USS Missouri (BB-11)
USS Missouri (BB-11)
Missouri was laid down on 7 February 1900 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 28 December 1901 sponsored by Mrs. Edson Galludet, daughter of United States Senator Francis Marion Cockrell of Missouri, and commissioned on 1 December 1903, Captain William S. Cowles in command.
Missouri lying at anchor
Pre-World War I
Assigned to the North Atlantic Fleet, Missouri left Norfolk, Virginia on 4 February 1904 for trials off the Virginia Capes and fleet operations in the Caribbean Sea. On 13 April, during target practice, a flareback from the port gun in her after turret ignited a powder charge and set off two others. No explosion occurred but the rapid burning of the powder suffocated 36 of the crew. Prompt action prevented the loss of the warship and three of her crew earned Medals of Honor for extraordinary heroism. After repairs at Newport News, Missouri sailed on 9 June for duty in the Mediterranean Sea from which she returned to New York on 17 December.
Fleet operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean during the next years were highlighted by her relief to earthquake victims at Kingston, Jamaica from 17–19 January 1907. In April, she took part in the Jamestown Exposition.
With the “Great White Fleet“, Missouri sailed from Hampton Roads on 16 December 1907, passing in review before President Theodore Roosevelt at the beginning of a world cruise, which was to show the world that American naval might could penetrate any waters. Calling at ports in the Caribbean and along the east coast of South America, the fleet rounded Cape Horn to call in Peru and Mexico before arriving at San Francisco, California on 6 May 1908 for a gala visit. In July, the fleet turned west for Honolulu, Hawaii, thence to New Zealand and Australia, arriving in Manila on 2 October. The most tumultuous welcome yet came in Yokohama, Japan, and with a call in Amoy, China, the fleet began the passage home by way of Ceylon, Suez, and ports in the eastern Mediterranean. Departing Gibraltar on 6 February 1909, the fleet was again reviewed by President Roosevelt upon its triumphant return to Hampton Roads on 22 February.
*** Four ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Missouri in honor of the state of Missouri:
- USS Missouri (1841), a sidewheel frigate launched in 1841 and destroyed by fire in August 1843
- USS Missouri (BB-11), a Maine class battleship in service from 1900 to 1922.
- USS Missouri (BB-63), an Iowa class battleship in service from 1944 to 1998; site of the official Japanese surrender of World War II; decommissioned in 1998; now a floating war memorial at Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- USS Missouri (SSN-780), a Virginia class submarine commissioned in 2010
- See also
- SS Missouri, several merchant ships with this name
For other ships of the same name, see USS Missouri