Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ship's Plans-USS Electrican, 1917

Shown here is a building plan from the museum's collection.  It appears to be the Navy's newest battleship, ready to be built at a big shipyard like Newport News Shipbuilding rd.  The plans are indeed for a battleship.  This one, however, would never touch the water. 

When the Navy started Naval Operating Base Hampton Roads in 1917, the Department already began shifting the way sailors trained.  As ships became more complex, there was a need to train sailors first on shore in their respective rates before sending out to the Fleet.  To make new sailors into electricians, the Navy constructed a wooden battleship at NOB Hampton Roads. 

Christened the USS Electrician, the battleship had class rooms inside for basic instruction.   It also had all the bells, whistles, circuits, and wires of a Pennsylvania-class battleship (the newest battleship at the time), to give sailors accurately apply what they learned.   Go here to see what Electrician looked once the Navy finished building it.

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