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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-52047-KN: USS Kentucky (BB 6)

USS Kentucky (BB 6)

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USS Kentucky (Battleship # 6, BB-6), 1900-1924

USS Kentucky, a 11,520-ton Kearsarge class battleship, was built at Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned in May 1900. Her first active service was on the Asiatic Station between October 1900 and May 1904, transiting between the United States and the Far East via the Suez Canal at both ends of that deployment. Kentucky operated along the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean area from 1905 to late 1907. She then participated in the "Great White Fleet" cruise around the World, visiting South America, the U.S. west coast, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China, Ceylon and the Mediterranean before returning to Hampton Roads, Virginia, in February 1909.

Kentucky was out of commission between August 1909 and June 1912, during which time she was modernized, receiving two of the new "cage" masts. She was again inactive in 1913-15, then operated in the western Atlantic and Caribbean areas until the U.S. entered the First World War. During that conflict, Kentucky served as a training ship in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast. With the return of peace, she briefly remained in service, making a Naval Academy Midshipmen's cruise to Panama in mid-1919. USS Kentucky decommissioned in May 1920 and was sold for scrapping in January 1924.