USS Connecticut (BB-18)

USS Connecticut (BB-18), the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Connecticut, was the lead ship of her class of six battleships. Her keel was laid on 10 March 1903; launched on 29 September 1904, Connecticut was commissioned on 29 September 1906, as the most advanced ship in the US Navy.

Connecticut served as the flagship for the Jamestown Exposition in mid-1907, which commemorated the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony. She later sailed with the Great White Fleet on a circumnavigation of the Earth to showcase the US Navy's growing fleet of blue-water-capable ships. After completing her service with the Great White Fleet, Connecticut participated in several flag-waving exercises intended to protect American citizens abroad until she was pressed into service as a troop transport at the end of World War I to expedite the return of American Expeditionary Forces from France.

For the remainder of her career, Connecticut sailed to various places in both the Atlantic and Pacific while training newer recruits to the Navy. However, the provisions of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty stipulated that many of the older battleships, Connecticut among them, would have to be disposed of, so she was decommissioned on 1 March 1923, and sold for scrap on 1 November 1923.

USS Connecticut BB-18 underway
Connecticut underway sometime before World War I
History
United States
Name: Connecticut
Namesake: State of Connecticut
Ordered: 1 July 1902
Awarded: 15 October 1902
Builder: New York Navy Yard
Laid down: 10 March 1903
Launched: 29 September 1904
Sponsored by: Alice B. Welles
Commissioned: 29 September 1906
Decommissioned: 1 March 1923
Struck: 10 November 1923
Fate: sold for scrap, 1 November 1923
General characteristics [1][2][3][4]
Class and type: Connecticut-class battleship
Displacement: 16,000 long tons (16,300 t)
Length: 456 ft 4 in (139.09 m)
Beam: 76 ft 10 in (23.42 m)
Draft: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 827 officers and men
Armament:
Armor:
  • Belt: 11 to 9 in (279 to 229 mm), tapering to 7 inches (178 mm), 5 in (127 mm) and 4 in (102 mm) at bow and stern
  • Lower casemate: 9 in
  • Upper casemate: 7 in, with 1.5 to 2.5 in (38 to 64 mm) transverse splinter bulkheads between 7-inch guns
  • Bulkheads: 6 in (152 mm)
  • Barbettes: 10 in (254 mm)
  • Turrets: 11 in/2.5 in/9 in for 12-inch guns, 6.5 in (165 mm)/2 in (51 mm)/6 in for 8-inch guns
  • 7 in around 7-inch guns, 2 in around 3-inch guns
  • Conning tower: 9 in/2 in

Design

12-45 mk5 Connecticut gun pic
One of the bow 12-inch (305 mm) main guns being installed at the New York Navy Yard on January 31, 1906.

The design that evolved into the Connecticut-class battleship was conceived on 6 March 1901, when Secretary of the Navy John Davis Long asked the Board on Construction for a study of future battleship designs. When this was completed, different bureaus supported different designs.[8]

The Board on Construction favored a ship on which 6-inch (152 mm) and 8-inch (203 mm) guns would be replaced by 24 newly designed 7-inch (178 mm) guns, which were the most powerful guns with shells that could be handled by one person.[b] In addition, the ships would mount twenty-four 3-inch (76 mm) anti-torpedo boat guns.[8] The main armor would be thinner overall because it would be distributed over the entire length. The Board's favored design would result in a ship weighing 15,560 long tons (15,810 t) displacement.[9]

The Bureau of Construction and Repair, however, proposed a modified Virginia-class battleship with sixteen 8-inch guns, twelve in turrets and four in casemates; the casemate guns were later eliminated, leaving twelve 8-inch, twelve 6-inch, and eight 3-inch guns on a ship of 15,860 long tons (16,110 t). This design was later rejected because the reduction in anti-torpedo boat guns was too drastic.[9]

Although one of the two designs had been rejected, the debate did not end. In November, the Board decided on a different plan, with eight 8-inch guns mounted in four waist turrets and 12 7-inch guns. This arrangement was chosen because the 8-inch gun could penetrate medium armor on battleships, and the 7-inch gun was capable of rapid fire.[b] The new design also had heavier armor and a thicker belt than the first design. Two ships of this plan, Connecticut and Louisiana, were authorized on 1 July 1902, and three more were added on 2 March 1903: Vermont, Kansas, and Minnesota. New Hampshire was authorized on 27 April 1904.[9][c]

Launch

Connecticut was ordered on 1 July 1902.[9] On 15 October 1902, she was awarded to the New York Naval Shipyard.[10] She was laid down on 10 March 1903,[11][10][12] and launched on 29 September 1904.[10][12] She was sponsored by Miss Alice B. Welles, granddaughter of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy during the American Civil War.[1] A crowd of over 30,000 people attended the launch,[13] as did many of the Navy's ships. The battleships Texas, Massachusetts, Iowa, Kearsarge, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri were at the ceremony, along with the protected cruisers Columbia and Minneapolis and the auxiliary cruiser Prairie.[14]

Three attempts to sabotage the ship were discovered in 1904. On 31 March, rivets on the keel plates were found bored through.[15] On 14 September, a 1 38 in (35 mm) bolt was found driven into the launching way, where it protruded some 5 in (130 mm).[15] Shortly after Connecticut was launched on 29 September, a 1 in (25 mm) diameter hole was discovered drilled through a 58 in (16 mm) steel keel plate.[16][d] The ship's watertight compartments and pumps prevented her from sinking, and all damage was repaired. The incidents prompted the Navy to post armed guards at the shipyard, and an overnight watch was kept by a Navy tug manned by Marines who had orders to shoot to kill any unauthorized person attempting to approach the ship.[15]

As Connecticut was only 55% complete when she was launched, missing most of her upper works, protection, machinery and armament,[11] it was two years before Connecticut was commissioned on 29 September 1906.[10][12] Captain William Swift was the first captain of the new battleship.[1][17] Connecticut sailed out of New York for the first time on 15 December 1906, becoming the first ship in the US Navy to ever go to sea without a sea trial.[18] She first journeyed south to the Virginia Capes, where she conducted a variety of training exercises; this was followed by a shakedown cruise and battle practice off Cuba and Puerto Rico.[19] During the cruise, she participated in a search for the missing steamer Ponce.[20][21][e]

USS Connecticut - NH 55335
Commissioning ceremonies for Connecticut, 29 September 1906

On 13 January 1907, Connecticut ran onto a reef while entering the harbor at Culebra Island. The Navy did not release any information about the grounding until press dispatches from San Juan, carrying news of the incident reached the mainland on 23 January. Even then, Navy authorities in San Juan claimed to be ignorant of the situation,[22] and, that same day, the Navy Department itself said that they only knew that Captain Swift thought she had touched bottom and that an examination of the ship's bottom by divers had revealed no damage.[22] The Navy amended this the next day, releasing a statement that Connecticut had been only slightly damaged and had returned to her shakedown cruise.[23] However, damage to the ship was much more serious than the Navy admitted; in contrast to an official statement saying that Connecticut had only "touched" the rocks, she actually had run full upon the reef when traversing "a course well marked with buoys" in "broad daylight" and did enough damage to probably require a dry docking. This apparent attempt at a cover-up was enough for the United States Congress to consider an official inquiry into the matter.[24]

On 21 March, the Navy announced that Swift would be court-martialed for "through negligence, causing a vessel to run upon a rock" and "neglect of duty in regard to the above".[25] Along with the officer of the deck at the time of the accident, Lieutenant Harry E. Yarnell, Swift faced a court martial of seven rear admirals, a captain, and a lieutenant.[26] He was sentenced to one year's suspension from duty, later reduced to nine months; after about six months, the sentence was remitted on 24 October. However, he was not assigned command of another ship.[27]

USS Connecticut - NH 553
Connecticut on her speed trials in 1906 or 1907. The boat taking this photo is about to be swamped by the bow wave emanating from the battleship.

Connecticut steamed back to Hampton Roads after this, arriving on 16 April;[28] when she arrived, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, commander of the Atlantic Fleet, transferred his flag from Maine to Connecticut,[19] making her the flagship of the fleet.[29] President Theodore Roosevelt opened the Jamestown Exposition on 25 April, and Connecticut was named as the official host of the vessels that were visiting from other countries. Sailors and marines from the ship took part in various events ashore, and foreign dignitaries, along with the governors of Virginia and Rhode Island, were hosted aboard the ship on 29 April. Evans closed the Exposition on 4 May, on the quarterdeck of Connecticut. On 10 June, Connecticut joined in the Presidential Fleet Review; she left three days later for an overhaul in the New York Naval Yard.[30] After the overhaul, Connecticut conducted maneuvers off Hampton Roads, and target practice off Cape Cod. She was ordered back to the New York Naval Yard, once again on 6 September, for a refit that would make her suitable for use as flagship of the Great White Fleet.[31]

Flagship of the Great White Fleet

Connecticut left the New York Naval Yard, on 5 December 1907, and arrived the next day in Hampton Roads, where the Great White Fleet would assemble with her as their flagship. After an eight-day period known as "Navy Farewell Week" during which festivities were held for the departing sailors, and all 16 battleships took on full loads of coal, stores, and ammunition, the ships were ready to depart.[31] The battleship captains paid their respects to President Theodore Roosevelt on the presidential yacht Mayflower, and all the ships weighed anchor and departed at 1000. They passed in review before the President, and then began traveling south.[32] After steaming past Cape Hatteras, the fleet headed for the Caribbean.[33] They approached Puerto Rico, on 20 December, caught sight of Venezuela on 22 December, and later dropped anchor in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad,[34] making the first port visit of the Great White Fleet.[35] With the torpedo boat flotilla that had left Hampton Roads, two weeks previously, and five colliers to fill the coal bunkers of the fleet, Port of Spain had a total of 32 US Navy ships in the harbor, making it "[resemble] a US Navy base".[36]

Tr great white fleet from photo nh100349 USS Connecticut 1907
Connecticut leads the way for the Great White Fleet in 1907

After spending Christmas in Trinidad, the ships departed for Rio de Janeiro, on 29 December.[36] A ceremonial Brazilian escort of three cruisers met the task force 12 nmi (14 mi; 22 km) outside Rio,[37] and "thousands of wildly cheering Brazilians lined the shore"; 10 days of ceremonies, games, and festivities followed, and the stopover was so successful that the visit was the cause of a major boost in US–Brazilian relations.[38] The fleet left Rio on 22 January 1908, still heading south, this time bound for the coaling stop of Punta Arenas, Chile.[39]

Four cruisers from Argentina, San Martin, Buenos Ayres, 9 De Julio, and Pueyrredon, all under the command of Admiral Hipolito Oliva, sailed 300 nmi (350 mi; 560 km) to salute the American ships on their way to Chile. The fleet arrived at Punta Arenas, on 1 February, and spent five days in the town of 14,000.[40] Heading north, they followed the coastline of Chile, passing in review of Chilean President Pedro Montt on 14 February, outside Valparaíso, and they were escorted to Callao, in Peru, by the cruiser Coronel Bolognesi on 19 and 20 February.[41] Peru's president, José Pardo, came aboard Connecticut during this time, as Rear Admiral Evans was quite ill and could not go ashore.[42] After taking on coal, the ships steamed for Mexico, on 29 February, passing in review of the cruiser Almirante Grau, which had Pardo embarked, before leaving.[43]

Arriving in Mexico, on 20 March, the fleet underwent three weeks of target practice. Rear Admiral Evans was relieved of command during this time, as he was completely bedridden and in constant pain, on 30 March, Connecticut set sail north at full speed. She was met two days later by the schooner Yankton, which took the admiral to a hospital. Connecticut traveled back south to rejoin the fleet,[43] and Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas took Evans's place on Connecticut as the commander of the fleet, which continued its journey north, bound for California.[44]

PostcardUSSConnecticutBB18No1268
Postcard of the ship published in San Francisco

On 5 May, Evans returned to Connecticut in time for the fleet's sailing through the Golden Gate on 6 May,[44] although he was still in pain.[45] Over one million people watched the 42-ship fleet sail into the bay.[f] After a grand parade through San Francisco, a review of the fleet by Secretary of the Navy Victor H. Metcalf, a gala reception,[45] and a farewell address from Evans (who was retiring due to his illness and his age),[46] the fleet left San Francisco, for Seattle, with Rear Admiral Charles Stillman Sperry as commander.[47] The ships all underwent refits before the next leg of the voyage. The fleet left the West Coast again on 7 July, bound for Hawaii, which it reached on 16 July.[48]

Leaving Hawaii, on 22 July, the ships next stopped at Auckland, Sydney, and Melbourne. High seas and winds hampered the ships for part of the voyage to New Zealand, but they arrived on 9 August; festivities, parades, balls, and games were staples of the visits to each city.[49] The highlight of the austral visit was a parade of 12,000 US Navy, Royal Navy, and Commonwealth naval and military personnel in front of 250,000 people.[50]

After stopping at Manila, in the Philippines, the fleet set course for Yokohama, Japan. They encountered a typhoon on the way on 12 October, but no ships were lost; the fleet was only delayed 24 hours.[51] After three Japanese men-of-war and six merchantmen escorted the Americans in, festivities began. The celebrations culminated in the Uraga, where Commodore Matthew C. Perry had anchored a little more than 50 years prior.[52] The ships then departed on 25 October. After three weeks of exercises in the Philippines' Subic Bay, the ships sailed south on 1 December, for Singapore; they did not stop there, however, passing outside the city on 6 December.[53] Continuing on, they stopped at Colombo, for coal from 12–20 December, before sailing on for the Suez Canal.[54] It took three days for all 16 battleships to traverse the canal, even though it was closed to all other traffic. They then headed for a coaling stop at Port Said, Egypt, after which the fleet split up into individual divisions to call on different ports in the Mediterranean.[55] The First Division, of which Connecticut was a part, originally planned to visit Italy, before moving on to Villefranche, but Connecticut and Illinois were quickly dispatched to southern Italy, on a humanitarian mission when news of an earthquake reached the fleet.[56] Seamen from the ships helped clear debris and unload supplies from the US Navy refrigerated supply ship Culgoa; Admiral Sperry received the personal thanks of King Victor Emmanuel III for their assistance.[57]

President Theodore Roosevelt - NH 1836
Theodore Roosevelt (on the 12-inch gun turret at right) addresses the crew of Connecticut.

After port calls were concluded, the ships headed for Gibraltar, where they found a conglomerate of warships from many different nations awaiting them "with decks manned and horns blaring": the battleships HMS Albemarle and Albion with the cruiser HMS Devonshire and the Second Cruiser Squadron represented Great Britain's Royal Navy, battleships Tsesarevich and Slava with cruisers Admiral Makarov, Bogatyr and Oleg represented the Imperial Russian Navy, and various gunboats represented France and the Netherlands. After coaling for five days, the ships got under way and left for home on 6 February 1909.[58]

After weathering a few storms, the ships met nine of their fellow US Navy ships five days out of Hampton Roads: four battleships (Maine, Mississippi, Idaho, and New Hampshire – the only sister of Connecticut to not make the cruise, two armored cruisers, and three scout cruisers.[59] Connecticut then led all of these warships around Tail-of-the-Horseshoe Lightship on 22 February to pass in review of President Roosevelt, who was then on the presidential yacht anchored off Old Point Comfort, ending a 46,729 nmi (53,775 mi; 86,542 km) trip. Roosevelt boarded the ship after she anchored and gave a short speech, saying, "You've done the trick. Other nations may do as you have done, but they'll follow you."[60]

Pre-World War I

USS-Connecticut
Connecticut in dry dock at the Brooklyn Naval Yard after the world cruise in March 1909
USS-NebraskaBB-14
Connecticut and Nebraska in Brooklyn in 1909.

Following her return from the world cruise, Connecticut continued to serve as flagship of the Atlantic Fleet, interrupted only by a March 1909 overhaul at the New York Navy Yard.[61] After rejoining the fleet, she cruised the East Coast from her base at Norfolk, Virginia. For the rest of 1909, the battleship conducted training and participated in ceremonial observances, such as the Hudson-Fulton Celebration.[1][62] In early January 1910, Connecticut left for Cuban waters and stayed there until late March when she returned to New York for a refit.[63] After several months conducting maneuvers and battle practice off the New England coast, she left for Europe on 2 November to go on a midshipman training cruise.[63] She arrived in Portland, England on 15 November and was present during the 1 December birthday celebration of Queen Alexandra, the queen mother. Connecticut next visited Cherbourg, France, where she welcomed visitors from the town and also hosted commander-in-chief of the French Navy Vice-Amiral Laurent Marin-Darbel, and a delegation of his officers. While there, a boat crew from Connecticut engaged a crew from the French battleship Charles Martel in a rowing race; Connecticut's crew won by twelve lengths. Connecticut departed French waters for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on 30 December,[64] and stayed there until 17 March, when she departed for Hampton Roads.[65]

Connecticut was the leader of the ships that passed in review during the Presidential Fleet Review in New York, on 2 November; she then remained in New York, until 12 January 1912, when she returned to Guantánamo Bay. During a March overhaul at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, the battleship relinquished her role as flagship to the armored cruiser Washington. After the overhaul's completion, Connecticut's activities through the end of 1912 included practicing with torpedoes in Fort Pond Bay, conducting fleet maneuvers, and battle practice off Block Island and the Virginia Capes.[66] Stopping in New York, Connecticut conducted training exercises in Guantánamo Bay from 13 February to 20 March; during this time (on the 28th), she once again became the Atlantic Fleet flagship for a brief and final time when she served in the interim as Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger transferred his flag from Wyoming to Utah.[67][68] After taking on stores in Philadelphia, Connecticut sailed for Mexico and arrived on 22 April; she was to patrol the waters near Tampico and Vera Cruz, protecting American citizens and interests during disturbances there and in Haiti.[1][69]

USS Connecticut - NH 2325
Connecticut saluting the presidential yacht Mayflower during the Presidential Fleet Review in 1911

On 22 June 1912, Connecticut departed Mexican waters for Philadelphia, where she was dry docked for three months of repairs. Upon their completion, Connecticut conducted gunnery practice off the Virginia Capes. On 23 October, Connecticut became the flagship of the Fourth Battleship Division. After the division passed in review before Secretary of the Navy George von Lengerke Meyer on the 25th, Connecticut left for Genoa, Italy, where she remained until 30 November.[69] The battleship departed Italy for Vera Cruz and arrived on 23 December.[70] She took refugees from Mexico to Galveston and carried officers of the Army and representative from the Red Cross back in the opposite direction.[70]

On 29 May 1914, while still in Mexico, Connecticut relinquished the duty of flagship to Minnesota, but remained in Mexico, until 2 July, when she left for Havana. Arriving there on 8 July, Connecticut embarked Madison R. Smith, the US minister to Haiti, and took him to Port-au-Prince, arriving five days later. Connecticut remained in Haiti for a month, then left for Philadelphia on 8 August and arrived there on 14 August.[70]

Connecticut then went to Maine and the Virginia Capes, for battle practice, after which she went into the Philadelphia Naval Yard for an overhaul. After more than 15 weeks, Connecticut emerged on 15 January 1915, and steamed south to Cuba, where she conducted training exercises. During maneuvers there in March 1915, a chain wrapped around her starboard propeller, breaking the shaft and forcing her return to Philadelphia, for repairs.[71][72] She remained there until 31 July, when she embarked 433 men from the Second Regiment, First Brigade, of the United States Marine Corps for transport to Port-au-Prince, where they were put ashore on 5 August, as part of the US occupation of Haiti. Connecticut delivered supplies to amphibious troops in Cap-Haïtien, on 5 September and remained near Haiti, for the next few months, supporting landing parties ashore, including detachments of Marines and sailors from Connecticut under the command of Major Smedley Butler. After departing Haiti, Connecticut arrived in Philadelphia, on 15 December, and was placed into the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.[73]

World War I

As part of the US response to Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare, Connecticut was recommissioned on 3 October 1916. Two days later, Admiral Herbert O. Dunn made her the flagship of the Fifth Battleship Division, transferring his flag from Minnesota.[74] Connecticut operated along the East Coast and in the Caribbean until the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917.[1][75] For the duration of the war, Connecticut was based in York River, Virginia.[28] More than 1,000 trainees—midshipmen and gun crews for merchant ships—took part in exercises on her while she sailed in Chesapeake Bay, and off the Virginia Capes.[1][74]

Inter-war period

At the close of the war, Connecticut was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force for transport duty, and from 6 January – 22 June 1919, she made four voyages to return troops from France.[76][77] On 6 January, she left Hampton Roads, for Brest, France, where she embarked 1,000 troops. After bringing them to New York, arriving on 2 February,[77] Connecticut traveled back to Brest, and picked up the 53rd Pioneer Regiment, a company of Marines, and a company of military police, 1,240 troops in all. These men were delivered to Hampton Roads, on 24 March. After two months, Connecticut made another run overseas: following a short period of liberty in Paris, for her crew, she embarked 891 men variously from the 502nd Army Engineers, a medical detachment, and the Red Cross. They were dropped off in Newport News, on 22 June.[78] On 23 June 1919, after having returned over 4,800 men,[76] Connecticut was reassigned as flagship of the Second Battleship Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet,[1] under the command of Vice Admiral Hilary P. Jones.[78]

USS Connecticut - NH 55339
Connecticut photographed in 1920

While based in Philadelphia, for the next 11 months, Connecticut trained midshipmen. On 2 May 1920, 200 midshipmen boarded the ship for a training cruise. In company with the other battleships of her squadron, Connecticut sailed to the Caribbean, and through the Panama Canal, in order to visit four ports-of-call: Honolulu, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Pedro Bay (Los Angeles and Long Beach). After visiting all four, the squadron made their way back through the canal and headed for home. However, the port engine of Connecticut gave out three days after transiting the canal, requiring New Hampshire to tow the battleship into Guantánamo Bay. The pair arrived on 28 August.[78] The midshipmen were debarked there,[79] and Vice Admiral Jones transferred his flag from Connecticut to his new flagship, Kansas.[78] The Navy repair ship Prometheus was dispatched from New York on 1 September to tow Connecticut to Philadelphia;[80] they arrived at the Navy Yard there on 11 September.[79]

USS Connecticut (BB-18) bell
The Connecticut's bell on display in Mystic Depot

On 21 March 1921, Connecticut again became the flagship of the Second Battleship Squadron when Rear Admiral Charles Frederick Hughes took command. The ships of the squadron departed Philadelphia, on 7 April, to perform maneuvers and training exercises off Cuba, though they returned to take part in the Presidential Review in Hampton Roads, on 28 April. After participating in Naval Academy celebrations on Memorial Day, Connecticut and her squadmates departed on a midshipman cruise which took them to Europe. On 28 June, Connecticut hosted a Norwegian delegation that included King Haakon VII, Prime Minister Otto Blehr, the Minister of Defence, and the First Sea Lord of the Royal Norwegian Navy. After arriving in Portugal, on 21 July, the battleship hosted the Civil Governor of the Province of Lisbon and the Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese Navy. Six days later, Connecticut hosted the Portuguese president, António José de Almeida.[79] The battleship squadron departed for Guantánamo Bay, on 29 July, and, after arrival there, remained for gunnery practice and exercises. Connecticut, leaving the rest of the squadron, departed for Annapolis, and disembarked her midshipmen on 30 August, then proceeded to Philadelphia.[81]

Connecticut departed Philadelphia, for California, on 4 October, for duty with the Pacific Fleet. After touching at San Diego, on 27 October, she arrived on 28 October, at San Pedro, where Rear Admiral H.O. Stickney designated her the flagship of Pacific Fleet Training.[81] For the next few months, Connecticut cruised along the West Coast, taking part in exercises and commemorations.[1] Under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, which set tonnage limits for its signatory nations, the Navy designated Connecticut for scrapping. Getting under way for her final voyage on 11 December, she made a five-day journey to the Puget Sound Navy Yard,[81] where she was decommissioned on 1 March 1923.[1][82][10][12] On 1 November 1923,[1] the ex-Connecticut was sold for scrap to Walter W. Johnson, of San Francisco, for $42,750.[83] In June 1924, the tug SS Roosevelt set a record for the largest tow by a single tug in history when she towed Connecticut from Seattle, Washington, to Oakland, California, for scrapping.[84]

Notes

  1. ^ While Friedman's U.S. Battleships: A Design History, normally the authoritative source on U.S. battleships, says that the guns were 40-caliber in Appendix D on page 430, Tony DiGiulian asserts that he was mistaken and they were really 45-caliber.
  2. ^ a b The shell for the 7-inch guns weighed 165 lb (75 kg), whereas a shell for the 6-inch gun weighed about 100 lb (45 kg), and the shell for the 8-inch gun weighed about 250 lb (110 kg). These 250 lb shells could only be moved by "power or several men", making the 7-inch gun "the largest [gun] capable of really rapid fire in the context of existing technology".
  3. ^ The long gap was the result of the two Mississippi-class battleships that were built between Minnesota and New Hampshire; the Mississippi were a congressional attempt to "prune back the growth of battleship size and cost" by severely limiting their displacements. As they had to cut down the Connecticut design by about 20%, the designs were not very successful, and the ships were sold about six years after being commissioned. See: Friedman (1985), pp. 45 and 47.
  4. ^ It was estimated that drilling the hole would have taken 20 minutes. See: "Armed tug last night guarded new warship" (pdf). The New York Times. 3 October 1904. p. 1. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  5. ^ Ponce was eventually found and towed back to port by a German freighter; the seven passengers were taken off by the Quebec liner Bermudian. See: "Ponce's passengers return" (pdf). The New York Times. 20 January 1907. p. 12. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  6. ^ The Great White Fleet was joined by various Pacific Fleet warships and a torpedo boat flotilla for their entrance into the harbor, making the conglomerate of ships the "most powerful concentration of naval might yet gathered in the Western Hemisphere". See: Albertson (2007), p. 47.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Connecticut". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  2. ^ "BB-18 USS CONNECTICUT". NavSource.org. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b Friedman (1985), p. 430
  4. ^ DiGiulian, Tony (18 September 2008). "12"/45 (30.5 cm) Mark 5 and Mark 6". Navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  5. ^ Babcock & Wilcox Company (1914), p. 203
  6. ^ DiGiulian, Tony (26 December 2008). "3-pdr (1.4 kg) (1.85" (47 mm)) Marks 1 through 12". Navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  7. ^ a b DiGiulian, Tony (15 August 2008). "1-pdr (0.45 kg) (1.46" (37 mm)) Marks 1 through 15". Navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  8. ^ a b Friedman (1985), p. 43
  9. ^ a b c d Friedman (1985), p. 46
  10. ^ a b c d e "Connecticut (BB-18)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  11. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 35
  12. ^ a b c d Friedman (1985), p. 419
  13. ^ "Battleship Connecticut takes birthday plunge" (pdf). The New York Times. 30 September 1904. p. 6. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  14. ^ "Navy's big fighters here after hard work" (pdf). The New York Times. 19 September 1904. p. 1. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  15. ^ a b c "Armed tug last night guarded new warship" (pdf). The New York Times. 3 October 1904. p. 1. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  16. ^ "First tried to wreck ship six months ago" (pdf). The New York Times. 4 October 1904. p. 9. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  17. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 35–36
  18. ^ "The Connecticut sails on her maiden trip" (pdf). The New York Times. 16 December 1906. p. 13. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  19. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 36
  20. ^ "Still without tidings of steamship Ponce" (pdf). The New York Times. 9 February 1907. p. 16. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  21. ^ "Hope for Ponce grows with Maracas delay" (pdf). The New York Times. 11 January 1907. p. 16. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Connecticut on a reef?" (pdf). The New York Times. 24 January 1907. p. 1. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  23. ^ "The Connecticut all right" (pdf). The New York Times. 25 January 1907. p. 1. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  24. ^ "Connecticut's plates driven upward by reef" (pdf). The New York Times. 6 February 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  25. ^ "Court-martial for Swift" (pdf). The New York Times. 21 March 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  26. ^ "Capt. Swift on trial" (pdf). The New York Times. 27 March 1907. p. 4. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  27. ^ "Capt. Swift is Reprieved" (pdf). The New York Times. 25 October 1907. p. 7. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  28. ^ a b "USS Connecitcut[sic] BB-18". The Great White Fleet: A Historical Look at the People, Ports of Call and Events. Navy Department. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  29. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 36–37
  30. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 37
  31. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 38
  32. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 39
  33. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 40
  34. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 41
  35. ^ JO2 [Journalist Second Class] Mike McKinley (1 April 2015). "Cruise of the Great White Fleet". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  36. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 42
  37. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 42–43
  38. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 43
  39. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 43–44
  40. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 44
  41. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 44–45
  42. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 45
  43. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 46
  44. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 47
  45. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 48
  46. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 48–49
  47. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 49
  48. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 49–50
  49. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 52–56
  50. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 54
  51. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 57–58
  52. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 58–59
  53. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 60
  54. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 61–62
  55. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 62
  56. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 62–63
  57. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 63
  58. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 63–64
  59. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 64–65
  60. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 65–66
  61. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 66
  62. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 66–67
  63. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 67
  64. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 68
  65. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 68–69
  66. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 69
  67. ^ Albertson (2007), pp. 69–70
  68. ^ "Wyoming". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  69. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 70
  70. ^ a b c Albertson (2007), p. 71
  71. ^ "Shaft of Battleship Connecticut Breaks during Manoeuvers". The Bridgeport Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut. 16 March 1915. p. 7. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  72. ^ "Battleship Connecticut in Drydock at League Island". Evening Public Ledger. Philadelphia, PA. 3 April 1915. p. 16. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  73. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 72
  74. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 73
  75. ^ See: Woodrow Wilson Urges Congress to Declare War on Germany—text of a speech given by Wilson before Congress
  76. ^ a b Gleaves (1921), pp. 250–51
  77. ^ a b Albertson (2007), p. 73–74
  78. ^ a b c d Albertson (2007), p. 74
  79. ^ a b c Albertson (2007), p. 75
  80. ^ "Prometheus". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  81. ^ a b c Albertson (2007), p. 76
  82. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 76–77
  83. ^ Albertson (2007), p. 77
  84. ^ "Roosevelt, Bureau's First Pribilof Tender". AFSC Historical Corner. Retrieved 15 September 2018.

Bibliography

External links

7"/44 caliber gun

The 7"/44 caliber gun Mark 1 (spoken "seven-inch-forty-four--caliber") and 7"/45 caliber gun Mark 2 (spoken "seven-inch-forty-five--caliber") were used for the secondary batteries of the United States Navy's last generation of pre-dreadnought battleships, the Connecticut-class and Mississippi-class. The 7-inch (178 mm) caliber was considered, at the time, to be the largest caliber weapon sutiable as a rapid-fire secondary gun because its shells were the heaviest that one man could handle alone.

8"/45 caliber gun

The 8"/45 caliber Mark 6 gun (spoken "eight-inch-forty-five--caliber") were used for the secondary batteries of the United States Navy's last pre-dreadnought battleships and refitted in older armored cruisers main batteries.

Cassin Young

Cassin Young (March 6, 1894 – November 13, 1942) was a captain in the United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Connecticut-class battleship

The Connecticut class of pre-dreadnought battleships were the penultimate class of the type built for the United States Navy. The class comprised six ships: Connecticut, Louisiana, Vermont, Kansas, Minnesota, and New Hampshire, which were built between 1903 and 1908. The ships were armed with a mixed offensive battery of 12-inch (305 mm), 8-inch (203 mm), and 7-inch (178 mm) guns. This arrangement was rendered obsolete by the advent of all-big-gun battleships like the British HMS Dreadnought, which was completed before most of the Connecticuts entered service.

Nevertheless, the ships had active careers. The first five ships took part in the cruise of the Great White Fleet in 1907–1909—New Hampshire had not entered service. From 1909 onward, they served as the workhorses of the US Atlantic Fleet, conducting training exercises and showing the flag in Europe and Central America. As unrest broke out in several Central American countries in the 1910s, the ships became involved in police actions in the region. The most significant was the American intervention in the Mexican Revolution during the occupation of Veracruz in April 1914.

During the American participation in World War I, the Connecticut-class ships were used to train sailors for an expanding wartime fleet. In late 1918, they began to escort convoys to Europe, and in September that year, Minnesota was badly damaged by a mine laid by the German U-boat SM U-117. After the war, they were used to bring American soldiers back from France and later as training ships. The 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, which mandated major reductions in naval weapons, cut the ships' careers short. Within two years, all six ships had been sold for scrap.

Five Dock, New South Wales

Five Dock is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Five Dock is located 10 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Canada Bay.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is a federal military cemetery in the city of San Diego, California. It is located on the grounds of the former Army coastal artillery station Fort Rosecrans and is administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The cemetery is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Downtown San Diego, overlooking San Diego Bay and the city from one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Fort Rosecrans is named after William Starke Rosecrans, a Union general in the American Civil War. The cemetery was registered as California Historical Landmark #55 on December 6, 1932. The cemetery is spread out over 77.5 acres (31.4 ha) located on both sides of Catalina Blvd.

Franklin Van Valkenburgh

Franklin Van Valkenburgh (April 5, 1888 – December 7, 1941) was an American naval officer who served as the last captain of the USS Arizona (BB-39). He was killed when the Arizona exploded and sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Harry E. Yarnell

Admiral Harry Ervin Yarnell (18 October 1875 – 7 July 1959) was an American naval officer whose career spanned over 51 years and three wars, from the Spanish–American War through World War II.

Among his achievements was proving, in 1932 war games, that Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to a naval aerial attack. His findings were dismissed by his superiors until the Imperial Japanese Navy's Pearl Harbor attack went just as Yarnell had predicted.

John S. McCain Sr.

John Sidney "Slew" McCain (August 9, 1884 – September 6, 1945) was a U.S. Navy admiral. He held several command assignments during the Pacific campaign of World War II. McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations. Serving in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II, in 1942 he commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign, and in 1944–45 he aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force. His operations off the Philippines and Okinawa and air strikes against Formosa and the Japanese home islands caused tremendous destruction of Japanese naval and air forces in the closing period of the war. He died four days after the formal Japanese surrender ceremony.

Several of McCain's descendants also graduated from the United States Naval Academy. He and his son, John S. McCain Jr., were the first father-son pair to achieve four-star admiral rank in the U.S. Navy. His grandson was a U.S. Senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Navy Captain John S. McCain III. His great-grandsons, John S. McCain IV and James McCain, currently serve in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, respectively.

List of battleships of the United States Navy

The United States Navy began the construction of battleships with USS Texas in 1892, but the first battleship under that designation would be USS Indiana. Texas and USS Maine, commissioned three years later, were part of the New Navy program of the late 19th century, a proposal by then Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt to match Europe's navies that ignited a years-long debate that was suddenly settled in Hunt's favor when the Brazilian Empire commissioned the battleship Riachuelo. In 1890, Alfred Thayer Mahan's book The Influence of Sea Power upon History was published and significantly influenced future naval policy—as an indirect of its influence on Secretary Benjamin F. Tracy, the Navy Act of June 30, 1890 authorized the construction of "three sea-going, coast-line battle ships" which became the Indiana-class. The Navy Act of July 19, 1892 authorized construction of a fourth "sea-going, coast-line battle ship", which became USS Iowa. Despite much later claims that these were to be purely defensive and were authorized as "coastal defense ships", they were almost immediately used for offensive operations in the Spanish–American War. By the start of the 20th century, the United States Navy had in service or under construction the three Illinois-class and two Kearsarge-class battleships, making the United States the world's 5th strongest power at sea from a nation that had been 12th in 1870.Except for Kearsarge, named by an act of Congress, all U.S. Navy battleships have been named for states, and each of the 48 contiguous states has had at least one battleship named for it except Montana; two battleships were authorized to be named Montana but both were cancelled before construction started. Alaska and Hawaii did not become states until 1959, after the end of battleship building, but the battlecruiser, or "Large Cruiser," USS Alaska was built during World War II and her sister, USS Hawaii, was begun but never completed. The pre-dreadnoughts USS Zrinyi (formerly the Austrian SMS Zrínyi), USS Radetzky (formerly the Austrian SMS Radetzky), and USS Ostfriesland (formerly the German SMS Ostfriesland), taken as prizes of war after World War I, were commissioned in the US Navy, but were not assigned hull classification symbols.

No American battleship has ever been lost at sea, though four were sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of these, only USS Arizona (BB-39) and USS Oklahoma (BB-37) were permanently destroyed as a result of enemy action. Several other battleships have been sunk as targets, and USS Utah (BB-31), demilitarized and converted into a target and training ship, was permanently destroyed at Pearl Harbor. The hulk of Oklahoma was salvaged and was lost at sea while being towed to the mainland for scrapping. Two American-built pre-dreadnought battleships, USS Mississippi (BB-23) and her sister USS Idaho (BB-24), were sunk in 1941 by German bombers during their WWII invasion of Greece. The ships had been sold to Greece in 1914, becoming Kilkis and Lemnos respectively.

USS Connecticut

USS Connecticut may refer to:

USS Connecticut (1776) was a gundalow that served with the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War

USS Connecticut (1799) served during the Quasi-War

USS Connecticut (1861) was a sidewheel steamer launched in 1861 and in service during the American Civil War

USS Pompanoosuc, a screw steamer whose building began in 1863, was renamed Connecticut on 15 May 1869, but never launched; broken up in 1884

USS Connecticut (1899) was a monitor renamed during construction and commissioned as USS Nevada

USS Connecticut (BB-18) was a Connecticut-class battleship, flagship of the Great White Fleet and saw action during World War I

USS Connecticut (SSN-22) is the second Seawolf-class submarine currently in service

USS Prometheus (AR-3)

USS Prometheus (AR-3) was a repair ship that served the United States Navy during World War I and World War II. Named after Greek mythology figure Prometheus, she was originally laid down as a collier on 18 October 1907 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California; launched on 5 December 1908; and commissioned 15 January 1910 as USS Ontario (Fleet Collier No. 2).

United States Fleet Forces Command

The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to a wide variety of U.S. forces. The naval resources may be allocated to Combatant Commanders such as United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) under the authority of the Secretary of Defense. Originally formed as United States Atlantic Fleet (USLANTFLT) in 1906, it has been an integral part of the defense of the United States of America since the early 20th century. In 2002, the Fleet comprised over 118,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel serving on 186 ships and in 1,300 aircraft, with an area of responsibility ranging over most of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the waters of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Central and South America (as far west as the Galapagos Islands). The command is based at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia and is the navy's service component to U.S. Northern Command and is a supporting command under the U.S. Strategic Command.The command's mission is to organize, man, train, and equip Naval Forces for assignment to Unified Command Combatant commanders; to deter, detect, and defend against homeland maritime threats; and to articulate Fleet warfighting and readiness requirements to the Chief of Naval Operations.

United States Navy ships

The names of commissioned ships of the United States Navy all start with USS, for "United States Ship". Non-commissioned, primarily civilian-manned vessels of the U.S. Navy under the Military Sealift Command have names that begin with USNS, standing for "United States Naval Ship". A letter-based hull classification symbol is used to designate a vessel's type. The names of ships are selected by the Secretary of the Navy. The names are those of states, cities, towns, important persons, important locations, famous battles, fish, and ideals. Usually, different types of ships have names originated from different types of sources.

Modern aircraft carriers and submarines use nuclear reactors for power. See United States naval reactors for information on classification schemes and the history of nuclear-powered vessels.

Modern cruisers, destroyers and frigates are called surface combatants and act mainly as escorts for aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, auxiliaries and civilian craft, but the largest ones have gained a land attack role through the use of cruise missiles and a population defense role through missile defense.

See List of ships of the United States Navy for a more complete listing of ships past and present.

William R. Rush

William Rees Rush (1857–1940) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Spanish–American War, the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, and World War I, and was a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

Yates Stirling Jr.

Yates Stirling Jr. (April 30, 1872 – January 27, 1948) was a decorated and controversial rear admiral in the United States Navy whose 44-year career spanned from several years before the Spanish–American War to the mid-1930s. He was awarded the Navy Cross and French Legion of Honor for distinguished service during World War One. The elder son of Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, he was an outspoken advocate of American sea power as a strong deterrent to war and to protect and promote international commerce. During Stirling's naval career and following retirement, he was a frequent lecturer, newspaper columnist and author of numerous books and articles, including his memoirs, Sea Duty: The Memoirs of a Fighting Admiral, published in 1939. Describing himself, Stirling wrote, "All my life I have been called a stormy petrel. I have never hesitated to use the pen to reveal what I considered should be brought to public attention, usually within the Navy, but often to a wider public. I seem to see some benefits that have come through those efforts. I have always believed that a naval man is disloyal to his country if he does not reveal acts that are doing harm to his service and show, if he can, how to remedy the fault. An efficient Navy cannot be run with 'yes men' only."

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