Tag Archive | USS Wyoming

A sub, a monitor and a destroyer walk into a (dry) bar in Philly, 93 years ago today

Here we see a vintage Prohibition-era gathering that shows the old 3,300-ton Arkansas-class monitor-turned submarine tender USS Cheyenne (IX-4) (ex-Wyoming BM-10), inboard at left with the early S-class submarine USS S-12 (SS-117), while outboard at left is the Clemson-class four-piper destroyer USS Dale (DD-290).

Destroyer Dale d-290at the Philadelphia shipyard June 14, 1926 academic ship Cheyenne former monitor and submarine S-22

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 55117

The display, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 14 June 1926, was during the National Sesquicentennial (150th) exhibit there. The small boat and Sailor, in the foreground, are on life-saving service to protect exhibit visitors.

All three of these vessels would go on to an extremely mixed bag of service.

The youngest of the trio is the submarine S-12, which joined the fleet scarcely three years before this meeting in Philly. After spending most of her active career in the Panama Canal Zone, she would return to the City of Brotherly Love to be decommissioned in 1936. After a stint on red lead row, she was returned to the fleet on the eve of World War II in 1940 to spend the conflict on patrol in the Carribean and Gulf of Mexico, thoroughly obsolete but good enough for limited service. She was decommissioned 18 May 1945 and sold to the Northern Metals Company of Philadelphia, for junk.

The next youngest of the bunch was Dale, commissioned only six years before this image was taken. She would be decommissioned 1 May 1930, just after her 10th birthday, and sold the following year to a concern that would use her as the banana boat MV Masaya operating for Standard Fruit out of New Orleans. She would go on to be used by the Army in WWII and was sunk off New Guinea in 1943.

As for Wyoming/Cheyenne, the California-built monitor, with her twin 12″/50cal guns and up to 11-inches of armor, had been decommissioned two weeks before the photo was snapped, towed there in January 1926 from Norfolk by the minesweeper USS Owl. She would remain in PNSY until 1937 when she was stricken from the Naval List and sold to the breakers in 1939, her Spanish-American War period steel no doubt being recycled into material to help forge the Arsenal of Democracy.

Go for a ride on a Boomer

The Navy just released this really great 11-minute doc about life aboard the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) as she takes part in a regularly-scheduled patrol in the Atlantic Ocean. Entitled “On Our Depth One-Six-Zero Feet” it is sure to become a classic in future generations and is notably devoid of rah-rah-rah, simply giving the viewer a “fly on the wall” experience.

Commissioned in 1996, the motto of the Kings Bay-based Trident slinger is Cedant Arma Toga, “Force must yield to law”

Warship Wednesday Mar. 22, 2017: The Cowboy Monitor

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday Mar. 22, 2017: The Cowboy Monitor

NH 99353-KN

Here we see the Arkansas-class monitor USS Wyoming (Monitor # 10) on a postal card published by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco, California, featuring a tinted photograph of the vessel taken in her prime, circa 1902-1908. It should be noted that Wyoming was the last seagoing monitor ordered for the U.S. Navy, ending a string of vessels that began in 1861.

John Ericsson’s steam-powered low freeboard ironclad, USS Monitor, with her “cheesebox on a raft” rotating turret design in the early days of the Civil War, led to an entire fleet of river, harbor, coastal and seagoing takes on the same concept that saw some 60~ monitors take to the builders’ yards (though not all were completed) by 1866.

By 1874, ostensibly as part of the “great repairs” the Navy ordered the first “modern” monitor, USS Puritan (M-1), a 6,000-ton beast with a quartet of 12‑inch guns and 14-inches of armor that acquitted herself in service during the Spanish-American War– though she was obsolete at the time.

Puritan shelling Matanzas on the 27 April 1898. She would remain in the fleet until 1922 in one form or another.

However, the Navy still piled on the monitor bandwagon, completing four vessels of the Amphitrite-class, the one-off USS Monterey, and (wait for it) the four-ship swan song of the type: USS Arkansas (M-7), Connecticut/Nevada (M-8), Florida (M-9), and our hero, Wyoming (M-10).

These craft were 255-feet overall and weighed 3,350-tons full load but drew a gentle 12.5-feet of seawater. Armed with a single Mark 4 turret with a dual mounting of 12″/40 caliber Mark 3 guns along with four 4″ singles and some 6-pounders, they were slathered in as much as 11-inches of Harvey steel armor. Four boilers, when new, could push the ships’ steam plant to make these hogs touch 13-kts on trials, which was good for 1898. Not great, but good.

Each of the class was laid down at approximately the same time (the Span-Am War was on at the time and ships were needed, dammit), but in different yards. Arkansas at Newport News, Nevada at Bath in Maine, Florida at Crescent Shipyard, Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Wyoming— the only one on the West Coast– at Union Iron Works, San Francisco. Though technically Nevada was commissioned (as Connecticut at first) on 5 March 1903, Wyoming was the last of the class ordered and was accepted months before, entering service on 8 December 1902.

Her total cost, $1,624,270.59– some $500,000 more than Arkansas yet $200,000 under the price paid for Connecticut/Nevada.

Panoramic view of shipways and outfitting area, 1900. USS Wisconsin (Battleship # 9) is fitting out at left. Ships on the ways are (from left to right): USS Paul Jones (Destroyer # 10); USS Perry (Destroyer # 11); USS Wyoming (Monitor # 10); USS Ohio (Battleship # 12); and the S.S. Californian. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1971. The original print is in the Union Iron Works scrapbook, Volume II, page 157. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 75110 Click to big up

This is not a ship you want to speed in! (Monitor # 10) Making 12.4 knots during trials, off San Francisco, California, in October 1902. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1971. The original print is in the Union Iron Works scrapbook, Volume II, page 166. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 75118

(Monitor # 10) Making 12.4 knots during trials, near San Francisco, California, in October 1902. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1971. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 75117

(Monitor # 10) View on board, looking forward, showing water coming over her bow while she was running trials off San Francisco, California, in October 1902. Note the ship’s twelve-inch gun turret at right. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1971. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 75119

She was a handsome if dated, ship.

(Monitor # 10) Moored off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 12 February 1903. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 43870

(Monitor # 10) Moored off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, in February 1903. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 44264

In October 1903 after her shakedown, Wyoming was dispatched to Panamanian waters along with the cruiser Boston, where she landed a few Marines to look after Washington’s interests.

Panama at the time was part of Colombia though separatists, eager to restart the failed French canal effort with U.S. help, wanted to change that. With Wyoming on hand to provide literal gunboat diplomacy of the Teddy Roosevelt era, on November 13 the U.S formally recognized the Republic of Panama and told Colombia about it later. As the biggest Colombian Navy ship in Panama’s Pacific waters was the 600-ton gunboat Bogota (one 14-pounder gun, eight 6-pounders), which the Wyoming vastly outmuscled, the Colombians agreed.

Meanwhile, the gunboat USS Nashville (PG-7), operating on the Carribean coast of Panama, prevented the Colombians in Colon from using the railway to reinforce their forces there, leaving them in an untenable situation. The new Republic of Panama gave the U.S. control of the Canal Zone on 23 February 1904, for $10 million in accordance with the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty.

From DANFS on her Panamanian Vacation:

The monitor accordingly arrived in Panamanian waters on 13 November (1903) and sailed up the Tuira River in company with the protected cruiser Boston, with a company of Marines under Lt. S. A. M. Patterson, USMC, and Lt. C. B. Taylor, USMC, embarked, to land at “Yariza” and observe the movements of Colombian troops.

The presence of American armed might there and elsewhere ultimately resulted in independence for the Panamanians. During that time, Wyoming anchored at the Bay of San Miguel on 15 December. The following day, a boat with 11 Marines embarked left for the port of La Palma, under sail. While Boston departed the scene on the 17th, Wyoming shifted to La Palma on the following day. There, Lt. Patterson, USMC, with a detachment of 25 Marines, commandeered the steamer Tuira and took her upriver. While the Marines were gone, a party of evacuated American nationals came out to the monitor in her gig.

Meanwhile, Patterson’s Marines had joined the ship’s landing force at the village of Real to keep an eye on American interests there. Back at La Palma, Wyoming continued to take on board American nationals fleeing from the troubled land and kept up a steady stream of supplies to her landing party of Bluejackets and Marines at Real. Ultimately, when the need for them had passed, the landing party returned to the ship on Christmas Eve.

Wyoming remained in Panamanian waters into the spring of 1904 keeping a figurative eye on local conditions before she departed Panama Bay on 19 April, bound for Acapulco.

After this, Wyoming returned to quiet service off the West Coast and in 1908 was converted from being coal-fired to using oil fuel– the first ship to do so in the fleet.

In 1909, her name was stripped from her to be given to a new battleship and she was dubbed USS Cheyenne. Likewise, at about the same time Arkansas switched her name to USS Ozark, Nevada— renamed for the second time in a decade– to USS Tonopah, and Florida to USS Tallahassee.

By 1910, Wyoming/Cheyenne was on the reserve list and being used by the Washington Naval Militia off Bremerton until late 1913.

USS Cheyenne (Monitor # 10) Moored off Bremerton, Washington, while serving as a training ship for the Washington State Naval Militia, circa 1910-1913. The original is a screened sepia-toned image, printed on a postal card. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 55116-KN

Brought back into regular fleet service, Cheyenne was used as a submarine tender for the 2d SUB Div in Puget Sound, Mare Island, San Francisco, and San Pedro between August 1913-April 1917, only interrupting them for two trips down to rowdy Mexico, then involved in a civil war, to evacuate U.S and foreign nationals trapped in the volatile region.

When the U.S. entered the Great War in April 1917, our rough and ready West Coast monitor continued her service until late in the war she was ordered to the Atlantic for the first time in her service. There, Cheyenne served as a tender for submarines operating in the Gulf of Mexico area, and for nine months in 1919 was again active off Mexico, resting with her quiet guns in Tampico harbor.

(Monitor # 10) With a submarine alongside, circa 1918-1919. The submarine is probably one of the Division 3 boats tended by Cheyenne: K-3, K-4, K-7 or K-8. Location may be Key West, Florida. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 45436

In 1920, Cheyenne was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, then used as a pierside training hulk in Baltimore for Fifth Naval District Naval Reserve Force members until 1926, carrying the hull number IX-4 on the Naval List before she was mothballed at Philadelphia. She was sold for scrapping in April 1939.

Cheyenne (IX-4), inboard at left; S-12 (SS-117), outboard at left; and Dale (DD-290) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 14 June 1926, during the National Sesquicentennial exhibit there. The small boat and Sailor, in the foreground, are on life-saving service to protect exhibit visitors. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 55117. Collection of Vice Admiral Dixwell Ketcham, USN.

As such, she was the last monitor on the U.S. Navy’s battle line, surviving all her sisters and cousins by more than 15 years.

Specs:


Displacement:
3,225 long tons (3,277 t) (standard)
3,356 long tons (3,410 t) (full load)
Length:
255 feet 1 inch (77.75 m) (overall)
252 ft. (77 m) (waterline)
Beam: 50 ft. (15 m)
Draft: 12 ft. 6 in (3.81 m) (mean)
Installed power:
4 × Thornycroft boilers
2,400 indicated horsepower (1,800 kW)
1,739 ihp (1,297 kW) (on trials)
Propulsion:
2 × Vertical triple expansion engines
2 × screw propellers
Speed:
12.5 knots (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph) (design)
12.03 kn (22.28 km/h; 13.84 mph) (on trial)
Complement: 13 officers 209 men
Armament:
2 × 12 in (305 mm)/40 caliber breech-loading rifles (1×2)
4 × 4 in (102 mm)/40 cal guns (4×1)
3 × 6-pounder 57 mm (2.2 in) guns
Armor:
Harvey armor
Side belt: 11–5 in (280–130 mm)
Barbette: 11–9 in (280–230 mm)
Gun turret: 10–9 in (250–230 mm)
Deck: 1.5 in (38 mm)
Conning tower: 8 in (200 mm)

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Warship Wednesday December 18th The Big WY

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week.– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, December 18th The Big WY

Wyomingabout to sail in under the manhattan-bridge, New York City, 1912.
Here we see one of the best of Uncle Sam’s early dreadnought-style battleships at play. We present to you the USS Wyoming BB-32.

The ship was named not only for the State, but for two previous USS Wyoming, the first a screw sloop of war that fought in the Civil War, the second for an Arkansas-class monitor turned submarine tender (BM-10) that was renamed USS Cheyenne, 8 October 1908 so that the battleship could assume the more regal state name.

uss_wyoming_2lo

Laid down at William Cramp and Sons in Philadelphia in February 1910, Wyoming was just the 7th American Dreadnought, but when compared to the previous Florida-, Delaware-, and South Carolina-class ships built between 1906-1911, she was far superior. With a full load of 27,243 long tons and a 562-foot overall length, she could make an impressive 21-knots on her 12 coal-fired boilers pushed by a quartet of direct-drive steam turbines. Capable of steaming 8000 miles without refueling, she had long legs for the time. A dozen 12″/50 caliber Mark 7 guns (305 mm) in six twin turrets coupled with a secondary battery of no less than 21 5-inchers gave her a punch that rivaled any battleship afloat in Europe while her 9-12 inches of armor plate in important areas meant she could take the punishment if needed. Overall, Wyoming, when completed in 1912 she was the best ship in the Navy and comparable to any battlewagon in the world.

us battleships firing 1913 wyoming

Built in just 16-months, Wyoming immediately became the flagship of the US Atlantic Fleet. As such she spent several years steaming in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Mexican waters. She intervened in Mexico in 1914 and in Haiti in 1916 exercising the best in gunboat diplomacy.

signal turret wyoming

When WWI came to the US, she spent several months training new gunners mates and sailors in the comparatively safe waters of Chesapeake Bay before heading to Europe. Since the British could not support the newer oil-fueled US ships like the USS Pennsylvania, Wyoming, since she was one of the last coal-fired battleships in the Navy appealed the British. In November 1917, Battleship Division 9 (BatDiv 9), made up of the Wyoming, USS New York, USS Delaware, and USS Florida, departed the U.S., bound for Europe. BatDiv 9 was to reinforce the British Grand Fleet at its base in Scapa Flow, becoming the 6th Battle Squadron of the RN’s Grand Fleet. It seemed the King forgave the colonials for that whole 1776 thing.

Note the early model WWI era lattice masts and clock

Note the early model WWI era lattice masts and clock

Wyoming escorted convoys and attended to the surrender of the Kaiser’s High Seas Fleet at Scapa before serving as the flagship for Admiral Sims. She returned home after the war and spent the next decade in routine fleet operations.

This rare oil painting by American artist Burnell Poole, “The 6th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet Leaving the Firth of Forth”, is one of less than two dozen paintings owned by the Navy that depicts U.S. naval operations in World War One (WWI). After years of being considered a total loss by Navy Art Gallery curators, it has been restored to near perfect condition. The entire process took several months, but the result is the total recovery of a painting that is sure to establish Burnell Poole’s name among the best marine painters of the early 20th century. The composition of the ships of the 6th Battle Squadron during their operational history, appearing in the painting in no particular order were: Delaware (BB-28), Florida (BB-30),Wyoming (BB-32), Arkansas (BB-33), New York (BB-34), Texas (BB-35), & Arizona (BB-39).

By 1931, the ship was on the chopping block. The Navy had newer and more modern vessels than the old, coal-fired Wyoming. With the limitations of the looming London Naval Treaty and all the allowed battleships spaced being taken by newer ships made after Wyoming, the ship’s days were numbered. Instead of being scrapped, she was allowed to be retained as a disarmed training ship.
Half her 12-inch turrets were removed as well as most of her 5-inch guns (they were often too wet to work anyway) and she was reclassified as Auxiliary Gunnery Training Ship #17 (AG-17) in August 1931. For the next decade, she spent most of her time conducting Annapolis Midshipman cruises, NROTC cruises and other training evolutions around the world. She showed the flag from Germany to Panama to Gibraltar and Egypt.

wyo1919
When World War Two started, the ship was thirty years old, had a cranky engineering suite rated for 16-knots, and only half the armament of any other battleship in the world. Not being able to fight toe to toe in a modern naval engagement, she continued to serve as a gunnery training ship. Bristling with AAA guns ranging from 5″/38s to 40mm to 20mm OKs to 12.7mm M2’s, she wandered around the live fire areas off Norfolk throughout WWII.

There is a battleship under there somewhere

There is a battleship under there somewhere. Note all but two 12-inch turrets have been removed and the rear mast completely altered. Her second funnel has been removed.

This earned her the nickname of the “Chesapeake Raider” while she trained over 35,000 new gunners and consumed more ammunition than any other ship in the fleet during WWII– although none of it at enemy targets. However, if it wasn’t for the old Wyoming, there would have been more lives lost to kamikazes in the Pacific without a doubt. To help pull this off, her remaining 12-inch guns were removed in 1944, going to replace elements on battleships serving in the fleet.

Note by this time the last two of her 12-inch mounts had been removed

Note by this time the last two of her 12-inch mounts had been removed, but the old WWI lattice mast is still seen forward. At just 560-odd feet, by 1940s standards she was the size of a very large cruiser rather than a battleship of the time.

USS Wyoming clearly showing her conversion to an AA training ship. Over 35,000 men trained on her.

One of the last officers assigned to the ship at the tail end of the war was Ensign Jimmy Carter, who later transferred to subs and ran for President. Finally, just shy of 35 years of continuous service, the USS Wyoming (BB-32/AG-17) was decommissioned 1 August 1947. Like so many historic ships of her era, she was sold for scrap shortly after. Her only sister ship, USS Arkansas (BB-33), did not outlive her, being crushed in the underwater nuclear test BAKER at Bikini Atoll in June 1946.

Steaming proud on her direct-drive steam plant, at the time the last in the navy. Of course, loosing 7,000 tons in armor, 12-inch guns, and shells can do that for a lady

Steaming proud on her direct-drive steam plant, at the time the last in the navy. Of course, losing 7,000 tons in armor, 12-inch guns, and shells can do that for a lady. By this time her masts had been totally stepped.

The US Naval Museum stores the original BB-32’s Bell and her silver service was presented back to the State of Wyoming in 1978.

013222

She is also remembered in maritime art.

Dreadnought Battleship U.S.S. Wyoming of 1911 – Anton Otto Fischer

The legacy of the USS Wyoming was picked up by the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN-742) in 1996 after spending nearly fifty years absent from the Naval List.

Specs

bb-32-uss-wyoming-1912

Note the clean lines as commissioned in 1912.

After 1944 refit, she was a completely different ship.

After 1944 refit, she was a completely different ship.

Displacement:

Design: 26,000 long tons (26,420 t)
Full load: 27,243 long tons (27,680 t)
WWII- 20,000-tons due to reduced armor

Length:     562 ft (171 m)
Beam:     93 ft 2 in (28.40 m)
Draft:     28 ft 7 in (8.71 m)
Propulsion:     12 Babcock and Wilcox coal-fired boilers with oil spray, 4-shaft direct-drive steam turbines, 28,000 shp
Speed:     21 knots (39 km/h)
Range:     5,190 nautical miles (9,610 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h) and 2,760 nautical miles (5,110 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h), 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Coal: 1,667 tons Oil: 266 tons
Complement:     1,063 officers and men
Armament:

As built:
12 × 12 inch/50 caliber (305 mm) guns (reduced to 6 by 1931, removed by 1944)
21 × 5 inch/51 caliber guns (127 mm) (reduced to 16 in 1919, all but 4 later removed by 1940)
2 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes (decommissioned 1931)

After 1940 she carried an increasingly varied and constantly changing series of AAA weapons ranging from 5″ to .12.7mm were fitted to the ship as her role in gunnery training. After 1944 refit her last armament of 40+ weapons was truly bizarre for a 1912-designed battleship. It consisted of eight 5″/38 caliber guns, six of which are in twin mountings such as found on cruisers, carriers, and battleships, and two in Mk30 single enclosed base ring mounts common to destroyers and tenders. Then there were four older (original issue) single-mounted 5″/51 caliber guns of the type found on armed merchants and naval auxiliaries mounted on the ship’s port side. A quartet of 3″ deck guns of the type used by submarines and small frigates graced her starboard. For 40mm Bofors, the ship had a dozen in one quad, three twins, and two single mounts. Then came no less than a dozen 20mm Oerlikons (in some 8 double and some in single) mounts as well as fifty cal and thirty cal Brownings, small arms, etc.

Armor:

Belt: 9–11 in (229–279 mm)
Lower casemate: 9–11 in (229–279 mm)
Upper casemate: 6.5 in (165 mm)
Barbettes:11 in (279 mm)
Turret face: 12 in (305 mm)
Conning tower: 11.5 in (292 mm)
(Note, torpedo blisters and side armor removed after 1931)

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