horsepower to steam at 24 knots. After heated discussion the board agreed on 23,000 indicated horsepower and a design speed of 22 knots. [22]

The first pair of these cruisers, Tennessee and Washington, were approved by Congress under the 1902 Naval Building Program. The other pair, North Carolina and Montana, were approved in 1904. [22]

In the Navy's view, the evolution of the armored cruiser from the New York and Brooklyn to the Tennessee class was a progression toward "what was in reality a battle-cruiser." As such, it claimed, the Tennessees "excelled in battery power and protection any armored cruiser built, building, or designed, in the world at that time." The issue of speed did not go away and the Tennessees were criticized within the Bureau of Construction and Repair for being slower than their British and French counterparts. Engineer in Chief Melville stated in his minority report, "I cannot believe that Congress did not intend that these vessels should be equal to or superior to any of their class, that class being armored cruisers, and not battleships where very high speed may not be so essential and I am not at all certain that an additional knot and the power for it should not have been insisted upon in the first place." [23]

General characteristics Edit

The Tennessee- and Pennsylvania-class cruisers were nearly identical in overall size. They shared a length of 504 ft 6 in (153.77 m), and draft of 25 ft (7.6 m). With a beam of 72 feet 10 inches (22.20 m), the Tennessees were only 3 ft 1 in (0.94 m) wider and displaced just over 800 tons more for a total of 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) standard, 15,712 long tons (15,964 tonnes) full load. While their hull designs were essentially the same, the Tennessees benefited from improved underwater lines this plus a beamy waterline plane made these ships extremely steady at maintaining speed and allowed them, even with their increased weight, to steam at 22 knots with no increase in horsepower specifications over the Pennsylvanias. They tended to pitch rather than roll in heavy seas but were basically considered good sea boats. Freeboard at the line of the main deck was 18 feet (5.5 m) amidships, 24 feet (7.3 m) forward and 21.5 feet (6.6 m) aft. The conning tower, located on the lower bridge, was one deck higher than in the Pennsylvania class. [24]

Propulsion Edit

Although Melville had argued for triple screws (for which he had advocated since the 1890s), the twin-screw arrangement of the Pennsylvanias was retained. Two four-cylinder vertical triple expansion engines, located in separate watertight compartments, supplied a combined total of 23,000 indicated horsepower at 120 revolutions per minute. Diameters of high- and low-pressure cylinders were in the ratio of i to 7.3: High Pressure 38.5 inches (0.98 m) Intermediate Pressure 63.5 inches (1.61 m) Low Pressure, 2 of 74 inches (1.9 m). Piston stroke for all cylinders was 48 inches (1.2 m). Sixteen Babcock & Wilcox straight water-tube boilers, sub-divided into eight watertight compartments, supplied steam at a pressure of 265 psi (1,830 kPa) at boiler, 250 psi (1,700 kPa) at engine. These had a combined grate surface of 1650 square feet and a heating surface of 70,940 square feet. Forced draft was on the closed fire-room system. The ships usually carried 900 tons of coal but could hold a maximum of approximately 2,000 tons, which gave them a range of approximately 6,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots and approximately 3100 nautical miles at full speed. [25]

Design speed was 22 knots (25 mph 41 km/h). [26] [27] Despite Melville's concern about insufficient power, all four ships performed higher than expected during trials in both horsepower and speed. [28] Each ship went through its speed trials in two stages, a four-hour run at flank speed and a 24-hour endurance run at the maximum maintainable speed.

Name Four-hour IHP Four-hour speed 24-hour IHP 24-hour speed
Tennessee 25,892 22.16 knots (41.04 km/h) 21,600 21.28 knots (39.41 km/h) [25]
Washington 26,862 22.27 knots (41.24 km/h) --- ---
North Carolina 26,038 22.48 knots (41.63 km/h) 19,802 20.6 knots (38.2 km/h) [29]
Montana 27,489 22.26 knots (41.23 km/h) 19,102 20.48 knots (37.93 km/h) [29]

Armament Edit

Barring USS Maine ' s original designation as an armored cruiser, the Tennessees carried the heaviest-caliber ordnance of any American cruiser until the Alaska class appeared during World War II. Their armament represented increases of 29.7 percent in ordnance and a 47.5 percent in broadside weight over the Pennsylvania class. With very few exceptions, they outgunned every foreign armored cruiser either afloat or then being built. [30] In "The Seapower of the Nations" section of Army & Navy Illustrated, columnist John Leyland cites Admiral O'Neill's annual ordnance report to Congress that the aim of the US Navy "has always been . to build vessels of all classes with great gun-power . that they should be superior to foreign vessels of like classes in that respect." To illustrate this point, Leyland supplies a table comparing firepower and broadside weight of comparative foreign cruisers. Broadside weight includes main and secondary weapons [31]

Name Country Displacement (tons) Armament Weight of discharge Speed
Good Hope Britain 14,100 2 × 9.2-inch (234 mm), 16 × 6-inch (152 mm) 2,560-pound (1,160 kg) 23 knots (43 km/h)
Tennessee US 14,500 4 × 10-inch (254 mm), 16 × 6-inch (152 mm) 3,900 pounds (1,800 kg) 22 knots (41 km/h)
Jules Ferry France 12,550 4 × 194-millimetre (7.6 in), 16 × 164-millimetre (6.5 in) 2,260 pounds (1,030 kg) 22 knots (41 km/h)
Fürst Bismarck Germany 10,650 4 × 240-millimetre (9.4 in), 12 × 150-millimetre (5.9 in) 3,200 pounds (1,500 kg) 19 knots (35 km/h)
Tsukuba Japan 13,750 4 × 12-inch (305 mm), 12 × 6-inch (152 mm), 12 × 4.7-inch (119 mm) 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg) 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h)

Main guns Edit

The Tennessees ' main armament consisted of four 10-inch (254 mm) 40-caliber Mark 3 guns, which had a maximum elevation of 14.5° and could depress to −3°. 60 rounds per gun were carried in peacetime, 72 rounds in wartime. They fired a 510-pound (231 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second (820 m/s) to a range of 20,000 yards (18,288 m) at maximum elevation at a rate of 2 - 3 rounds per minute. [32] These guns were mounted in twin turrets fore and aft. (As a comparison, the British BL 9.2-inch (233.7 mm) gun fired a 380-pound (170 kg) shell at a velocity of 2,643 ft/s (806 m/s) [33] to a range of 29,200 yd (26,700 m). [34] )

The Mark 3 was the last 10-inch gun built for the U.S. Navy, with a tube, jacket, locking ring and screw box liner manufactured from nickel steel. Due to the "smokeless" powders which came into use near the turn of the 20th century, these guns boasted a higher velocity than those used during the Spanish–American War. They also had a flatter trajectory, which led to more accurate firing and aided in centralized fire control. In 1908, the armor-piercing shells were fitted with a ballistic cap lengthened to 7crh. This improved their penetration ability at longer ranges. [32]

The main guns benefited from their placement when compared to those of foreign armored cruisers. The British mounted the majority of 9.2-inch guns on its Duke of Edinburgh, Warrior and Minotaur-class cruisers athwart their forecastles on the main deck. This made the guns very wet and practically useless in less than moderate seas. The 10-inch guns of the Tennessees, on the other hand, were 30 feet (9.1 m) above the waterline. In comparing these ships, theoretician and chief constructor for the Royal Danish Navy, Commander William Hovgaard, considered the Tennessees ' placement "beyond question, the best gun position in a ship. The arc of fire is more than twice that which can be obtained on the broadside, the field of view is entirely free, and a combination of longitudinal and broadside fire on both sides is obtained, which is alone possible in the end positions." [30]

Secondary and light guns Edit

The secondary armament comprised sixteen 6-inch (152 mm) 50-cal Mark 8 guns. 200 rounds per gun were carried. They fired a 105-pound (48 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second (850 m/s) at a rate of about 6 rounds per minute. [35] Four of these guns were mounted in independent, armored casemates 2 inches (51 mm) thick on the main deck the remainder were placed in broadside on the gun deck. All these guns were placed on pedestal mounts. Four of these guns could be trained directly ahead or astern, so direct fire with two 10-inch and four 6-inch was possible theoretically. All 6-inch guns could be trained through a complete angle of 115° and within the line of side armor the latter would leave the ship's side unobstructed when going alongside a vessel, docking or coaling. [36]

The Mark 8 six-inch gun was used originally to arm American pre-dreadnoughts in the late 1880s. Many of these guns were reassigned as coastal artillery when the vessels to which they had been previously assigned had been scrapped as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty, the guns were then used as coastal artillery. Some were also mounted on older auxiliary vessels during World War II. Built entirely of nickel steel, the Mark 8 deviated from standard Navy practice in that its nominal caliber length was their actual overall length. [35]

The anti-torpedo boat armament, comprised 22 3-inch (76 mm) Marks 2, 3, 5, 6 or 8 50 cal guns in single mountings — six on sponsons on the gun deck, six in broadside on the gun deck and 10 in broadside on the main deck. They fired a 13-pound (6 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second (820 m/s) to a range of 14,600 yards (13,350 m) at a maximum elevation of 43° at a rate of 15–20 rounds per minute. This series of built-up guns, which fired fixed ammunition, dated to the 1890s and were the standard anti-torpedo boat gun used in late pre-dreadnoughts, armored cruisers, destroyers and submarines. [37] The guns in broadside were equipped for quick dismount. [36] Eight of these weapons were removed from each of the three surviving ships of this class at the end of World War I. [17]

For smaller weapons, the Tennessees carried 12 3-pounder semi-automatic guns, two 1-pounder automatic guns, two 1-pounder rapid-fire guns, two 3-inch field pieces, two .30-caliber machine guns and six .30-caliber automatic guns. These were mounted on the upper deck, bridges, in the tops, and wherever else they could secure the most commanding positions. They were to be ready at all times for repelling torpedo boat attacks and for inflicting damage upon the unprotected portion of an enemy's ship. [36] [38]

Protection Edit

Armor Edit

Despite reduced thicknesses in belt and deck armor compared to the Pennsylvania class, the Tennessees carried 30 percent more weight in armor and related protective systems and boasted the heaviest, most comprehensive protection of any U.S. cruiser until the Alaska class. This increase was due in large part to increased armor on the main turrets and redoubts, which were larger due to the increase in main gun caliber, and an increased area of side armor coverage. The latter offered ample protection to magazines and ammunition supply systems for all weapons. Armored bulkheads offered a complete subdivision of the main battery. All armor 5 inches (127 mm) or thicker was Krupp armor thinner areas were either Harvey armor or untreated nickel steel. [39]

The main waterline belt, 5 inches (127 mm) thick amidships and tapered to 3 inches (76 mm) at the ends, extended from the upper deck to 5 feet (2 m) below the waterline. Transverse protective bulkheads of 5-inch (127 mm) armor extended from the gun deck to the armored deck across the fore and aft ends of the belt armor. Similar bulkheads fitted on the gun deck in wake of the 10-inch barbettes form the fore and aft limits of the side armor between the main and gun decks. Above the gun deck, 2-inch (51 mm) nickel steel was fitted in wake of the 3-inch battery. The 6-inch guns on the gun deck were isolated by splinter bulkheads of 1.5-inch (38 mm) nickel steel. The bulkheads extended continuously across the ship, while 2-inch (51 mm) nickel steel extended fore and aft. [40] [38]

Turret armor was 9 inches (229 mm) on the sloping face, 7 inches (178 mm) on the sides, 5 inches (127 mm) in the rear and 2.5 inches (64 mm) on top. For the first time in U.S. cruiser design, proper barbettes for the turrets were fitted. The armor for these was 7 inches (178 mm) in front, tapered to 4 inches (102 mm) at the back and below the gun deck, behind the belt and casemate armor. This enclosed the 10-inch ammunition tubes completely and corrected a glaring flaw in the protective system of the Pennsylvania class. [41] > Deck armor, 1.5 inches (38 mm) over flat surfaces and 3 inches (76 mm) over sloped, extended to the bottom of the belt armor fore and aft. A 30-inch (1 m)-thick cofferdam fitted between the protective and berth decks to the ends of the vessel, were filled with water-excluding material to aid in buoyancy in case of damage below the waterline. [40] Conning tower armor was 9 inches (230 mm) on the sides, 2 inches (51 mm) on the roof, and signal tower armor 5 inches (127 mm). [38]

Subdivision Edit

While the Tennessees and Pennsylvanias shared the same number of transverse bulkheads, the Tennessees were built with a greater amount of longitudinal subdivision. [42] [43] The inner bottom, subdivided into 35 watertight compartments, extended from the keel to the protective deck at each side and fore and aft to the knuckle of the keel. Underwater protection was further increased by continuing this subdivision up the complete side of the subsurface hull to the lower edge of the armored deck slopes. Twenty-eight electrically operated Long-Arm watertight doors and five armored hatches helped maintain watertight integrity beneath the armored deck. [44]

Before North Carolina and Montana were laid down, the Bureau of Construction and Repair (C&R) made some minor design changes in light of experience gained from the Russo-Japanese War. Their main traverse bulkheads remained unpierced below the armored deck and some armor was rearranged. Armor on the barbettes was increased 1 inch (25 mm) on exposed surfaces. Deck armor over the magazines was thickened from 40 pounds (18 kg) to 60 pounds (27 kg) over the magazines to make up for this weight, side armor abeam was reduced slightly. The magazines were rearranged to allow 20 percent additional 10-inch and 6-inch ammunition without sacrificing coal capacity. Rearranging the berth and gun decks amidships increased coal capacity by 200 tons. Coal bunkers were also modified to allow trimming directly from the upper bunkers to the fire rooms, which was considered potentially advantageous in battle. Throughout this review process, the Bureau sought to save weight whenever possible. For example, cellulose was omitted as water-excluding material as its utility after being packed a number a years had come into question. [28]

In service, the Tennessees went through less refitting than the Pennsylvanias, as many features retrofitted to the latter, such as automatic ammunition hoist structures and longitudinal turret bulkheads, had already been built into the former from the outset. Their power plants were standardized, with Babcock & Wilcox boilers instead of the less reliable Niclausse that had to be removed from two of the Pennsylvanias. Also, since the Tennessees were commissioned up to three years after the first units of the Pennsylvania class, they reached obsolescence earlier in their careers. [45]

Built originally with pole masts fore and aft, these ships were fitted with lattice masts forward and modernizing the bridges in 1912. In early 1917, Washington (by then renamed USS Seattle) was fitted with a seaplane catapult and one other Tennessee-class cruiser, probably Montana, was scheduled to receive one. While the plane was seen as a potential aid in reconnaissance, the catapult precluded use of the aft main guns. This program was cancelled and the catapult removed before the United States entered World War I. During the war, the 6-inch and 3-inch armament was removed and the corresponding ports sealed. This was done to provide guns for arming merchant ships and auxiliaries and to improve watertightness under North Atlantic conditions. [46] [47]

Even before HMS Invincible was built, questions arose in US Navy circles about the overall effectiveness of armored cruisers such as the Tennessees and what kind of ship might be built to replace them. The 1903 annual summer conference report, which included a staff memorandum on all-big capital ships, also mentioned a new type of fast armored cruiser that would be armed and armored much like a battleship. The following year, the summer conference considered tactics for a ship armed with four 12-inch guns, twenty-two 3-inch guns, four submerged torpedo tubes and armored like a battleship. Ships such as these were essentially Tennessee-class vessels in which the 6-inch battery had been traded for heavier main guns and protection and figured in Naval War College studies for several years. The 1906 summer conference report on a US building program advocated strongly the construction of such ships. The justification for them was two-fold: first, their use in scouting and as a fast wing in a fleet action and second, their much greater ability over the Tennessees to stand up to 12-inch gunfire. [48]

The appearance of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers in 1908 and the larger, faster ships of her class that followed reduced the viability of the Tennessee class as fighting units drastically. While some Navy circles considered the Pennsylvania and Tennessee classes the only ones "dignified enough to bear the name of armored cruiser," it was also generally agreed after the Battle of the Falkland Islands in 1914 that a battlecruiser "could destroy either a [Tennessee] or a [Pennsylvania] at extreme range without receiving enough punishment to note in the ship's log." [17] They were outranged by the Invincibles ' 12-inch (305 mm) Mk X guns, outweighed in amount of long-range metal thrown per broadside (5,100 pounds (2,300 kg) for six 850-pound (390 kg) 12-inch shells as opposed to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) for four 10-inch shells [49] ) and outpaced in speed (26 knots versus 22). Moreover, the turbine engines on the Invincibles could maintain 26 knots for days, if needed. Reciprocating engines such as the triple-expansion units on the Tennessees were not made for such continued punishment pre-dreadnought battleships could not generally maintain flank speed for more than an hour. [50]

The college tested its proposed armored cruiser against the Invincibles and other ships like them. By 1908, it had come out in favor of battlecruisers. The Secretary of the Navy requested designs from C&R for battlecruiser equivalents of the Wyoming-class ships then being considered. The Navy General Board retained these sketches but did not recommend construction. With the laying down by Japan of its Kongō-class battlecruisers in 1911, C&R was asked to return its attention to like projects, which led to its series of Lexington designs. [51] [52]

With the end of World War I in 1918, the Navy began a sharp reduction in personnel. By 1919, the Navy Board had decided to keep four of the eight remaining Pennsylvania and Tennessee-class cruisers in full commission and the other four in reserve with 65 percent of their crews on board. The ships kept in service would become flagships in foreign stations such as the Asiatic Fleet and "show the flag" at various ports. However, these ships were seen as completely outmoded, with most of their foreign equivalents either lost during the war or removed from service afterwards. [53]

In December 1919, the Bureau of Ordnance pressed for the restoration of full armament for these ships. C&R replied with three reasons not to do so. First, restoring full armament to ships of their then-current age was not justifiable. Second, since they would serve in peacetime, their current armament would suffice. Finally, even with their 6-inch gun ports closed, they were wet ships in North Atlantic winter seas Captain W.C. Cole, who had formerly commanded the Pennsylvania-class cruiser USS Frederick (formerly USS Maryland), remembered seeing men up to their waists in water. Whatever medium-caliber guns had been restored after the war were removed by the late 1920s. [54]

After the Washington Naval Conference of 1922, the question of modernization was looked into since, by law, the three Tennessees still in service would be more powerful theoretically than any new cruisers. In May 1922, C&R studied conversion of the power plants to give them a speed of 25 or 27 knots "without excessive expenditures of power or without taking a prohibitive amount of water on board due to freeboard." A study of weight distribution showed enough similarity between these ships and the Omaha-class scouts to promise they would behave no worse than the scouts on the open seas. Discussions, which continued into 1923, included flaring the bows in keeping with the design for the now-defunct Lexington-class battlecruisers, conversion to oil burning, added torpedo protection and an armament upgrade to 8-inch (200 mm) 55 caliber guns in triple turrets. Eventually, nothing was done. [55]

Modernization was considered again in 1928. This would include the installation of 8-inch/55 guns, an anti-aircraft battery, fire controls, oil-fired boilers and torpedo bulkheads. The estimated cost of $6 million did not include new engines. It was argued that, despite the 1922 study, a significant increase in speed would be prohibitive in cost as "the underwater lines of these ships do not lend themselves to these increases." It was conceded that without an increase in speed, the ships had little tactical value and the war plans division of OPNAV argued from the opening discussions that modernizing them would be pointless. They could still prove useful, others argued, as support for the battle fleet, where their speed would match that of current battleships. In this role, they could screen and support destroyers against enemy cruisers. [55]

The main issue turned out to be political, with War Plans concerned that reconstruction of the Tennessees might disrupt the building of new cruisers and with doubts about whether they would compare to more modern ships, even with their superior tonnage. Costs had escalated to $17 million and it did not seem profitable to modernize ships that would be between 25 and 28 years old once modernization was complete. Also, the Bureau of Ordnance did not consider replacing their guns practical. This meant that, if these ships were kept in service 15 years after modernization, they might eventually face weapons over 40 years more advanced than their own. Despite these developments, detailed studies continued. [56]

C&R found it could install a 58,000–shaft horsepower power plant similar to one planned for the new aircraft carrier USS Ranger without disturbing the existing shaft lines of the cruisers this would give them a speed of 26 knots. The Bureau of Ordnance could increase elevation of the 10-inch guns to 40 degrees, which would increase their range to 31,000 yards (28,000 m). However, in a comparison with the Pensacola-class ships then being built, the newer ships showed themselves at an advantage in gunnery range and equal in protection. Modernization plans were thereby abandoned. [48]

Original Name Commission Date Renamed Rename Date Reclassed Reclassed Date
USS Tennessee (ACR-10) 17 July 1906 Memphis (ACR-10) 25 May 1916 sunk before reclassified N/A
USS Washington (ACR-11) 7 August 1906 Seattle (ACR-11) 9 November 1916 Seattle (CA-11) 17 July 1920
USS North Carolina (ACR-12) 7 May 1908 Charlotte (ACR-12) 7 June 1920 Charlotte (CA-12) -
USS Montana (ACR-13) 21 July 1908 Missoula (ACR-13) 7 June 1920 Missoula (CA-13) 17 July 1920

USS Tennessee Edit

In November 1906, USS Tennessee escorted President Theodore Roosevelt (aboard the battleship Louisiana) to Panama to inspect construction of the canal there. She then attended the Jamestown Exposition naval review and made a brief cruise to Europe. After two and a half years with the Pacific Fleet, Tennessee visited Argentina during that nation's independence celebration, carried President William Howard Taft to the Panama Canal and operated in the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern Mediterranean, she protected American interests and transported refugees during the Middle Eastern turmoil that accompanied the First Balkan War of 1912-13. Service in the Atlantic Fleet followed. Tennessee returned to the Mediterranean in August 1914 to conduct humanitarian missions and otherwise "show the flag" as the First World War spread through Europe and into the Turkish empire. Back in the U.S. by August 1915, she carried Marines to Haiti and until February 1916 was actively involved the effort to establish order in that strife-torn nation. Between March and May 1916, Tennessee transported Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo and other dignitaries on a South American cruise. Late in the latter month she was renamed Memphis, allowing reassignment of her original name to a planned new battleship. During the early summer the cruiser took Marine reinforcements to the Dominican Republic, also suffering from revolutionary violence. On 29 August 1916, while at anchor off Santo Domingo, USS Memphis was driven ashore by a tsunami she lost more than three-dozen crewmen and was battered beyond reasonable prospect of repair. Left where she lay, the wreck was sold in 1922 but not broken up until 1938. [57]

USS Washington Edit

With USS Tennessee, USS Washington escorted USS Louisiana and President Roosevelt to Panama and participated the Jamestown Exposition. She and Tennessee visited France and returned to run speed trials. She and Tennessee then joined the Pacific Fleet en route, the two armored cruisers called at Hampton Roads Port-of-Spain, Trinidad British West Indies Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Montevideo, Uruguay Punta Arenas, Chile Callap, Peru Acapulco, Mexico and Pichilinque Bay, Mexico. While on Pacific service, Washington "showed the flag" with the rest of the Armored Cruiser Squadron in the Far East and South America. After an overhaul at the Norfolk Navy Yard, she returned to the Atlantic Fleet in 1912 among her duties was embarking the Secretary of State and his party on a cruise of South American between February and April 1912. Washington served as temporary flagship in April–May 1912 while at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, then made several trips to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to help maintain an American presence in light of civil unrest and stood by to land Marines if the situation so required. Renamed Seattle in 1916, she served as flagship of the Destroyer Force and escort for the first American convoy to European waters and continued on escort duties during World War I. This convoy was attacked unsuccessfully by a German U-boat according to Admiral Gleaves in his report of the commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Seattle ' s veering out of formation and sounding her whistle to warn the others vessels probably thwarted the attack. After the Armistice, she operated as a transport until 5 July 1919. Later, she rejoined the Pacific Fleet and was placed in "reduced commission". She returned to the Atlantic in 1927 and was redesignated "unclassified" in 1931. Docked in New York City, she served as a floating barracks until struck from the Navy List and scrapped in 1946. [58]

USS North Carolina Edit

After carrying President-elect William Howard Taft to inspect the Panama Canal in January and February 1909, USS North Carolina cruised the Mediterranean with USS Montana to protect American interests during the aftermath of the Turkish Revolution of 1908. She sent a medical relief party ashore 17 May to Adana, Turkey to treat wounded and desperately ill Armenian victims of massacre, provided food, shelter, disinfectants, distilled water, dressings and medicines and assisted other relief agencies already on the scene. For the remainder of her Mediterranean cruise, North Carolina cruised the Levant succoring American citizens and refugees from oppression. On her return, she served in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. She attended centennial celebrations of the independence of Argentina in May–June 1910 and Venezuela in June–July 1911, carried the Secretary of War for an inspection tour of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Cuba, and the Panama Canal in July–August 1911 and brought home from Cuba bodies of the crew of the destroyed Maine for their final interment in Arlington National Cemetery. As World War I began in Europe, she and USS Tennessee called at ports of England and France and cruised the Mediterranean as a continued U.S. presence in the region before she returned to Boston 18 June 1915 for overhaul. On 5 September 1915, North Carolina became the first ship ever to launch an aircraft by catapult while under way. When the U.S. entered the war, she escorted troop transports plying between Norfolk and New York. Between December 1918 and July 1919, she brought men of the American Expeditionary Force home from Europe. Renamed Charlotte in 1920 so that her original name might be assigned to a new battleship, she decommissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, 18 February 1921. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register and scrapped in 1930. [59]

USS Montana Edit

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, USS Montana sailed in January 1909 for the Caribbean, then to the Mediterranean to protect American interests in the aftermath of the Turkish Revolution of 1908. Upon her return, she took part in the Argentine Centennial Celebration and took President Taft to Panama. After a major overhaul, she sailed on a second tour of the Near East between December 1912 and June 1913. During the first months of World War I, Montana conducted training exercises and transported supplies and men in the York River area and along the east coast, then did convoy and escort duty through most of 1917 and 1918 out of Hampton Roads, New York and Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also performed as a Naval Academy practice ship in the Chesapeake Bay area early in 1918 and, in six round trips from Europe from January to July 1919, brought home 8,800 American troops. Renamed Missoula and reclassified in 1920, she was decommissioned in 1921, struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1930 and scrapped in 1935 in accordance with the London Naval Treaty. [60]

John King (1862–1938)

John King was an Irish sailor who received two Medals of Honor during a twenty-six-year career in the U.S. Navy, though neither was for wartime action. King died in Hot Springs (Garland County) and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

John King, a native of Ballinrobe in County Mayo in western Ireland, was born on February 7, 1862, to Michael King and Ellen Flannery King. He moved to the United States in 1886 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 20, 1893. King served his career below decks, beginning as a coal passer, before receiving promotion to fireman, oiler, water tender, and chief water tender, the latter being the petty officer commanding the boiler room.

Perhaps the most-feared occurrence in a steamboat was a boiler explosion, which could swiftly turn a vessel into a flaming wreck, as seen in Arkansas in the explosions on the Sultana and the Miami. King would receive his two Medals of Honor for averting such disasters aboard U.S. Navy warships.

The first incident occurred when he was serving aboard the USS Vicksburg, an Annapolis-class gunboat, near Port Isabella during the Philippines War. On May 29, 1901, a boiler exploded aboard the Vicksburg, and King “shut off the main stop of the boiler and smothered it up with blankets and towels,” averting a more serious accident. King received a Medal of Honor seven months later “for heroism in the line of his profession at the time of the accident to the boilers, 29 May 1901.”

On September 13, 1909, King was serving in the Atlantic Ocean on the USS Salem, a scout cruiser outfitted with some of the navy’s earliest turbine engines. As he reported, there was “an explosion in the boiler [that] carried away the tube[,] and 12 men in the fire-room stood in danger of being scalded to death.” King turned on the blowers full-force to dissipate the steam, adding, “I was badly scalded on the arms, but went back to the fire-room and stayed until the engineer of the watch found me, and sent me to sick bay. We got all the men out of the fire-room and no one was injured.” King was promoted to chief water tender, his highest rank, on October 1, 1909.

He also received his second Medal of Honor that December, being cited for “extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of the accident to one of the boilers of that vessel, 13 September 1909.”

King became a naturalized citizen of the United States in November 1912, retired from the U.S. Navy on September 24, 1916, and married Ballinrobe native Delia McKenna the next year. Two days after the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, however, he was called back to active duty, serving until August 20, 1919.

The Kings moved back to Ireland in 1921 and lived there until Delia King’s death in 1936, after which King returned to the United States to stay at the Naval Home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He broke his leg when he tripped over an iron bench and was sent to the Army-Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs in February 1937. He died of pneumonia there on May 20, 1938, and is buried in the city’s Hollywood Cemetery where, coincidentally, Christian Steiner, another Medal of Honor winner, is interred.

In 1961, a guided-missile cruiser, the USS John King (DDG-3), was commissioned in his honor, and a full-sized bronze statue of King was unveiled in Ballinrobe in 2010. John King was one of only nineteen men in the nation to receive two Medals of Honor Newton County native John Henry Pruitt was one of the others.

“New Details Discovered about Irish-Immigrant War Hero Who Will Be Honored in Hot Springs Ceremony March 14.” World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 9, 2011. http://www.shorteststpats.com/2011/03/new-details-discovered-about-irish-immigrant-war-hero-who-will-be-honored-in-hot-springs-ceremony-march-14/ (accessed December 11, 2020).

Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System

The Veteran's Collection

When you have a specific area of collecting interest a focus that keeps your eyes peeled for items that are beyond the realm of the obvious, you will eventually discover the oddities or atypical pieces that you wouldn’t have intentionally sought out. Collecting can be fun when these discoveries surface, prompting you to act quickly in order to secure the piece for your collection.

Since I started collecting militaria, I have progress from a somewhat broad stance being very unfocused and undiscriminating about what I would acquire. Lacking in direction can be problematic in that your collection grows in such a manner that you have glaring vacancies that would have otherwise helped to convey the story that you want to tell with your collection. For example, one area (of militaria collecting) that has piqued my interest baseball within the armed forces (uniforms, equipment, photographs, ephemera). Because I remain diligent in keeping my attention on this particular sport, I have abstained from allowing myself to be distracted by other sports-related areas. I have passed on several very impressive pieces that are football-oriented and would be great for a military-sports themed collection. However, these items would have detracted from focus while diverting funds away from another piece that would have been a perfect fit.

While this pre-WWI flat hat is in rough condition (very faded, misshaped, mothed and shoddy stitching over the ship tally), it is still highly sought after due to the scarcity of the tally. The Tacoma was lost on Blanquilla Reef near Vera Cruz, Mexico following an accidental grounding in 1924. Four of her crew were killed, including her commanding officer, Captain Herbert Sparrow. (Image source: eBay)

Being geographically-centered on my home region, I have been seeking out naval militaria that relates to my home state. Again, what I have been interested in are pieces that have ties to any installation, operation, event, person and, in particular, naval vessels named for cities and geographic features located within my home state. This mini quest has yielded some interesting artifacts that are predominately of the ephemera and antique photographic variety. Two of the most recent pieces (that are not paper or pictures) are not artifacts derived from the ships or the men who served aboard (having a flat hat with a ship’s tally are like gold) but are, instead, commemorative items that may have been presented to crew members.

Two sterling silver commemorative spoons (top: USS Washington ACR-11. Bottom: USS Tacoma Cruiser No. 18)

I am not at all interested in collecting souvenir spoons but I made an exception for these two examples from historic ships.

The inside of the bowl has a very detailed depiction of the cruiser. The reverse of the spoon is engraved with �, Helen.”

The first spoon that I found a few years ago was in an online auction. The ornate design combined with the silver content made it easier to pull the trigger on purchasing. That it was from a ship with a great history and was named form my hometown made the purchase a no-brainer. The USS Tacoma (Cruiser No. 18) is not only a veteran of five World War One convoys, she also escorted the (then) recently discovered remains of Revolutionary War naval hero, John Paul Jones to the United States from France.

The USS Tacoma spoon is far more ornately decorated with fine details – embellishments of various aspects of Washington State and the city of Tacoma.

The second spoon in my collection arrived just a few days ago – again, purchased from a seller in an online auction. This spoon, slightly longer and more broad than the USS Tacoma example, commemorates the Armored Cruiser, USS Washington (ACR-11). This spoon, along with the relief of the ship (in the spoon’s bowl) has “Christmas 1911” imprinted, indicating that the spoon may have been given to crew members for that year’s holiday. By 1916, the USS Washington was reclassified and renamed USS Seattle. She went on to serve as a flagship during Atlantic convoy operations during WWI. After the war, the Seattle would be relegated to training duties and then as a receiving ship before being scrapped during WWII.

The armored cruiser, USS Washington is beautifully captured in relief in the spoon’s bowl along with the details commemorating Christmas of 1911.

I have had no success in my research attempts regarding either of these pieces beyond what is imprinted on either one. For now, I am content with having them as artistic enhancements to my collection.

10 Facts about Washington's Crossing of the Delaware River

General George Washington and the Continental Army's famously crossed the Delaware River on December 25-26, 1776.

1. Washington crossed the Delaware River so that his army could attack an isolated garrison of Hessian troops located at Trenton, New Jersey.

So why were Washington and his bedraggled Continental Army trying to cross an ice-choked Delaware River on a cold winter&rsquos night? It wasn&rsquot just to get to the other side. Washington&rsquos aim was to conduct a surprise attack upon a Hessian garrison of roughly 1,400 soldiers located in and around Trenton, New Jersey. Washington hoped that a quick victory at Trenton would bolster sagging morale in his army and encourage more men to join the ranks of the Continentals come the new year. After several councils of war, General George Washington set the date for the river crossing for Christmas night 1776.

2. Washington&rsquos attack plan included three separate river crossings, but only one made it across.

George Washington&rsquos plan of attack included three different crossings of the Delaware River on Christmas night. Col. Cadwalader was to lead his force of 1,200 Philadelphia militia and 600 Continentals across the river near Burlington, New Jersey. His role was to harass and prevent the British and Hessian units near the town from racing north to support the Hessians at Trenton. Gen. James Ewing&rsquos force of 800 Pennsylvania militia was to cross the river at Trenton and take up defensive positions along the Assunpink River and bridge. Ewing&rsquos soldiers would work to prevent the Hessians from retreating from Trenton. And Washington and his 2,400 soldiers would cross at McConkey&rsquos and Johnson&rsquos ferries, roughly 10 miles north of Trenton and would then march down to Trenton to surprise the garrison at dawn. This was an ambitious plan, one that even well rested and experienced troops would have had difficulty in executing. Both Cadwalader and Ewing&rsquos forces were unable to cross the ice-choked river. And Washington&rsquos main force managed a crossing, but was more than three hours delayed.

3. Spies and deserters had informed the British and Hessians that Trenton was likely to be attacked.

Lurking within Washington&rsquos headquarters was a British spy who has never been identified. This spy was privy to the early deliberations of Washington&rsquos war council and correctly passed along to British Major General James Grant that Washington&rsquos army was looking to attack north of the river. Grant passed along this information to General Leslie and Col. Von Donop who then passed it along to Col. Johann Rall at Trenton. And while Grant stated that he did not think Washington would attack, he did command Rall to be vigilant. Rall acknowledged receipt of this important intelligence at about the same time that Washington was beginning his crossing. With typical Hessian bravado, Rall dismissed or even welcomed the threat stating &ldquoLet them come&hellip Why defenses? We will go at them with the bayonet.&rdquo

The day before, Rall had received two American deserters who had crossed the river and told the Hessians that the American army was ready to move. Other loyalists informed the Hessians that an attack was imminent. So why wasn&rsquot Rall more active in opposing the crossing or better prepared to defend the town? History records that a series of false alarms and the growing storm had given the Hessian defenders a sense that no attack was likely this night. How might history have changed if the Hessians responded differently to all this intelligence?

4. Washington&rsquos force used a collection of cargo boats and ferries to transport his men across the Delaware.

Thanks to the foresight of General Washington and the actions of the New Jersey militia, the American forces had brought all available watercraft on the Delaware to the southern bank, thus denying the British the use of these crafts, while making them available for an American recrossing. Much of Washington&rsquos force crossed the river in shallow draft Durham boats &ndash strongly built cargo vessels, most between 40 and 60 feet in length, designed to move iron ore and bulk goods down the river to markets in and around Philadelphia. These stout craft with their high side walls were robust enough to survive the ice-choked Delaware. Heavy artillery pieces and horses were transported on large flat-bottomed ferries and other watercraft more suited to carrying that type of difficult cargo. It shouldn&rsquot be surprising that most of Washington&rsquos soldiers stood during the crossing since the bottoms of Durham boats were neither comfortable nor dry.

5. Experienced watermen from New England and the Philadelphia area ably guided the boats across the challenging river.

One factor in Washington&rsquos favor was the large number of experienced watermen to be found at the crossing site. Col. John Glover&rsquos Marblehead regiment was filled with New Englanders who had extensive experience as seamen. Glover&rsquos men were all quite identifiable with their short blue seaman&rsquos jackets, tarred pants, and woolen caps. Other experienced watermen from the Philadelphia area, many familiar with this exact stretch of river, had also congregated in the area and were able to provide the muscle and skill needed to make the perilous nighttime crossing.

6. The crossing was made worse by the arrival of a strong storm that brought freezing rain, snow, and terrifying winds.

By the time that most of the soldiers had reached the launching point for the boats, the drizzle had turned into a driving rain. And by 11 o&rsquoclock that evening, while the boats were crossing the river, a howling nor&rsquoeaster made the miserable crossing even worse. One soldier recorded that &ldquoit blew a perfect hurricane&rdquo as snow and sleet lashed Washington&rsquos army.

7. Washington&rsquos carefully planned timetable was woefully behind schedule and Washington contemplated canceling the attack.

It shouldn&rsquot be all that surprising that Washington&rsquos carefully choreographed attack plan should have fallen so far behind schedule. His men were tired, hungry, and ill-clothed. They had to march many miles through the dark and snow to even reach the river crossing site. From there, they needed to board boats at night, during a frightening nor&rsquoeaster. Finally, across the river, Washington was dismayed to discover that he was a full three hours behind his schedule. His plan had called for another march of 10 miles to the outskirts of Trenton on roads that were now slick with ice and snow. With every delay Washington&rsquos fears that his army would be caught in the open magnified. What to do? Contemplating his choices Washington was seen brooding on a crate near a fire. Washington later wrote, when remembering this fateful moment, &ldquo&hellipAs I was certain there was no making a retreat without being discovered and harassed on repassing the River, I determined to push on at all Events.&rdquo

8. The Continentals brought a great quantity of artillery across the river.

One would think that crossing an icy river at night was hard enough without also bringing a great contingent of heavy artillery pieces with them. Despite the trouble, Washington and the Continental army wanted the extra firepower that the artillery could produce. Under the overall command of Col. Henry Knox, the Continentals brought 18 cannons over the river &ndash 3-Pounders, 4-Pounders, some 6-Pounders, horses to pull the carriages, and enough ammunition for the coming battle. The 6-Pounders, weighing as much as 1,750 pounds were the most difficult to transport to the far side of the river. But in the end, all the trouble of moving this large artillery train to Trenton proved its worth. Knox would place the bulk of his artillery at the top of the town where its fire commanded the center of Trenton.

9. The Delaware River is less than 300 yards wide at the point where the army crossed.

Despite how the Delaware River is commonly portrayed in works of art, the site where General Washington and his army crossed was rather narrow. Durham boats and flat ferries were used to cross. They were probably fixed to a wire strung across the river.

10. One of the most famous American paintings shows Washington and his army crossing the Delaware River.

Painted in 1851 by German artist Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware became a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic. Painted in Dusseldorf Germany, Washington Crossing the Delaware shows a bold General Washington navigating through the frozen river with his compatriots braving the elements on their way to victory at Trenton. While the painting was in Germany, Leutze hoped that this brave episode in pursuit of American independence and republican rule would stir his fellow countrymen to more liberal reforms. In the fall of 1851, the painting was shipped to the United States where it wowed audiences in New York City and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. The New York Evening Mirror boldly called it &ldquothe grandest, most majestic, and most effective painting ever exhibited in America.&rdquo

Leutze went to great lengths to make his portrait accurate, but even his efforts still left many inaccuracies in place. Nevertheless, the 12&rsquo 5&rdquo by 21&rsquo 3&rdquo (3.8m x 6.5m) painting stirred the patriotic emotions of countless Americans who have seen the painting which now is on display in the American Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other Facts

  • Col. Henry Knox was given command of the river crossing operation.
  • It took the American army roughly 4 hours to march from the river crossing site to the outskirts of Trenton
  • Temperatures for the crossing ranged from 29 degrees to 33 degrees, with brisk winds coming out of the northeast.
  • Future US President James Monroe crossed with the American forces and was wounded at the Battle of Trenton.
  • Washington chose the challenge or counter-sign of &ldquoVictory or Death&rdquo for his forces who crossed the river.
  • George Washington was 44 years old at the time of the Delaware River crossing.
  • There were roughly 1,380 Hessian soldiers in and around Trenton at the start of the battle.
  • Washington&rsquos Crossing by David Hackett Fischer. Oxford and New York, 2004.
  • General George Washington: A Military Life by Edward Lengel. Random House, 2005.
  • Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling. Oxford, 2007.
  • Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pennsylvania Trail of History Guide. Stackpole Books, 2004.
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware: Restoring an American Masterpiece. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011.

Video Series

The Winter Patriots

Why did Washington cross the Delaware? Learn that and more about the Trenton-Princeton Campaign.

Revolutionary War

10 Facts about the Battle of Princeton

Washington followed up his victories at Trenton with one more at the Battle of Princeton.

The Revolutionary War

General George Washington played an important role during the American Revolution.

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Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121

Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization.

We don't accept government funding and rely upon private contributions to help preserve George Washington's home and legacy.



Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization.

We don't accept government funding and rely upon private contributions to help preserve George Washington's home and legacy.

Washington VII Arm. Cruiser No. 11 - History

In 1895 a German immigrant to the United States by the name of Ignaz Schwinn founded the Schwinn Bicycle Company in Chicago, Illinois. After the invention of the automobile the sale of bicycles in America declined and many of the more than 300 bicycle manufacturers were in financial difficulty. Schwinn seized the opportunity to buy up these troubled companies (and their valuable patents) and in the process built of the best known brand names in the world. At one time Schwinn Bicycle Company was as powerful and innovative as Apple is today. No Hands: The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company, an American Institution tells the story of how this once powerful company was destroyed by incompetent leadership in the 1980’s and was later forced into bankruptcy. This book was co-authored by Judith Crown and Glenn Coleman, who at the time of writing were journalists with Crain’s Chicago Business.

When I was a child my first “real bike” was a Schwinn Sting-Ray (with a fat rear slick tire, banana seat, chrome fenders, coaster brake, and a on-the-frame gear shift). When I got a bit older my father bought me a Schwinn Collegiate 10-speed. My father bought both of these bikes based upon his love for quality engineering, and when Schwinn had “an obsession with quality.” Unfortunately, like most Americans, I put my bicycle away the day I got my first car. Twenty-five years later when I decided to take up cycling again the first bike I looked at was a Schwinn—not knowing that they went into bankruptcy in 1992 and company name had been sold. The Schwinn bicycle sold today bears no resemblance to the quality of bikes I rode as a child, so I passed on buying a Schwinn and purchased a Trek instead (actually I bought four of them).

Crown and Coleman open the book with a story from the 1970’s. A team of engineers from Schwinn headquarters in Chicago flew out to Marin County California to talk to a young racer and entrepreneur named Gary Fisher (“Spidey”) about what was considered to be a new niche market at the time—mountain bikes. These brilliant engineers thought Fisher was a jerk and knew that no one would ever be interested in buying a mountain bike. The book quotes Fisher as saying, “The Schwinn engineers were going, ‘We know bikes. You guys are all amateurs. We know better than anybody.” This is just one example of many where Schwinn management misread the market and this led to their demise.

Part of the problem with Schwinn was an outdated business model. Maybe a bigger problem was that in the 1970’s, “through the miracle of nepotism,” the company was run by men with MBAs who didn’t know how to ride a bike. Then in the 1980’s their workers voted to join the UAW (a kiss of death for sure). By the late 1980’s Schwinn had opened a factory in Hungary and their advertising posters on streetcars in Budapest had the slogan, “They’re not as bad as you think.”

Even if you never owned a Schwinn bicycle you ought to read this book if you have any interest in the industry. You will probably never find a better history of the bicycle industry than in this book. You can read of how Schwinn dealt with competitors like Raleigh and upstart companies like Shimano, Trek, Cannondale, Specialized and Giant.

Modernization plans [ edit | edit source ]

After the Washington Naval Conference of 1922, the question of modernization was looked into since, by law, the three Tennessees still in service would be more powerful theoretically than any new cruisers. In May 1922, C&R studied conversion of the power plants to give them a speed of 25 or 27 knots "without excessive expenditures of power or without taking a prohibitive amount of water onboard due to freeboard." A study of weight distribution showed enough similarity between these ships and the Omaha-class scouts to promise they would behave no worse than the scouts on the open seas. Discussions, which continued into 1923, included flaring the bows in keeping with the design for the now-defunct Lexington class battlecruisers, conversion to oil burning, added torpedo protection and an armament upgrade to 8-inch (200 mm) 55 caliber guns in triple turrets. Eventually, nothing was done. ⏁]

Modernization was considered again in 1928. This would include the installation of 8-inch/55 guns, an anti-aircraft battery, fire controls, oil-fired boilers and torpedo bulkheads. The estimated cost of $6 million did not include new engines. It was argued that, despite the 1922 study, a significant increase in speed would be prohibitive in cost as "the underwater lines of these ships do not lend themselves to these increases." It was conceded that without an increase in speed, the ships had little tactical value and the war plans division of Opnav argued from the opening discussions that modernizing them would be pointless. They could still prove useful, others argued, as support for the battle fleet, where their speed would match that of current battleships. In this role, they could screen and support destroyers against enemy cruisers. ⏁]

The main issue turned out to be political, with War Plans concerned that reconstruction of the Tennessees might disrupt the building of new cruisers and with doubts about whether they would compare to more modern ships, even with their superior tonnage. Costs had escalated to $17 million and it did not seem profitable to modernize ships that would be between 25 and 28 years old once modernization was complete. Also, the Bureau of Ordnance did not consider replacing their guns practical. This meant that, if these ships were kept in service 15 years after modernization, they might eventually face weapons over 40 years more advanced than their own. Despite these developments, detailed studies continued. ⏂]

C&R found it could install a 58,000–shaft horsepower power plant similar to one planned for the new aircraft carrier USS Ranger without disturbing the existing shaft lines of the cruisers this would give them a speed of 26 knots. The Bureau of Ordnance could increase elevation of the 10-inch guns to 40 degrees, which would increase their range to 31,000 yards (28,000 m). However, in a comparison with the Pensacola-class ships then being built, the newer ships showed themselves at an advantage in gunnery range and equal in protection. Modernization plans were thereby abandoned. ⎺]

Warship Wednesday, June 14, 2017: The newly found enforcer of Dewey’s squadron

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, June 14, 2017: The newly found enforcer of Dewey’s squadron

Commissioned in 1897, the McCulloch was the largest of a new breed of revenue cutters and the only one with three masts.

Here we see the one-of-a-kind barquentine-rigged steel-hulled cruising cutter McCulloch of the Revenue Cutter Service as she appeared while in the U.S. Navy attached to one Commodore Dewey on the Asiatic station in 1898. While I generally try to alternate U.S. and foreign ships on Warship Wednesday, and generally only do about 4-5 Coast Guard cutters a year, bear with me this week as the McCulloch is very much in the news again after being lost for the past 100 years.

Named after Hugh McCulloch, the gold-standard-loving Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, and Grover Cleveland, the cutter McCulloch followed the longstanding tradition of the USRCS of naming large cutters after past Treasury bosses.

The message of President Abraham Lincoln nominating Hugh McCulloch to be Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, 03/06/1865, via The U.S. National Archives.

McCulloch passed away at his home in Maryland in May 1895 and his name was assigned to the newly ordered 219-foot cutter then being built at a price of $196,500 by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

McCulloch was rather fast, at 17.5 knots on trials with a twin boiler-fed triple-expansion steam engine, and could carry a quartet of deck guns (up to 5-inchers in theory, though only 6-pdr 57mm mounts were fitted) arranged in sponsons and located in the bow and stern quarters of the ship, as well as a single bow-mounted 15-inch torpedo tube for an early Whitehead-style fish. She was a composite design, with a steel hull sheathed in wood, and carried both her steam suite and an auxiliary sail rig.

Four near-sisters of what was known as the “Propeller-class” at the time were built during the same period, each to slightly tweaked designs, in an effort to modernize the aging RCS fleet. McCulloch was slightly larger and enjoyed more bunker space as a result. McCulloch maintained her distinction as the largest revenue cutter, and later USCG cutter, during her 20-year career.

Gresham, a brigantine-rigged 206-foot, 1,090-ton steel-hulled steamer built by the Globe Iron Works Company of Cleveland, OH for $147,800
Manning, a brigantine-rigged 205-foot, 1,150-ton composite-hulled steamer, was built by the Atlantic Works Company of East Boston, MA, for a cost of $159,951.
Algonquin, brigantine-rigged 205.5-foot, 1,180-ton steel-hulled steamer built by Globe for $193,000.
Onondaga, brigantine-rigged 206-foot, 1,190-ton steel-hulled steamer built by Globe for $193,800.

McCulloch, note her bow tube just above the waterline. Photo by Edward H. Hart, Detroit Publishing, via State Historical Society of Colorado, LOC LC-D4-20618

Commissioned 12 December 1897, McCulloch was placed under the command of Captain D.B. Hogsdon, RCS.

Captain Daniel B. Hodgsdon, US revenue cutter service, Reproduced from “Harper’s Weekly,” volume 43, 1899, page 977. NH 49012.

With the Spanish-American War looming, she was dispatched to join Dewey in the Far East via the Med, being the most modern and combat-ready vessel in the cutter service. Arriving at Singapore 8 April 1898, she was the first cutter to venture into the Indian Ocean or complete the Suez Canal.

Sailing with Dewey’s force of four cruisers and two gunboats, McCulloch was tasked to be something of the squadron’s all-purpose dispatch ship: scouting over the horizon, watching the squadron’s rear, keeping an eye on the supply ships Nanshan and Zafire, and being available for tow work as needed.

She did, however, make ready her guns once the balloon went up and, as the squadron penetrated Spanish-held Manila Bay on midnight of 30 April, she fired her guns in one of the first actions in the Pacific theater of that war.

Just as McCulloch brought El Fraile Rock [now Fort Drum ] abaft the starboard beam, the black stillness was broken. Soot in the cutter’s stack caught fire and sent up a column of fire like a signal light. Immediately thereafter a battery on El Fraile took McCulloch under fire. [The cruiser] Boston, in column just ahead of the cutter, answered the battery, as did McCulloch, and the Spanish gun emplacement was silenced.

Frank B. Randall, R.C.S., Chief Engineer of the Revenue Cutter McCulloch, died from the effects of heat and over-exertion while trying to stop the blaze from the smokestack of the McCulloch, and should rightfully be considered a death from the engagement, though in the subsequent rush to smother Dewey with a “no Americans were killed” moniker for the upcoming battle which began at 0540 on 1 May, he is often overlooked. He was buried at sea, with military honors, the following day.

Chief Engineer F.B. Randall, U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, an engraving reproduced for publication in “Harper’s Weekly” for September 30, 1899, page 975

McCulloch took part in the fleet engagement, minding the supply vessels from molestation from Spanish shore batteries and small craft. She also prevented the British steamer Esmeralda (1,989t) from leaving the harbor, on orders from Dewey.

Immediately after the battle, as Dewey had ordered the submarine cable from Manila to Hong Kong cut, he used McCulloch to convey messages to the latter location to communicate with Washington, giving the cutter the honor of carrying the news to the world of the great Battle of Manila Bay. Arriving at Hong Kong on 3 May, with Dewey’s aide, Lt. Brumby aboard to cable the report to the U.S., Hogsdon, sent his own.

From the USCG Historians Office:

U. S. STEAMER McCulloch,
Manila Bay, May 3, 1898.

SIR: Regarding the part taken by this vessel in the naval action of Manila Bay at Cavite, on Sunday morning, May 1, 1898, between the American and Spanish forces, I have the honor to submit the following report:
Constituting the leading vessel of the reserve squadron the McCulloch was, when fire opened, advanced as closely as was advisable in rear of our engaged men of war, in fact, to a point where several shells struck close aboard and others passed overhead, and kept steaming slowly to and fro, ready to render any aid in her power, or respond at once to any signal from the Olympia. A 9-inch hawser was gotten up and run aft, should assistance be necessary in case any of our ships grounded. At a later hour during the day, just prior to the renewal of the attack by our squadron, I intercepted the British mail steamer Esmeralda, in compliance with a signal from the flagship, communicated to her commander your orders in regard to his movements, and then proceeded to resume my former position of the morning, near the fleet, where I remained until the surrender of the enemy. I desire to state in conclusion that I was ably seconded by the officers and crew of my command in every effort made to be in a state of readiness to carry out promptly any orders which might have been signaled from your flagship.
Respectfully, yours,

Captain, R. C. S., Commanding

On a return trip from Hong Kong, the cutter brought Philippine Insurgent leader Emilio Aguinaldo back to the islands from his exile– which was to prove a mixed result for the U.S.

While patrolling Manila Bay, she helped assess the Spanish situation there and, in an individual fleet action on 29 May, captured the Spanish Albay-class gunboat Leyte (151t, 98-feet, 1x87mm, 1x70mm) with 25 officers and men aboard as well as 200 soldiers and a small amount of gold. That humble vessel would later be pressed into service as the USS Leyte and work around Cavite yard until sold for scrap in 1907.

Spanish Albay-class canonero Leyte

It was not only the Spanish the cutter had to worry about. With ships of the Kaiser’s navy poking around, McCulloch followed orders from Dewey to chase off the much larger cruiser SMS Irene (5,500-tons, 14x159mm guns) with a shot across the bow on 27 June. She ship was there ostensibly to pick up any German expats in the area and, while she did evac some noncombatants on Isla Grande, none of the Kaiser’s subjects were to be found.

“U.S.S. McCulloch firing a shot across the bow of the German cruiser Irene” by Frank Cresson Schnell, 1898, LOC LC-DIG-det-4a14436. Note the cutter is shown in perspective as being much larger than the German, when in fact the truth was the other way around.

On 5 July, the cruiser USS Raleigh fired a shot across the bow of the German Bussard-class cruiser SMS Cormoran in a similar incident.

McCullough remained in Manila Bay through November, participating in the final fall of the city that August.

Members of McCulloch’s crew pose with a Spanish shore gun disabled during Battle of Manila Bay at Corregidor. Courtesy of U.S. Navy.

Her service in the Far East with Dewey inspired a poem by H.M. Barstow to counter her image in stateside papers as only a “tender” or “dispatch boat.”

U.S. Revenue Cutter McCulloch, tender to the Admirals Fleet poem 1898

Arriving back in the U.S. at the end of 1898, she reverted to Treasury service. She did bring back with her a quartet of 37mm (1-pdr) revolving cannon from the Spanish cruiser Reina Cristina as war trophies presented to the ship and her crew by Dewey, which today rest outside of Hamilton Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Right into drydock at San Francisco, California, circa 1899. Note her single screw Catalog #: NH 72407

Photographed circa 1900. You can see her torpedo tube molded into the bow. Note: Rigging has been retouched in this print Description: Catalog #: NH 46471

USRC McCulloch (1897-1917) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa 1900. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 46474

USRC McCulloch (1897-1917) Photographed by Vaughan & Keith, San Francisco, California, circa 1900. Halftone print. Description: Catalog #: NH 46472

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa 1900. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 46473

For the next two decades, the cutter lived a much more sedate life, cruising from the Mexican border northward from her station in San Francisco until being ordered to Alaskan waters from 1906-12 as part of the Bearing Sea Patrol where she did everything from rescue lost fishermen to enforce the law in gold rush port towns to regulate the sealer exclusion zones in the Pribilof Islands.

In Alaskan waters during the time of Jack London’s books. She is likely dressed for a national holiday, probably July 4

McCulloch in Seward, Alaska Territory

Returning to California she cruised the West Coast until war broke out in April 1917.

USRC McCulloch Caption: At San Diego, California, before World War I. Description: Courtesy of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. Catalog #: NH 92209

Note the difference in profile. In 1914, USRC Cutter McCulloch was ordered to Mare Island Navy Shipyard where the cutter’s boilers were replaced, the mainmast was removed and the bowsprit shortened. In 1915, McCulloch became a US Coast Guard Cutter when the US Revenue Cutter Service and US Life-Saving Service were combined to create the United States Coast Guard. Credit: Gary Fabian Collection via NOAA

Transferring once again to Navy service, she prowled the coast just in case German surface raiders popped up (remember the raider Seeadler was active at the time and captured three American-flagged schooners in June-July in the Southeast Pacific, and the raider Wolf had poked her nose into the West Pac).

However, McCullough was not destined to take another German ship under fire in time of war, as on the morning 13 June 1917, three miles northwest of Point Conception, California, she collided with the Pacific Steamship Company’s steamer Governor (5,474-tons) in dense fog.

One crewman, Acting Water Tender John Arvid Johansson, lost his life but all other hands were saved while the cutter sank in just 35 minutes. Johansson, trapped in his bunk when the collision occurred, never stood a chance.

“I heard the signal to abandon ship and went up on deck through the companionway onto the main deck to go to my station when I heard someone singing out for help. It was Johanson [sic] and he was all doubled up in the wreckage about three feet from where his bunk was. He was out against the ice boxes. There was nobody else around, so I took some of the wreckage away and there was a piece of wood eight inches long stuck in his side. The master-at-arms passed the word for men to carry him to a surf boat.” Robert Grassow, Carpenter, USCG Cutter McCulloch. Credit: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park_ K036.07068.1o

Note, she has twin masts, a scheme she only carried in 1917. Also, note the fog bank. A court of inquiry showed that the cutter had stopped in the fog and turned her signals on, while SS Governor was making 14 knots.

At the time, the vessel was deemed lost in water too deep to permit any salvage effort. A naval board of inquiry in March 1918 placed the blame for the collision on the Governor, who was barreling through the fog bank at 14 knots in a dangerous area known as the “Cape Horn of the Pacific.”

During the collision with the McCulloch, there were 429 passengers and crew aboard the Governor with no reported injuries. The big steamer was found at fault for not obeying the “rules of the road” and agreed to a settlement payment to the U.S. government of $167,500 in December 1923.

As for her classmates: Cleveland-built sisters Algonquin and Onondaga had been sold in 1930 and 1924 respectively and disposed of. Boston-built Manning likewise was sold for scrap in 1931. Gresham, sold by the Coast Guard in 1935 for scrap was required by the service in WWII for coastal patrol, then became part of the Israeli Navy before disappearing again in the 1950s and was last semi-reliably seen in the Chesapeake Bay area as late as 1980.

However, we are not done with McCulloch.

On Tuesday 13 June 2017, RADM Todd Sokalzuk, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, and Robert Schwemmer, West Coast Regional Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, announced that USCGC McCulloch CG-3 had been found and identified.

During a joint NOAA – USCG remotely operated vehicle (ROV) training mission in October 2016, the science team confirmed the historic remains of McCulloch off Point Conception. Working off the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s R/V Shearwater, a VideoRay Mission Specialist ROV was deployed to survey and characterize the archaeological remains of this historically significant shipwreck in America’s U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy’s military history.

The helm, or steering station, was located on the upper deck of the flying bridge of the USCG Cutter McCulloch. The helm’s steering shaft interfaced with a second helm located in the protected pilothouse one deck below. Both helms were connected to a steam steering machine that provided power-assisted steering, so the ship could be piloted from either station. Because the flying bridge was unprotected from the weather, that helm had to be constructed of nonferrous metal. Its wooden handles have succumbed to wood-boring organisms.Credit: NOAA/USCG/VideoRay

The first diagnostic artifact discovered at the shipwreck site of the USCG Cutter McCulloch is the 15-inch torpedo tube molded into the bow stem. Metridium anemones drape the bow stem and are found on other sections of the wreck where there is exposure to prevailing currents. Credit: NOAA/USCG/VideoRay

McCulloch and her crew were fine examples of the Coast Guard’s long-standing multi-mission success from a pivotal naval battle with Commodore Dewey, to safety patrols off the coast of California, to protecting fur seals in the Pribilof Islands in Alaska,” said Sokalzuk. “The men and women who crew our newest cutters are inspired by the exploits of great ships and courageous crews like the McCulloch. I extend the Coast Guard’s heartfelt thanks to our partners in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for helping us locate this important piece of our heritage and assisting us in preserving its legacy.”

McCulloch rests on the ocean floor off of Point Conception near the 1917 collision site.

Officials have not determined plans for the next phase of exploration of the shipwreck. McCulloch is not located within a NOAA Marine Sanctuary, but the ship is U.S. government property and is protected under the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2004. No portion of any government wreck may be disturbed or removed.

On the East Coast, McCulloch’s memory is maintained as well.

Every USCGA and NOAA Officer Corps cadet pass these almost every day

Remember, the guns she brought back from Manila Bay are at the USCGA are the following pieces of maritime art.

McCulloch in the Battle of Manila Bay, her four 6-pdrs barking. By Donald J. Phillips

McCulloch heading off the Germans at Manila Bay by Donald J. Phillips

USRC McCulloch painting, Coast Guard Academy Museum Art Collection, “Here McCulloch, with her while hull and buff superstructure and stack, makes way under steam and full sail. In the first years of the twentieth century the masts and sails (with a few exceptions), coal-fired boilers, and iron hulls gave way to steel, oil and diesel fuels, and turbine propulsion, closely emulating the maritime technological advancement of the US Navy. Nevertheless, the cutters remained distinctive vessels, easily recognizable from their Navy counterparts due to their “form following function” designs as well as the colors adorning their hulls.”

Plans with overlay information by NOAA

Displacement: 1,280 tons
Length: 219′
Beam: 33′ 4″
Draft: 14′
Machinery: Triple-expansion steam, 21 1/2″, 34 1/2″, and 56 1/2″ diameter x 30″ stroke 2400hp to a single shaft. Two boilers, 200 psi.
Rig: Barquentine with nine sails, later two “military” masts without rigging by 1914
Performance: 17.5 knots at trial
Complement: 68 Officers and Men as designed. 130 in 1914
4 x 6pdr (57mm) 1 torpedo tube (as built)

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Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

John Foster Williams--born on 12 October 1743 at Boston, Mass.--was appointed a captain in the Navy of Massachusetts and received command of the brig Hazard late in 1777. In the following year, he took her to sea in a fruitless search for British West Indiamen but he and his ship eventually achieved success in 1779. While cruising in the West Indies, Hazard fell in with the privateer brigantine Active on 16 March. At the end of a "smart action" of 35-minutes' duration, "yard arm to yard arm," Active struck her colors and became Hazard's prize, after having suffered 13 killed and 20 wounded out of her 95-man crew. Hazard sent the captured brigantine back to Massachusetts under a prize crew and subsequently returned home in April, after taking several other prizes.

In May, Hazard returned to sea, this time in company with the brig Tyrannicide. At 0830 on 15 June, the two ships fell in with two British ships and--after a short, sharp engagement--forced both enemy vessels to strike their colors. later that summer, Hazard--like the rest of the Massachusetts Navy-took part in the ill-fated Penobscot expedition, an operation which eventually cost the state's navy all of its commissioned vessels.

Williams received command of the new 26-gun frigate Protector in the spring of 1780 and took her to sea in June. In accordance with instructions from the Board of War, the new warship cruised in the vicinity of the Newfoundland Banks, on the lookout for British merchantmen. Her vigilance was rewarded early in June.

At 0700 on 9 June 1780, Protector spotted a strange ship bearing down on her, flying British colors. At 1100, the Continental frigate, also flying English colors, hailed the stranger and found her to be the 32-gun letter-of-marque Admiral Duff, bound for London from St. Kitts. When the enemy's identity had been ascertained, Protector hauled down British colors and ran up the Continental flag--opening fire almost simultaneously. The action ensued for the next hour and one-half, until Admiral Duff caught fire and exploded, leaving 55 survivors for Protector to rescue soon thereafter.

With the coming of peace, Williams returned to his native Boston and died there on 24 June 1814. George Washington Williams--born in Yorkville, S.C., on 30 July 1869--graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1890. He served the required two years of sea duty in Pensacola, before he was commissioned an ensign on 1 July 1892.

Williams served in a succession of sea and shore billets through the turn of the century: the former in Essex, Columbia, Yankee, Buffalo, Panther, Richmond, and Monongahela the latter at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I. In addition, he served on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, in 1899 and commanded the torpedo boat Bainbridge in 1903 before commanding the 1st Torpedo Boat Flotilla. Reporting to Wisconsin (Battleship No. 9) on 5 April 1905, Williams subsequently joined the protected cruiser Chicago for a tour of duty which included participating in relief efforts at San Francisco, Calif., in the wake of the destructive earthquake and fire which destroyed much of that city.

In the years immediately preceding World War I, Williams served as ordnance officer in Montana (Armored Cruiser No. 13) commander of the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet Inspector of Ordnance in Charge at the Naval Torpedo Station commanding officer of the cruiser Cleveland and later of battleship Oregon, before he assumed command of Pueblo (Armored Cruiser No. 7) on 29 April 1917.

Williams--by that time a captain--was awarded the Navy Cross for "distinguished service in the line of his profession" while commanding Pueblo during World War I, as the armored cruiser engaged in the "important, exacting, and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines."

Detached from Pueblo on 6 September 1918, Williams participated in fitting out the new dreadnought Idaho (Battleship No. 42) and later served ashore in the Office of Naval Intelligence., He took the Naval War College course in 1919 and 1920 before commanding the new dreadnaught New Mexico (BB-40) from 31 May 1921 to 18 May 1922. After detachment from New Mexico, Williams became the senior member of the Pacific Coast section of the Board of Inspection and Survey.

Reaching flag rank on 29 September 1922, Williams served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and later as the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, when the former command was reorganized. Detached from this duty in the spring of 1923, Williams subsequently served at Charleston, S.C., as the commandant of the 6th Naval District before breaking his two-star flag in Concord (CL-10) on 15 September 1924 as Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Fleet.

Rear Admiral Williams died on 18 July 1925 at the Naval Hospital, Charleston, S.C.

The second Williams (DD-108) commemorates John Foster Williams the third (DE-372) honors Rear Admiral George Washington Williams.

(DE-372: dp. 1,350 l. 306' b. 36'8" dr. 9'5" (mean) s. 24 k. cpl. 186 a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.) cl. John C. Butler)

The third Williams (DE-372) was laid down on 5 June 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Consolidated Steel Corp. launched on 22 August 1944 sponsored by Mrs. E. Willoughby Middleton, the first cousin of Rear Admiral Williams and commissioned on 11 November 1944, Lt. Comdr. L. F. Loutrel in command.

Following shakedown out of Great Sound Bermuda Williams underwent post shakedown availability at Boston before shifting to New London, Conn., on 11 January 1945. Departing on the 19th, she moved to Newport, R.I., to rendezvous with Riverside (APA-102), and got underway on the 30th for Panama. Williams escorted the attack transport to Balboa, in the Canal Zone, and subsequently sailed for the west coast in company with Sims (APD-50), arriving at San Diego on 7 February.

Williams soon steamed independently to Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 16 February. Following a period of training and minor repairs, the destroyer escort pushed on for the New Hebrides before escorting a group of LCI's from Espiritu Santo to Lunga Point from 25 to 27 March. Returning via Tulagi to Espiritu Santo on the 30th, Williams shifted to Noumea soon thereafter, to rendezvous with Vulcan (AR-5) and escort the repair ship to Ulithi where they arrived on 15 April.

After shifting to Manus, in the Admiralties, upon the conclusion of this escort mission, Williams convoyed Long Island (CVE-1) to Guam which she reached on 25 April, before escorting Copahee (CVE-12) to Eniwetok, and eventually returning to Manus on 6 May.

Four days later, the busy escort vessel departed the Admiralties with Presley (DE-371), Ross (DD-663), and Howorth (DD-592), bound for the Philippines escorting Transport Division 11. While en route on the afternoon of 15 May, ships in the group sighted a derelict mine and sank it with gunfire. The escorts delivered their charges at Leyte on 16 May, and Williams subsequently sailed for Hollandia and Manus arriving at the latter on 30 May.

Her respite in the Admiralties ended on 4 June when the warship got underway again and joined sister ship Presley in escorting a task unit bound for Tinian with ground forces of the Army Air Force 20th Bomber Command embarked. Completing this mission on the 7th Williams operated between Manus and the Marshalls into the latter part of June when she escorted Lander (APA-178) to Eniwetok.

Williams operated out of Manus through the end of the war with Japan in mid-August 1945. During this time, she carried out drills, training exercises, and harbor entrance patrols before spending the first weeks of September in operations with the Ulithi unit of the Western Carolines Patrol and Escort Group.

After a brief visit to Yap and a stint towing a derelict ammunition barge, Williams was transferred to the Marianas patrol on 20 September. She escorted Bougainville (CVE-100) to Okinawa between 24 and 27 September before getting underway on the latter date to return to Guam.

On the return passage, on the night of 29 September Williams found herself trapped in the path of a severe tropical hurricane. A huge breaking wave pounded into the starboard side of the ship and nearly rolled Williams over. One man was swept overboard and out of sight in the stormy sea. Severe structural damage occurred topside, and minor flooding occurred below decks. However, round-the clock work by damage control parties soon restored the ship to fighting efficiency, and she resumed her passage. Before she reached Guam, she spotted a floating mine and destroyed it with gunfire.

Watch the video: What Happened To The Antarctic Snow Cruiser? (August 2022).