Guacanayabo Bay

USS Michigan (BB-27)

USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state. Her keel was laid down 17 December 1906 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey. She was launched on 26 May 1908 sponsored by Mrs F. W. Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry, and commissioned on 4 January 1910 with Captain N. R. Usher in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Michigan conducted shakedown off the East Coast and in the eastern Caribbean Sea until 7 June 1910. Standing out of New York Harbor on 29 July, the battlewagon then steamed along the New England and Middle Atlantic coasts on maneuvers. On 2 November she departed Boston, Massachusetts, for a training cruise to western Europe. After visiting the Isle of Portland in England, she arrived Cherbourg, France, on 8 December. She sailed on 30 December for the Caribbean, touched Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 10 January 1911, and reached Norfolk, Virginia, on 14 January.

Michigan operated along the Atlantic Coast until standing out from the Virginia Capes on 15 November 1912 for a cruise to the Gulf of Mexico. After visiting Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas, she arrived Veracruz, Mexico, on 12 December. She headed for home two days later, and reached Hampton Roads on 20 December. She operated along the East Coast until departing Quincy, Massachusetts on 6 July for the Gulf coast of Mexico to protect American interests endangered by civil strife in Mexico. The battleship anchored off Tampico on 15 July, and remained alert off the Mexican coast until sailing for New York City on 13 January 1914, reaching Brooklyn Navy Yard on 20 January.

She began a run from Norfolk to Guacanayabo Bay, Cuba, on 14 February, and returned to Hampton Roads 19 March. Underway again 16 April she joined American forces at Veracruz. Reaching that troubled Mexican city 22 April, she landed a battalion of Marines as part of the main occupation force, then operated off the Mexican coast, heading home 20 June and entered the Delaware Capes on 16 April.

Michigan next put to sea 11 October 1914 and from that time until the eve of America's entry into World War I, operated out of various ports on the Eastern Seaboard. Assigned to Battleship Force 2, on 6 April 1917, the warship escorted convoys, trained recruits, and engaged in fleet maneuvers and battle practice. On 15 January 1918, while steaming in formation with the fleet off Cape Hatteras, Michigan's foremast buckled and was carried away over the port side as the battlewagon lurched violently in the trough of a heavy sea. Six men were killed and 13 injured, five seriously, in this accident. Michigan proceeded to Norfolk where the next day she transferred her casualties to Solace. On 22 January she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs. Early in April, she resumed operations off the East Coast and trained gunners in Chesapeake Bay until World War I ended.

Ordered to duty with the Cruiser and Transport Force in late December 1918, the battleship made two voyages to Europe, 18 January to 3 March, and 18 March to 16 April 1919, returning 1,052 troops to the United States.

Following overhaul at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during May and June, Michigan resumed training exercises in the Atlantic until 6 August, when she was placed in limited commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard. She next put to sea on 19 May 1919, sailing to Annapolis, Maryland, to embark midshipmen for a training cruise through the Panama Canal to Honolulu, Hawaii, arriving there on 3 July. The cruise continued to major West Coast naval bases and Guantanamo Bay before the battleship returned home in September. She returned to Philadelphia 5 September, and was placed in ordinary until sailing on 4 April 1921 for the Caribbean. Returning to Hampton Roads on 23 April, she reached Annapolis on 18 May to begin her second midshipmen training cruise. She got underway on 4 June for Europe, visiting Kristiania, Norway; Lisbon, Portugal; and Gibraltar; and returning via Guantanamo to Hampton Roads on 11 August. The veteran battleship put to sea on 31 August to make her final cruise up the Delaware River to Philadelphia, arriving on 1 September. Michigan de-commissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 11 February 1922 and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 10 November 1923. In accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty limiting naval armaments, she and four other battleships were scrapped by the Philadelphia Navy Yard during 1924. Materials from their hulls were sold to four different foundries.


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