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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command


USS Missouri (BB 11)

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USS Missouri (BB-11), 1903-1922

USS Missouri, a 13,500 ton Maine class battleship, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in December 1903, she initially served off the U.S. coast. On 13 April 1904, an accident in Missouri's after twelve-inch gun turret took the lives of 36 of her crew. Three others were awarded Medals of Honor for heroism during this tragedy. Following repairs, the battleship operated in the Mediterranean Sea, off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean. In December 1907 to February 1909, she participated in the cruise around the World of the "Great White Fleet".

Upon her return from that long voyage, Missouri was modernized. Her operations after 1909 were generally in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, but she made a training cruise to Europe in 1914 and steamed through the Panama Canal to the Pacific in 1915. During World War I, Missouri served as a training ship in the Chesapeake Bay area. Her final duties, in 1919, included four voyages to Europe to bring U.S. servicemen home. USS Missouri was decommissioned in September 1919 and sold for scrapping in January 1922.