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USS Massachusetts (BB-2)

Indiana-class battleship of the United States Navy / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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USS Massachusetts was an Indiana-class, pre-dreadnought battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of its time.[5] Authorized in 1890, and commissioned six years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. The ship class also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. She was designed for coastal defense and as a result, her decks were not safe from high waves on the open ocean.

Quick facts: History, , General characteristics [1][2][3],...
Massachusetts in 1901
NamesakeCommonwealth of Massachusetts
Ordered30 June 1890
BuilderWilliam Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laid down25 June 1891
Launched10 June 1893
Commissioned10 June 1896
Decommissioned8 January 1906
Recommissioned2 May 1910
Decommissioned23 May 1914
Recommissioned9 June 1917
RenamedCoast Battleship Number 2 29 March 1919
Decommissioned31 March 1919
Stricken22 November 1920
FateScuttled, 6 January 1921
General characteristics [1][2][3]
Class and typeIndiana-class pre-dreadnought battleship
Displacement10,288 long tons (10,453 t) standard
Length350 ft 11 in (107.0 m)
Beam69 ft 3 in (21.1 m)
Draft27 ft (8.2 m)
Installed power
Speed15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) (design)
Range4,900 nmi (9,100 km; 5,600 mi)[lower-alpha 1]
Complement473 officers and men
  • Belt: 18–8.5 in (457–216 mm)
  • 13" turrets: 15 in (381 mm)
  • Hull: 5 in (127 mm)
  • 8" turrets: 6 in (152 mm)
  • Conning Tower: 10 in (254 mm)
  • Deck: 3 in (76 mm)
USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
USS Massachusetts (BB-2) is located in Florida
USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
LocationEscambia County, Florida, US
Nearest cityPensacola, Florida, US
Coordinates30°17′49″N 87°18′41″W
Areac. 1 acre (0.40 ha)
NRHP reference No.01000528[4]
Added to NRHP31 May 2001

Massachusetts served in the Spanish–American War as part of the Flying Squadron and took part in the blockades of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. She missed the decisive Battle of Santiago de Cuba, after steaming to Guantánamo Bay, the night before to resupply coal. After the war she served with the North Atlantic Squadron, performing training maneuvers and gunnery practice. During this period she suffered an explosion in an 8-inch (203 mm) gun turret, killing nine, and ran aground twice, requiring several months of repair both times. She was decommissioned in 1906, for modernization.

Although considered obsolete in 1910, the battleship was recommissioned and used for annual cruises for midshipmen during the summers, and otherwise laid up in the reserve fleet, until her decommissioning in 1914. In 1917, she was recommissioned to serve as a training ship for gun crews during World War I. She was decommissioned for the final time in March 1919, under the name Coast Battleship Number 2 in anticipation that her name could be reused for USS Massachusetts (BB-54) (laid down April 1921). In 1921, she was scuttled in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico, off Pensacola, Florida, and used as a target for experimental artillery. The wreck was never scrapped, and in 1956, it was declared the property of the State of Florida. Since 1993, the wreck has been a Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve and it is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It serves as an artificial reef and diving spot.