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USS Ohio (BB-12)

USS Ohio (BB-12), a Maine-class pre-Dreadnought battleship[?], was the third ship of the United States Navy named for the 17th state.

Her keel was laid down 22 April 1899 by Union Iron Works[?], San Francisco, California. She was launched 18 May 1901 sponsored by Miss Helen Deschler, and commissioned 4 October 1904 with Captain Leavitt C. Logan in command.

Designated flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, Ohio departed San Francisco 1 April 1905 for Manila, where she embarked the party of then Secretary of War William Howard Taft, which included Miss Alice Roosevelt, the President's daughter. She conducted this party on much of its Far Eastern tour of inspection, and continued the cruise in Japanese, Chinese, and Philippine waters until returning to the United States in 1907. Also aboard for this cruise as Midshipman -- later to receive promotion to Fleet Admiral -- Chester Nimitz.

Ohio sailed out of Hampton Roads on 16 December 1907 with the battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. Guns crashed a salute to President Theodore Roosevelt while he reviewed the Great White Fleet as it began the cruise around the world which, perhaps more than any other event, marked the emergence of the United States as a major world power.

Commanded by Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, and later, Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry, the fleet made calls on the east and west coasts of South America, rounding the Horn in between, en route to San Francisco. On 7 July 1908, Ohio and her sisters shaped their course west to Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia. On each visit the American ships were welcomed with great enthusiasm but none of their ports of call received them with such enthusiastic friendliness as Tokyo, Japan, where they anchored 18 October. The fleet's presence in Japan symbolized both American friendship and strength and helped to ease dangerously strained relations between the two countries.

The fleet put in at Amoy, returned to Yokohama, held target practice in the Philippines and was homeward-bound 1 December. After steaming through the Suez Canal 4 January 1909, the fleet made Mediterranean calls, before anchoring in Hampton Roads February 22.

Ohio sailed on to New York, her home port for the next four years during duty training men of the New York Naval Militia and performing general service with the Atlantic Fleet.

In 1914 she sailed to the Gulf of Mexico to join in the patrol off Veracruz, protecting American interests endangered by Mexican political turmoil. Ohio returned north in the summer for a United States Naval Academy midshipmen cruise, then joined the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, recommissioning for each of the next two summers' midshipmen cruises, 1915 and 1916.

Soon after the United States entered World War I Ohio recommissioned on 24 April 1917. Throughout the war, she operated out of Norfolk, training crews for the expanding fleet, taking part in battleship maneuvers. She arrived at Philadelphia 28 November 1918; was placed in reserve there 7 January 1919; decommissioned 31 May 1922; and was sold for scrapping 24 March 1923.

General Characteristics

  • Displacement: 12,723 tons
  • Length: 393'10"
  • Beam: 72'3"
  • Draft: 23'10"
  • Speed: 18 knots
  • Complement: 561 men
  • Armament: four 12-inch guns, 16 six-inch guns, six three-inch guns, eight three-pounders, six one-pounders, two .30-caliber machine guns

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