U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Michigan (BB 27)
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Displacement: 16,000 tons
Speed: 18.5 knots
Armament: Eight 12" guns; twenty-two 3" guns; 4 one-pounders; two .30-cal. machine guns; two 21" torpedo tubes
Class: South Carolina
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
The second Michigan (BB-27) was laid down 17 December 1906 by New York
Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.; launched 26 May 1908; sponsored by Mrs. F. W.
Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry; and commissioned 4
January 1910, Capt. N. R. Usher in command.
Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet Michigan conducted shakedown off the East Coast
and in the eastern Caribbean until 7 June 1910. Standing out of New York Harbor
29 July, the battlewagon then steamed along the New England and middle Atlantic
coasts on maneuvers. On 2 November she departed Boston, Mass., for a training
cruise to western Europe. After visiting Portland, England, she arrived
Cherbourg, France, 8 December. She sailed 30 December for the Caribbean, touched
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 10 January 1911, and reached Norfolk on the 14th.
Michigan operated along the Atlantic coast until standing out from the Virginia
Capes 15 November 1912 for a cruise to the Gulf of Mexico. After visiting
Pensacola, New Orleans, and Galveston, she arrived Vera Cruz, Mexico, 12
December. She headed for home 2 days later and reached Hampton Roads on the
20th. She operated along the east coast until departing Quincy, Mass. 6 July for
the Gulf coast of Mexico to protect American interests endangered by civil
strife in Mexico. The battleship anchored off Tampico on the 15th and remained
alert off the Mexican coast until sailing for New York 13 January 1914, reaching
Brooklyn Navy Yard on the 20th.
She began a run from Norfolk to Guacanayabo Bay, Cuba, 14 February and returned
to Hampton Roads 19 March. Underway again 16 April she joined American forces
upholding American honor at Vera Cruz. Reaching that troubled Mexican city 22
April 1914, she landed a battalion of Marines as part of the main occupation
force, then operated off the Mexican coast heading home 20 June and entered the
Delaware Capes on the 26th.
Michigan next put to sea 21 October 1914 and from that time until the eve of
America's entry into World War I, operated out of various ports on the eastern
seaboard. Assigned to Battleship Force 2, 6 April 1917, the warship escorted
convoys, trained recruits, and engaged in fleet maneuvers and battle practice.
On 15 January 1918, while steaming in formation with the fleet off Cape
Hatteras. Michigan's foremast buckled and was carried away over the port side as
the battlewagon lurched violently in the trough of a heavy sea. Six men were
killed and 13 injured, five seriously, in this accident. Michigan proceeded to
Norfolk where the next day she transferred her casualties to USS Solace (AH-5). On
the 22d she entered Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs. Early in April she
resumed operations off the east coast and trained gunners in Chesapeake Bay
until World War I ended.
Ordered to duty with the Cruiser and Transport Force in late December 1918, the
battleship made two voyages to Europe, 28 January to 3 March and 18 March to 26
April 1919, returning 1,052 troops to the United States.
Following overhaul at Philadelphia during May and June 1919, Michigan resumed
training exercises in the Atlantic until 6 August, when she was placed in
limited commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard. She next put to sea 19 May 1919,
sailing to Annapolis to embark midshipmen for a training cruise through the
Panama Canal to Honolulu, Hawaii, arriving 3 July. The cruise continued to major
West Coast naval bases and Guantanamo Bay before the battleship returned home 2
September. She returned to Philadelphia 5 September, and was placed in ordinary
until sailing 4 April 1921 for the Caribbean.
Returning Hampton Roads 23 April, she reached Annapolis 28 May to begin her
second midshipmen training cruise. She got underway 4 June for Europe, visiting
Christiana, Norway; Lisbon, Portugal; and Gibraltar, and returning via
Guantanamo to Hampton Roads 22 August. The veteran battleship put to sea 31
August 1921 to make her final cruise up the Delaware River to Philadelphia,
arriving 1 September.
Michigan decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 11
February 1922 and was stricken from the Navy list 10 November 1923. In
accordance with the treaty limiting naval armaments, she and four other
battleships were scrapped by the Philadelphia Navy Yard during 1924. Materials
from their hulls were sold to four different foundries.
Updated: 30 July 2009