U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Florida (BB 30)
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Displacement: 21,825 tons
Speed: 21 knots
Armament: Ten 12" guns; sixteen 5" guns; two 21" torpedo tubes
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
The fifth Florida (BB-30) was launched 12 May 1910 by New York
Navy Yard, sponsored by Miss E. D. Fleming, daughter of a former
Florida governor; and commissioned 15 September 1911, Captain H.
S. Knapp in command.
After extensive training in the Caribbean and Maine coastal
waters, Florida arrived in Hampton Roads, Va., 29 March 1912 to
join the Atlantic Fleet as flagship of Division 1. Regularly
scheduled exercises, maneuvers, fleet training and target
practice, and midshipmen training cruises took the new
battleship to many east coast ports and into Caribbean waters.
Early in 1914 tension heightened between the United States and
factions in Mexico and Florida arrived off Vera Cruz on 16
February remaining there during the ensuing occupation. She
steamed to New York in July to resume regular Fleet operations
and in October was transferred to Division 2.
Following United States entry into World War I, Florida
completed exercises in the Chesapeake Bay and proceeded with
Battleship Division 9 to join the British Grand Fleet at Scapa
Flow, Orkney Islands, on 7 December 1917. She participated in
the Grand Fleet's maneuvers and evolutions, and performed convoy
duty with the 6th Battle Squadron through the remainder of the
war. She rendezvoused with the Grand Fleet on 20 November 1918
when it met to escort the German High Seas Fleet into the Firth
Florida joined the escort for USS George Washington, President
Woodrow Wilson embarked, as she proceeded into Brest, France, on
12 and 13 December 1918. She participated in the grand Victory
Naval Review in the North River, New York City, in late December
and then returned to Norfolk 4 January 1919 to resume peace time
operations. During May she cruised to the Azores and took
weather observations for the first aerial crossing of the
Atlantic achieved that month by Navy seaplanes.
Florida's operations during the remaining years of her career
were highlighted by participation in the tercentenary
celebration in August 1920 of the Pilgrims' landing at
Provincetown, Mass., a diplomatic voyage to South American and
Caribbean ports with Secretary of State R. Lansing embarked,
service as flagship for Commander, Control Force, U.S. Fleet,
amphibious operations with Marines in the Caribbean, and
midshipman training cruises. She was decommissioned at
Philadelphia 16 February 1931 and scrapped under the terms of
the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
Updated: 30 July 2009