World Cruise of the "Great White Fleet"
December 1907 - February 1909
Ships



During the first leg of the voyage the Fleet included four divisions of four battleships each, six destroyers and five auxiliaries:
First Division (RAdm. R.D. Evans): Battleships Connecticut (Fleet and Division Flagship), Kansas, Vermont, Louisiana.
Second Division (RAdm. W.H. Emory): Battleships Georgia (Division Flagship), New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia.
Third Division (RAdm. C.M. Thomas): Battleships Minnesota (Division Flagship), Ohio, Missouri, Maine.
Fourth Division (RAdm. C.S. Sperry): Battleships Alabama (Division Flagship), Illinois, Kearsarge, Kentucky.
Torpedo Flotilla: Destroyers Whipple, Truxtun, Lawrence, Stewart, Hopkins, Hull, and the Auxiliary Arethusa.
Other Auxiliaries included: Store Ships Culgoa and Glacier; Repair Ship Panther and the dispatch vessel Yankton.

There were several changes after the Atlantic Fleet arrived on the U.S. West Coast. In addition to replacement of some of the commanders by other officers, two former Pacific Fleet battleships were substituted for the uneconomical steamers Maine and Alabama, the torpedo flotilla was detached, and a hospital ship added. The fleet's composition then became:
First Division (RAdm. C.S. Sperry): Battleships Connecticut (Fleet and Dvision Flagship), Kansas, Vermont, Minnesota.
Second Division (RAdm. R. Wainwright): Battleships Georgia (Division Flagship), Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island<.
Third Division (RAdm. W.H. Emory): Battleships Louisiana (Division Flagship), Virginia, Ohio, Missouri.
Fourth Division (RAdm. S. Schroeder): Battleships Wisconsin (Division Flagship), Illinois, Kearsarge, Kentucky
Auxiliaries: Store Ships Culgoa and Glacier; Repair Ship Panther, dispatch vessel Yankton and Hospital Ship Relief.

During the remainder of its Earth-circling voyage, Fleet organizational changes were relatively minor. Rear Admiral Schroeder replaced Rear Admiral Emory in command of the Third Division, and was in turn replaced by Rear Admiral W.P. Potter as commander of the Fourth Division. Store Ship Glacier was detached, as was the Hospital Ship Relief, whose ordeal in a western Pacific storm demonstrated her unseaworthiness. Battleships Maine and Alabama, whose excessive coal consumption had hindered the Fleet's movements during the Atlantic to Pacific phase of the cruise, steaed westward on an accelerated schedule, arriving back on the U.S. East Coast in October 1908.

On 17-21 February 1909, as the rest of the ships crossed the Atlantic en route home, they were rejoined by the Maine and several other warships, whose new-style grey paint contrasted with beautiful (but impractical) white and buff of the "Great White Fleet" battleships. The new arrivals included, in addition to Maine: battleships Mississippi, Idaho and New Hampshire; armored cruisers North Carolina and Montana; and scout cruisers Chester, Birmingham, and Salem. All of these ships had been completed 1n 1908.

This page features views of ships in formation at the time of, the "Great White Fleet" World cruise and links to the individual ships that participated in the cruise.

Iimages of ships taken during the World cruise, or probably taken at that time:



Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: NH 59537

U.S. Atlantic Fleet Battleships steaming in column


USS Connecticut (Battleship # 18), at right, leads Atlantic Fleet battleships, circa 1907-1908. She is followed by USS Kansas (Battleship # 21), in center, and USS Vermont (Battleship # 20), next astern of Kansas.
Panoramic photograph by C.E. Waterman, 215 55th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Note: Individual copies of this image bear conflicting identifications. One (written in pencil on its reverse side) states that the photograph shows the Fleet entering San Francisco Bay, California, on 6 May 1908. Another is captioned (printed in ink on the mounting mat): "The Atlantic Fleet standing into Hampton Roads at the conclusion of preliminary maneuvers, August 30th, 1907". Given the Waterman Family's long association with the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area, the latter identification may be more credible.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 169KB; 2000 x 640 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92091

U.S. Atlantic Fleet Battleships


Steaming in column, probably while departing Hampton Roads, Virginia, at the start of their cruise around the World, December 1907.
Photographed by C.E. Waterman, Hampton, Va.
USS Kansas (Battleship # 21) is at left, followed by USS Vermont (Battleship # 20).

Collection of Roy D. France.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 490 pixels

 

Note: for comments concerning alternative dates and locations for this photograph, see: Photo #: NH 59537 (NH 92091 is a cropped version of NH 59537).
Photo #: NH 100349

USS Connecticut
(Battleship # 18)

Leading the Atlantic Fleet's battleships out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, probably at the start of the "Great White Fleet" cruise around the World in December 1907.
Photo printed on a stereograph card, copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood.

Donation of Louis Smaus, 1985

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 85KB; 635 x 675 pixels

A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 100349-A

Online Image of stereo pair: 60KB; 675 x 350 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 78238

USS Connecticut
(Battleship # 18), at right

Leads the Atlantic Fleet out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, at the start of the "Great White Fleet" World cruise, December 1907.
Photographed by O.W. Waterman.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 111KB; 900 x 545 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 1572

"Great White Fleet" World Cruise
,
December 1907 -- February 1909

Atlantic Fleet battleships steaming out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, at the start of their World cruise, 16 December 1907.
The nearest ship is USS Maine (Battleship # 10). Next astern is USS Missouri (Battleship # 11).

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 126KB; 740 x 475 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 95513-KN (color)

"The Great White Fleet"

Painting by John Charles Roach, 1984, depicting U.S. Atlantic Fleet battleships steaming at sea during their 1907-1909 World cruise.

Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 83KB; 900 x 465 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 85216-KN (Color)

Great White Fleet at Sea, the Second Squadron, Dec. 1907

Painting by Henry Reuterdahl, depicting Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas on board USS Minnesota (Battleship # 22) during the Atlantic Fleet's cruise around the World. The artist has inscribed the work to Rear Admiral Thomas.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
Donation of Miss Ruth Thomas.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 115KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 105990

"Great White Fleet" World Cruise
,
December 1907 -- February 1909

Atlantic Fleet battleships steaming in parallel columns during their cruise around the World. Photographed from on board USS Georgia (Battleship # 15), looking forward from her midships port side.

Collection of Chief Quartermaster John Harold.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 470 pixels

 



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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