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The Voyage of a Lifetime

First Leg: December 16, 1907 – May 6, 1908
Hampton Roads, Virginia – San Francisco, California (14,556 miles)

The Great White Fleet's arrival at San Francisco allowed President Roosevelt to demonstrate the fleet's ability to "reach the Pacific in fit condition to engage an enemy as well as bolster the security of the West Coast" (The World Cruise of the Great White Fleet, 2).

Read Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas' diary from the first leg

NH 106179: Sailors of the Great White Fleet at a parade in San Francisco.

NH 106179-KN. Sailors of the Great White Fleet at a parade in San Francisco. Postcard published by H.H. Stratton, courtesy of Mrs. Ruth Mayfield, U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Download image.

 

Second Leg: July 7, 1908 – November 7, 1908
San Francisco, California – Manila, Philippine Islands (16,336 miles)

Relations between United States and Japan improved as a result of the good conduct of the enlisted Sailors and the diplomatic skills of the officers and fleet commanders during their visit to Japan. Their efforts also contributed to further development of friendly relations between United States and Australia.  

NH 1567: The fleet visits Yokohama, Japan.

NH 1567. The fleet visits Yokohama, Japan. Collection of Lieutenant Commander Richard Wainwright, USN; U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Download image.

 

Third Leg: December 1, 1908 – February 22, 1909
Manila, Philippine Islands – Hampton Roads, Virginia (12,455 miles)

Though the peacetime cruise did not test the performance of the battleships in combat, the successful return to Hampton Roads proved the fleet's ability to cruise substantial distances without major mechanical problems. The experience also helped the Navy identify certain needed improvements to ship design. 

NH 1836: President Theodore Roosevelt addresses Sailors at the end of the fleet's voyage.

NH 1836. President Theodore Roosevelt addresses Sailors at the end of the fleet's voyage. Collection of Lieutenant Commander Richard Wainwright, USN; U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Download image.

Published:Tue Nov 28 07:44:33 EST 2017