USS Louisiana (BB-19)
|Career (United States)|
|Laid down:||7 February 1903|
|Launched:||27 August 1904|
|Commissioned:||2 June 1906|
|Decommissioned:||20 October 1920|
|Fate:||sold for scrap|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||Connecticut-class battleship|
|Displacement:||16,000 tons (14,500 tonnes)|
|Length:||454.3 ft (138.5 m)|
|Beam:||76.9 ft (23.4 m)|
|Draft:||24.5 ft (7.5 m)|
|Speed:||18 kn (21 mph; 33 km/h)|
|Complement:||827 officers and men|
Louisiana was laid down on 7 February 1903 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company of Newport News, Virginia; launched on 27 August 1904; sponsored by Miss Juanita LaLande and commissioned on 2 June 1906, Captain Albert R. Couden in command.
Pre-World War I
Following her shakedown off the New England coast, Louisiana sailed 15 September for Havana in response to an appeal by Cuban President Estrado Palma for US help in suppressing an insurrection. The new battleship carried a peace commission, composed of Secretary of War William Howard Taft and Assistant Secretary of State Robert Bacon, which arranged for a provisional government of the island. Louisiana stood by while this government was set up and then returned the commission to Fortress Monroe, Virginia.
Louisiana embarked President Theodore Roosevelt at Piney Point, Maryland on 8 November for a cruise to Panama to inspect work on the construction of the Panama Canal. Returning she briefly visited Puerto Rico, where the President studied the administration structure of the newly installed American colonial government there, before debarking him at Piney Point on 26 November.
In 1906–1907, Louisiana visited New Orleans, Havana, and Norfolk, Virginia; maneuvered out of Guantánamo Bay: and engaged in battle practice along the New England coast. On 16 December 1907, she departed Hampton Roads as one of the 16 battleships President Roosevelt sent on a voyage around the world. The cruise of the "Great White Fleet" deterred hostile actions toward the United States by other countries, primarily Japan; raised American prestige as a global naval power; and impressed upon Congress the importance of a strong Navy and a thriving merchant fleet. During the circumnavigation, Louisiana visited Port of Spain; Rio de Janeiro; Punta Arenas and Valparaíso, Chile; Callao, Peru; San Diego and San Francisco; Honolulu; Auckland; Sydney; Tokyo; Manila; Amoy, China; Hong Kong; Manila; Colombo; Suez Canal and Port Said; Smyrna; and Gibraltar before returning home on 22 February 1909.
After overhaul and maneuvers, Louisiana joined the 2nd Division of the Atlantic Fleet on 1 November 1910 and sailed for European waters to visit English and French ports before returning to the United States in the spring of 1911. During the summer, she paid formal visits to the north European ports of Copenhagen; Tralhafuet (Trälhavet), Sweden; Kronstadt, Russia; and Kiel, Germany, and was inspected by King Frederick VIII of Denmark, King Oscar II of Sweden, Kaiser William II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
From 6 July 1913 through 24 September 1915, Louisiana made three voyages from east coast ports to Mexican waters. Her first—from 6 July – 29 December 1913—had her standing by to protect American lives and property and to help enforce both the Monroe Doctrine and the arms embargo which had been established to discourage further revolutionary disturbances in Mexico. Her second voyage—from 14 April – 8 August 1914—came at a time when tension between Mexico and the United States was at its peak during the shelling and occupation of Veracruz. Louisiana sailed a third time for Mexican waters to protect American interests again from 17 August – 24 September 1915.
From May 1914 to June 1916 the ship was captained by George Franklin Cooper.
World War I
Returning from the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana was placed in reserve at Norfolk and, until the United States entered World War I, she served as a training ship for midshipmen and naval militiamen on summer cruises.
During the war, Louisiana was assigned as a gunnery and engineering training ship, cruising off the middle Atlantic coast until 25 September 1918. At that time she became one of the escorts for a convoy to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning on 24 December, she saw duty as a troop transport, making four voyages to Brest, France to carry troops back to the United States.
After the War
Following her final trip back from Brest, Louisiana reported to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she was decommissioned on 20 October 1920 and was sold for scrap 1 November 1923. The figurehead was preserved and is on display at City Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Chesneau, Koleśnik & Campbell 1979, p. 143.
- Alden, John D. (1989). American Steel Navy: A Photographic History of the U.S. Navy from the Introduction of the Steel Hull in 1883 to the Cruise of the Great White Fleet. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-248-6.
- Chesneau, Roger; Koleśnik, Eugène M.; Campbell, N.J.M. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5.
- Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Battleships, An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-715-1.
- Reilly, John C.; Scheina, Robert L. (1980). American Battleships 1886–1923: Predreadnought Design and Construction. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-524-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Louisiana (BB-19).|
- Maritimequest USS Louisiana BB-19 Photo Gallery
- The Figurehead of the Battleship Louisiana – Baton Rouge, LA