USS Minnesota (BB-22)

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This article is about the ship USS Minnesota. For the drug, see BB-22 (drug).
For other ships of the same name, see USS Minnesota.
USS Minnesota (BB-22).jpg
Minnesota in 1907
Career (United States)
Name: USS Minnesota
Namesake: State of Minnesota
Ordered: 3 March 1903
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Company
Laid down: 27 October 1903
Launched: 8 April 1905
Sponsored by: Rose Marie Schaller
Commissioned: 9 March 1907
Decommissioned: 1 December 1921
Struck: 10 November 1923
Fate: Broken Up for scrap at the Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard in 1924.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Connecticut-class battleship
Displacement: 16,000 long tons (16,000 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)
Propulsion: 12 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
16,500 ihp (12,300 kW)
Speed: 18 kn (21 mph; 33 km/h)
Complement: 827 officers and men
Armament:
Armor:
  • Belt: 6–11 in (152–279 mm)
  • Barbettes: 6–10 in (152–254 mm)
  • Turret Main: 8–12 in (203–305 mm)
  • Turret secondary: 7 in (178 mm)
  • Conning tower: 9 in (229 mm)

USS Minnesota (BB-22), a Connecticut-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy in honor of the 32nd state, and the 24th battleship of the US Navy (USS Maine was numbered in the armored cruiser sequence, and second-class battleship USS Texas was never numbered).

Minnesota was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia on 27 October 1903. She was launched on 8 April 1905 sponsored by Miss Rose Marie Schaller, daughter of Minnesota State Senator Schaller; and commissioned on 9 March 1907, Captain John Hubbard in command.

The 1855 USS Minnesota was a wooden steam frigate named after the Minnesota River as the state was not admitted to the Union until 1858.

Design[edit]

Line-drawing of the Connecticut class

Minnesota was 456.3 ft (139.1 m) long overall and had a beam of 76.9 ft (23.4 m) and a draft of 24.5 ft (7.5 m). She displaced 16,000 long tons (16,000 t) as designed and up to 17,666 long tons (17,949 t) at full load. The ship was powered by two-shaft triple-expansion steam engines rated at 16,500 indicated horsepower (12,300 kW) and twelve coal-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers, generating a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). As built, she was fitted with heavy military masts, but these were quickly replaced by lattice masts in 1909. She had a crew of 827 officers and men, though this increased to 881 and later to 896.[1]

The ship was armed with a main battery of four 12 inch /45 Mark 5[a] guns in two twin gun turrets on the centerline, one forward and aft. The secondary battery consisted of eight 8-inch (203 mm) /45 guns and twelve 7-inch (178 mm) /45 guns. The 8-inch guns were mounted in four twin turrets amidships and the 7-inch guns were placed in casemates in the hull. For close-range defense against torpedo boats, she carried twenty 3-inch /50 guns mounted in casemates along the side of the hull and twelve 3-pounder guns. She also carried four 37 mm (1.5 in) 1-pounder guns. As was standard for capital ships of the period, Minnesota carried four 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes, submerged in her hull on the broadside.[1]

Minnesota‍ '​s main armored belt was 11 in (279 mm) thick over the magazines and the machinery spaces and 6 in (152 mm) elsewhere. The main battery gun turrets had 12-inch (300 mm) thick faces, and the supporting barbettes had the 10 in (250 mm) of armor plating. The secondary turrets had 7 in (180 mm) of frontal armor. The conning tower had 9 in (230 mm) thick sides.[1]

Service history[edit]

Minnesota in June 1907

The keel for Minnesota was laid down at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia on 27 October 1903. The completed hull was launched on 8 April 1905; at the launching ceremony she was christened by Rose Marie Schaller, the daughter of a member of the Minnesota Senate. The ship was commissioned into the US Navy on 9 March 1907, with Captain John Hubbard as her first commanding officer. The ship then conducted a shakedown cruise off the coast of New England before attending the Jamestown Exposition, the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the Jamestown colony, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. She was present at the ceremony from 22 April to 3 September.[2]

On 16 December, Minnesota steamed out of Hampton Roads with the Great White Fleet for a circumnavigation of the globe. The cruise was intended as a show of force to Japan, the United States' rival in the Pacific, to assert the United States' status as a global naval power, and to convince Congress of the need to support increased naval expenditures.[2] The fleet cruised south to the Caribbean and then to South America, making stops in Port of Spain, Rio de Janiero, Punta Arenas, and Valparaíso, among other cities. After arriving in Mexico in March 1908, the fleet spent three weeks conducting gunnery practice[3] The fleet then resumed its voyage up the Pacific coast of the Americas, stopping in San Francisco and Seattle before crossing the Pacific to Australia, stopping in Hawaii on the way. Stops in the South Pacific included Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland. [4]

The fleet then turned north for the Philippines, stopping in Manila, before continuing on to Japan where a welcoming ceremony was held in Yokohama. Three weeks of exercises followed in Subic Bay in the Philippines in November. The ships passed Singapore on 6 December and entered the Indian Ocean; they coaled in Colombo before proceeding to the Suez Canal and coaling again at Port Said, Egypt. The fleet called in several Mediterranean ports before stopping in Gibraltar, where an international fleet of British, Russian, French, and Dutch warships greeted the Americans. The ships then crossed the Atlantic to return to Hampton Roads on 22 February 1909, having traveled 46,729 nautical miles (86,542 km; 53,775 mi). There, they conducted a naval review for President Theodore Roosevelt.[5]

Upon her return, Minnesota was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. She spent the following three years on the eastern coast of the United States conducting a peacetime routine of training cruises, apart from one voyage to the English Channel. Starting in 1912, the ship began to operate in the Caribbean, particularly after unrest began to break out in several countries in the region. For the first six months of 1912, she patrolled Cuban waters; she went to the US base at Guantanmo Bay to support the suppression of an insurrection on the island from 7 to 22 June. In mid 1913, she patrolled the eastern coast of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. She returned in 1914, with stints there from 26 January to 7 August and 11 October to 19 December. During the first period, the United States occupied Veracruz to protect US interests. In 1915, Minnesota returned to the United States and resumed her previous routine of training exercises with occasional cruises to the Caribbean. In November 1916, she was placed in reserve as the flagship of the Reserve Force, Atlantic Fleet.[2]

Minnesota at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, c. 1919

Minnesota returned to active service after the United States declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917, entering World War I. She was assigned to Division 4 of the Battleship Force, based at Tangier Sound in Chesapeake Bay. She spent the war as a training ship for gunners and engine room personnel. On 29 September 1918, while cruising off the east coast, she struck a naval mine that had been laid by the U-boat U-117, which inflicted serious damage but caused no casualties. Minnesota made it back to Philadelphia where repairs were effected. The work lasted for five months, by which time Germany had signed the Armistice that ended the war. On 11 March 1919, Minnesota returned to service with the Cruiser and Transport Force, making three trips to Brest, France to bring American soldiers back from the battlefields of Europe. In the course of the voyages, she brought back over 3,000 men; this duty ended on 23 July.[2]

The ship spent the next two years as a training ship for midshipmen from the US Naval Academy. She conducted two summer cruises in 1920 and 1921 before being decommissioned on 1 December 1921. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day and was sold for scrap on 23 January 1924. Minnesota was thereafter broken up for scrap at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.[2]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ /45 refers to the length of the gun in terms of calibers. A /45 gun is 45 times long as it is in bore diameter.

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d Gardiner, p. 143.
  2. ^ a b c d e DANFS Minnesota.
  3. ^ Albertson, pp. 41–46.
  4. ^ Albertson, pp. 47–56.
  5. ^ Albertson, pp. 57–66.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]