U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Delaware (BB 28)
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Displacement: 20,380 tons
Speed: 21 knots
Armament: Ten 12" guns; fourteen 5" guns; two 21" torpedo tubes
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
The sixth Delaware (BB-28) was launched 6 February 1909 by
Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by
Mrs. A. P. Cahall, niece of the Governor of Delaware; and
commissioned 4 April 1910, Captain C. A. Gove in command.
After visiting Wilmington, Del., from 3 to 9 October 1910, to
receive a gift of a silver service from the state, Delaware
sailed from Hampton Roads 1 November with the First Division,
Atlantic Fleet, to visit Weymouth, England, and Cherbourg,
France, and after battle practice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
returned to Norfolk 18 January 1911. She departed 31 January to
carry the remains of Chilean Minister Cruz to Valparaiso,
sailing by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Punta Arenas,
Chile. Returning to New York 5 May, she sailed 4 June for
Portsmouth, England, where from 19 to 28 June she took part in
the fleet review accompanying the coronation of King George V.
In her operations with the Fleet from 1912 to 1917, Delaware
joined in exercises, drills, and torpedo practice at Rockport
and Provincetown, Mass.; engaged in special experimental firing
and target practice at Lynnhaven Roads; trained in Cuban waters
participating in fleet exercises; and provided summer training
for midshipmen. She passed before President Taft and the
Secretary of the Navy in the Naval Review of 14 October 1912 and
the next year visited Villefranche, France, while on a cruise
with battleships USS Wyoming
(BB-32) and USS Utah (BB-31). In 1914 and
again in 1915 she cruised off Vera Cruz to protect American
lives and property during the political disturbances in Mexico.
With the outbreak of World War I in Europe, Delaware returned to
Hampton Roads from winter maneuvers in the Caribbean to train
armed guard crews and engineers, as well as join in exercises to
ready the Fleet for war. On 25 November 1917 she sailed from
Lynnhaven Roads with Division 9, bound for Scapa Flow, Scotland.
After battling bad weather in the North Atlantic, she joined the
6th Battle Squadron, British Grand Fleet 14 December for
exercises to coordinate the operations of the Allied force.
The 6th Battle Squadron got underway 6 February 1918 with an
escort of eight British destroyers to convoy a large group of
merchant ships to Norway. Cruising off Stavanger two days later,
Delaware was attacked twice by a submarine, but each time
skillful handling enabled the battleship to evade the torpedoes.
The squadron returned to its home base at Scapa Flow, 10
Delaware participated in two more convoy voyages in
March and April, then sailed with the Grand Fleet on 24 April 1918 to
reinforce the 2d Battle Cruiser Squadron which was on convoy
duty and expected contact with the enemy. Only the vessels of
the advance screen made any contact, and the chance for action
From 30 June to 2 July 1918 the 6th Battle Squadron, with a
division of British destroyers as escort, went to sea to screen
American ships laying the North Sea mine barrage. On 22 July
George V. inspected the ships of the Grand Fleet at Rosyth,
Scotland, and eight days later, after being relieved by USS Arkansas (BB-33),
Delaware sailed for Hampton Roads, arriving 12 August.
Delaware remained at York River until 12 November 1918, then
sailed to Boston Navy Yard for an overhaul. On 11 March 1919 she
joined the Fleet in Cuban waters for exercises. Returning to New
York 14 April she continued to operate in division, squadron and
fleet maneuvers, and participated in the Presidential Fleet
Review at Hampton Roads 28 April 1921. She made two midshipmen
practice cruises, one to Colon, Martinique, and other ports in
the Caribbean, and to Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 5 June and
31 August 1922; and a second to Europe, visiting Copenhagen,
Greenock, Cadiz, and Gibraltar between 9 July and 29 August
Delaware entered Norfolk Navy Yard 30 August 1923, and her crew
was transferred to Colorado (BB-45), a newly commissioned
battleship assigned to replace Delaware in the Fleet. Moving to
Boston Navy Yard in September, she was stripped of warlike
equipment and decommissioned 10 November 1923.
Delaware was sold
5 February 1924 and scrapped in accordance with the Washington
Treaty on the limitation of armaments.
Updated: 30 July 2009