Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-101072
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USS Vermont (BB 20)

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USS Vermont (Battleship # 20, later BB-20), 1907-1923

USS Vermont, a 16,000-ton Connecticut class battleship, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts. Commissioned in March 1907, she spent most of the rest of that year on trials, "shake down" operations and fleet maneuvers. With other Atlantic Fleet battleships, she left Hampton Roads, Virginia, in December 1907 to begin the era's most important demonstration of Naval mobility, the World cruise of the "Great White Fleet". Over the next fifteen months, Vermont steamed around South America to the U.S. west coast, crossed the Pacific and Indian Oceans, transited the Suez Canal and returned to Hampton Roads via the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.


Modernized after this trip, Vermont received two "cage" masts and other new features. After completion of this work in June 1909, she spent most of the following eight years taking part in fleet operations along the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean. In 1910-11 and again in 1913, the battleship crossed the Atlantic to visit European ports. She also participated in the Vera Cruz intervention during April-October 1914 and supported U.S. Marines in Haiti in 1916-17.


During the U.S. involvement in the First World War that began in April 1917 and lasted until the Armistice of 11 November 1918, Vermont mainly served on training duties in Chesapeake Bay and off the Atlantic coast. In June and July 1918, she also performed a diplomatic mission, transporting the body of the late Chilean Ambassador to his homeland for burial. Starting in January 1919, Vermont made four trans-Atlantic round-trip voyages as a troop transport, bringing about 5000 U.S. servicemen back to the U.S. from France. In July 1919, she transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet. After nearly a year of operations along the west coast, USS Vermont was decommissioned in June 1920. Though reclassified as BB-20 soon thereafter, she saw no further active service and was sold for scrapping in November 1923.