Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1917 U.S. Navy's Battleship Force

You might have noticed the picture in the background of this blog. This is a 1917 picture of one of the U.S. Navy's divisions in its "Battleship Force" in Hampton Roads. The lead ship at right is the battleship USS New York (BB-34). Other ships in the picture are believed to be USS Nevada (BB-36), USS Delaware (BB-28), USS Wyoming (BB-32), and USS Florida (BB-30). (USS Texas (BB-35) and USS Arkansas (BB-33) are other possibilities. Any help in identifying the vessels would be most appreciated.)

This battleship division was one of four such units in the U.S. Navy. These divisions made up the bulk of the Fleet's firepower and were the pride of the Navy. The ships rotated between Hampton Roads, New York, and various training grounds in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With the Navy considering a place for its first ever “Operating Base” in 1917, it was pictures like this that demonstrated why Hampton Roads was ultimately chosen. The harbor was able to handle several of the largest ships in the fleet with plenty of maneuvering room.

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