U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Louisiana (BB 19)
Displacement: 16,000 tons
Speed: 18 knots
Armament: Four 12" guns; eight 8" guns; twelve 7" guns; twenty 3" guns; twelve 3-pounders; two 1-pounders; 4 .30-cal Gatlin guns; four 21" torpedo tubes
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
The third Louisiana (BB-19) was laid down 7 February 1903 by the Newport News
Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched 27 August 1904;
sponsored by Miss Juanita LaLande, and commissioned 2 June 1906, Capt. Albert R.
Couden in command.
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
American help in suppressing an insurrection. The new battleship carried a peace
commission, comprised of Secretary of War William H. 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, Va.
Louisiana embarked President Theodore Roosevelt at Piney Point, Md., 5 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
administrative structure of the Commonwealth's government, before debarking him
at Piney Point 26 November.
During 1906 and 1907, Louisiana visited New Orleans, Havana, and Norfolk;
maneuvered out of Guantanamo 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 Theodore 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; Junta Arenas and Valparalso, Chile; Callao, Peru; San
Diego and San Francisco; Honolulu; Auckland; Sydney; Tokyo; Manila; Amey, China;
Hong Kong; Manila; Columbo; Suez and Port Said; Smyrna; and Gibraltar before
returning home 22 February 1909.
After overhaul and maneuvers, Louisiana joined the 2d Division of the Atlantic
Fleet 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, Sweden; Kronstadt, Finland; and Kiel, Germany, and was inspected by
the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, the Kaiser, and the Czar.
Between 6 July 1913 and 24 September 1915 Louisiana made three voyages from east
coast ports to Mexican waters. On the first (6 July to 29 December 1913), she
stood 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 (14 April to 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 Vera Cruz. Louisiana
sailed a third time for Mexican waters to protect American interests again from
17 August to 24 September 1915.
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 World War I, 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. Beginning 24
December, she saw duty as a troop transport, making four voyages to Brest,
France, to carry troops back to the United States.
Following her final trip back from Brest, Louisiana reported to the Philadelphia
Navy Yard, where she decommissioned 20 October 1920 and was sold for scrap 1
Updated: 29 July 2009