World War I
Although the United States entered World War I relatively late in the war, U.S. shipyards met the demand for the construction of ships that quickly needed to be built for the war and troop transportation. Joining the Allied navies, the U.S. Navy engaged German submarines, U-boats, in the Atlantic, off the coasts of England, France, Ireland, Spain, in the Mediterranean, and off the eastern coast of the United States. Besides these warships, the Navy utilized submarine chasers and submarines to thwart the enemy. The Navy also protected the Atlantic Convoys and the transportation of President Woodrow Wilson and dignitaries for conferences and The Versailles Peace Treaty. As the war progressed, the Navy contributed 14-inch railway guns. We invite our visitors to sit in one of the railway cars at Willard Park, across from the museum.
Interesting artifacts in the World War I exhibit include:
- U.S. Navy 5"/51 caliber gun, utilized for U-boat engagements.
- Three pounder Mark 15 slide gun.
- SMS Prinz Eitel Friedrich life ring, detailing Allied ships sunk from 1914-15. Seized by the U.S. Government, the transport was renamed USS DeKalb
- Maps and graphs for Atlantic Convoys that carried American Expeditionary Forces after U.S. entry into the war until Armistice
- Graphs for engagements with German ships and U-boats, including a painting of the capture of U-58 by Edward F. Simmons, 1921
- Moored contact mine, Mk.6, used during the North Sea Barrage of the North Atlantic.
- Reproduction of the painting of USS Koningin Der Nederladen by Worden Wood.
- Reproduction of the painting "Return of the Mayflower" by Bernard F. Gribble
- Sketches of aircraft and foreign aircraft used by the U.S. Navy in France
- Naval Aviator documents/wings/Ensign shoulder boards for Robert S. Watson
- Bombsight for the Mk. 1A used on bomber aircraft during the war
- Map of U.S. Naval Air Stations in Europe
- Propellor of a H-16 aircraft.
- Y-Gun depth charge projector. To view, click here.
- Painting of Vice Admiral William S. Sims by E. Hodgson Smart
- Uniforms and weaponary used by U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines
- U.S. Naval Railway Gun model.
- Silver Tray presented to Samuel N. Vauclain on the Railway Guns
- Ship's clock from the patrol vessel, converted yacht, USS Corsair
- Newspaper clippings announcing Armistice and operations at U.S. Naval Air Station, Paulliac, France
- Bell from the battleship, USS Wyoming (Battleship #32).
Ship Models in the U.S. Navy and World War I exhibit area: