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19-N-11305: USS Maine (BB 10)

USS Maine (BB 10)

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USS Maine (Battleship # 10, later BB-10), 1902-1922

USS Maine, first of a class of three 12,500-ton battleships, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in late December 1902, she was in the Atlantic for the next five years. During this time she made one cruise to the Mediterranean Sea, but primarily served off the U.S. East Coast and in the Caribbean area. In December 1907, Maine left Norfolk, Virginia, with fifteen other Atlantic Fleet battleships to begin a cruise around the World. Steaming by way of the Strait of Magellan, near the southern tip of South America, she arrived in California in the Spring of 1908. Due to her extraordinarily heavy coal consumption, she was then detached from the "Great White Fleet"'s main body. In June 1908 Maine proceeded, in company with USS Alabama (Battleship # 8), on a separate route that took them across the Pacific to the Philippines, then to the Mediterranean Sea via Singapore, Ceylon, Aden and the Suez Canal. The two ships returned to the U.S. East Coast in October 1908.

In the years following her World cruise, Maine was modernized, receiving new "cage" masts and other alterations that greatly changed her appearance. She alternated between reserve and active status, operating with the rest of the Atlantic Fleet's battleships in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. During World War I she was employed as a training ship in U.S. waters and many of her smaller guns were removed to arm other ships. USS Maine was decommissioned in mid-May 1920. A few months later, when the U.S. Navy formally adopted the hull number system for its ships, she was classified as BB-10. The ship saw no further commissioned service and was sold for scrapping in January 1922.