U.S. Navy Battleships - USS North Dakota (BB 29)
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Displacement: 20,000 tons
Speed: 21 knots
Armament: Ten 12" guns; fourteen 5" guns; four 3-pounders; two 21" torpedo tubes
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
North Dakota (BB-29) was laid down 16 December 1907 by Fore
River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 10 November
1908; sponsored by Miss Mary Benton; and commissioned at Boston
11 April 1910, Cmdr. Charles P. Plunkett in command.
In her first years North Dakota operated with the Atlantic Fleet
in maneuvers along the East Coast and in the Caribbean. She
sailed 2 November 1910 for her first Atlantic crossing, visiting
England and France prior to winter-spring maneuvers
in the Caribbean. In the summers of 1912 and 1913 she carried
Naval Academy midshipmen for training in New England waters, and
on 1 January 1913 she joined the honor escort for Natal as the
Brazilian ship entered New York harbor with the body of the late
Whitelaw Reid, United States Ambassador to Brazil.
As Mexican political disturbances strained relations with the
United States, North Dakota sailed for Vera Cruz, where she
arrived 26 April 1914, five days after American sailors had
occupied the city. She cruised the coast of Mexico to protect
Americans and their interests until a more stable government
took office, and returned to Norfolk 16 October. An even more
intensive program of training was taken up by the Atlantic Fleet
as war threatened, and North Dakota was in Chesapeake Bay for
gunnery drills when the United States entered World War I.
Throughout the war, North Dakota operated in the York River,
Va., and out of New York training gunners and engineers for the
expanding fleet. Then, on 13 November 1919, she stood out of
Norfolk to carry home the remains of the late Italian Ambassador
to the United States. While in the Mediterranean, she called at
Athens, Constantinople, Valencia, and Gibraltar before returning
to the Caribbean for the annual spring maneuvers.
In the summer of 1921, she took part in the Army-Navy bombing tests off the
Virginia Capes in which the German warships Frankfurt and
Ostfriesland were sunk to demonstrate the potentialities of
airpower. She interrupted fleet operations during the next two
summers to again cruise with midshipmen, contributing to the
future strength of the Navy by educating its officers-to-be. The
cruise of 1923 took her to Scandinavia, Scotland, and Spain.
North Dakota decommissioned at Norfolk 22 November 1923. Her
name was struck from the Navy List 7 January 1931, and she was
sold for scrapping 16 March 1931.
Updated: 30 July 2009