Naval History USS Minnesota BB-22


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USS Minnesota BB-22

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Minnesota II
(BB-22 dp. 10,000; 1. 456'4"; b. 76'10"; dr. 24'6" (mean); s. 18 k.; cult S80; n. 4 12", 8 S", 12 7", 20 3",12 3-pdr.,4 21" tt.; cl. Connecticut)

The second Minnesota (BB-22) was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va., 27 October 1903; launched 8 April l905; sponsored by Miss Rose Marie Schaller; and commissioned 9 March 1907, Capt. J. Hubbard in command.

Following her shakedown off the New England coast, Minnesota was assigned to duty in connection with the Jamestown Exposition, Jamestown, Va., 22 April to 3 September 1907. On 16 December she departed Hampton Roads as one of the 16 battleships sent by President Theodore Roosevelt on a voyage around the world. The cruise of the "Great White Fleet," lasting until 22 February 1009, served as a deterrent to possible hostilities in the Pacific; raised American prestige as a global naval power; and, most importantly, impressed upon Congress the need for a strong navy and a thriving merchant fleet to keep pace with the United States' expanding international interests and her far flnug possessions.

Returning from her world cruise, Minnesota resulted operations with the Atlantic Fleet. During the next 3 years she operated primarily along the east coast, with one brief deployment to the English Channel. In l912, her employment schedule began to involve her more in interAmerican affairs. During the first half of that year she cruised in Cuban waters ans was stationed at Guantanamos Bay, 7 to 22 June, to support actions aimed at establishing order during the Cuban insurrection. The following spring and summer she cruised in Mexican waters. In 1914, she twice returned to Mexican waters (26 January to 7 August and 11 October to 19 December) as that country continued in the throes of political turmoil. In l915, she resulted east coast operations, with occasional cruises to the Caribbean area, which she continued until November l916 when she became flagship, Reserve Force, Atlantic Fleet.

On 6 April l917, as the United States entered World War I, Minnesota rejoined the active fleet at Tangler Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and was assigned to Division 4, Battleship Force. During World War I she was assigned as a gunuery and engineering training ship, cruising off tbe middle Atlantic seaboard until 27 September 1918. On that date, 20 miles from Fenwick Island Shoal Lightship (38°11' N.; 74°41' W.) she struck a mine, apparently laid by the German submarine U-117. Suffering serious damage to the starboard side, but with no loss of life, she managed to reach Philadelphia where she underwent 5 months of repairs. On 11 March 1919, she put back to sea as a unit of the Cruiser and Transport Force. Assigned to that force until 23 July, she completed three round trips to Brest, France, to return over 3,000 veterans to the United States.

Primarily employed thereafter as a training ship, Minnesota took midshipmen on two summer cruises (1920 and 1921) before decommissioned 1 December 1921. Struck from the Naval Register the same day, she was dismantled at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and on 23 January 1924 was sold for scrap.