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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command


USS Nebraska (BB 14)

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USS Nebraska (Battleship # 14, later BB-14), 1907-1923

USS Nebraska, a 14,948-ton Virginia class battleship, was built at Seattle, Washington, the last U.S. Navy battleship to be built by a West Coast shipyard for over a decade. Commissioned in July 1907, she performed her initial service in the eastern Pacific and joined the Atlantic Fleet's battle force in May 1908 upon its arrival in California waters after its long voyage around South America. Nebraska accompanied this "Great White Fleet" on the remainder of its World cruise, visiting ports in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan and Ceylon before passing through the Suez Canal and transiting the Mediterranean Sea en route back to the United States.

After her arrival on the U.S. East Coast in February 1909, Nebraska was refitted, receiving a new "cage" foremast and other alterations. A second "cage" mast was installed in 1910. The battleship took a regular part in Atlantic Fleet activities over the next seven years, among them operations off Mexico in 1914 and 1916. When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Nebraska began active wartime service. Though she mainly performed training duty, she also cruised extensively in the conflict's last half-year. During May-July 1918, she made a voyage to South America to return the body of Uruguay's late Ambassador to his homeland. From September to November 1918, Nebraska helped to escort convoys bound across the Atlantic to the Europe.

In late December 1918, with peace restored, Nebraska began a troop transport assignment, part of the great effort to bring U.S. servicemen home from France. This important work ended in June 1919, and the ship transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet shortly thereafter. She remained in the Pacific until decommissioned in early July 1920, receiving the hull number BB-14 at about that time. USS Nebraska was sold for scrapping in November 1923.