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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-73911: USS Georgia (BB 15)

USS Georgia (BB 15)

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USS Georgia (Battleship # 15, later BB-15), 1906-1923

USS Georgia, a 14,948-ton Virginia class battleship built at Bath, Maine, was commissioned in September 1906. She soon became a unit of the Atlantic Fleet, participating in routine operations and, in June 1907, in the Jamestown Exposition's naval review. The following month, while engaged in gunnery exercises, she suffered a turret accident that took the lives of ten of her crew. In December 1907, Georgia left Hampton Roads, Virginia, with other Atlantic Fleet battleships to begin the World cruise of the "Great White Fleet". She visited ports in the West Indies, South America, Mexico, the U.S. west coast, the western Pacific, Asia and the Mediterranean before returning to Hampton Roads in February 1909.

Georgia was updated after this voyage, receiving many improvements, including "cage" masts in place of her original "military" models. Her normal Atlantic Fleet activities were punctuated by a trans-Atlantic trip to Europe in 1910-11, a Naval Academy training cruise in mid-1913 and intervention operations in troubled Mexico and Haiti in 1914. While out of commission in 1916-17, Georgia served as receiving ship at Boston, Massachusetts.

Recommissioned in April 1917, Georgia was employed on training duties during most of the First World War, shifting to convoy escort missions in September 1918. Late in the year, she began six months' of transport service, bringing almost 6000 U.S. servicemen home from France in five voyages. In July 1919, the battleship transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet. She was placed out of commission at Mare Island, California, in June 1920. Receiving the hull number BB-15 later in that month, Georgia remained inactive until November 1923, when she was sold for scrapping.