Naval History and Heritage Command


USS Massachusetts (BB 2)

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USS Massachusetts (Battleship # 2, BB-2), 1896-1921, later renamed Coast Battleship # 2

USS Massachusetts, a 10,288-ton battleship of the Indiana class, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and commissioned in June 1896. Until 1898, she served along the U.S. east coast. The Spanish-American War took her to the West Indies, where she participated in blockade duty off Cienfuegos and Santiago, Cuba, and later operated off Puerto Rico.

After the war, Massachusetts was part of the North Atlantic Squadron. In 1910, she became a practice ship for the U.S. Naval Academy, and made two midshipmen cruises to Europe. During World War I, the old battleship supported gunnery training efforts off the east coast. She was renamed Coast Battleship # 2 and decommissioned in March 1919. In November 1920, she was struck from the Navy List and loaned to the War Department as a target. Sunk off Pensacola, Florida, in January 1921, her hulk remains there to this day.