Skip to main content

USS Wyoming (BB 32)

Related Content
USS Wyoming (Battleship # 32, later BB-32 and AG-17), 1912-1947

USS Wyoming, lead ship of a class of two 26,000-ton battleships, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in September 1912, she operated along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean during her first year of service and made a brief deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in October-November 1913. The following year, Wyoming took part in the later stages of the Vera Cruz intervention. Her western Atlantic and Caribbean activities continued from then until well after the United States entered the First World War in April 1917. Late in that year, she crossed the Atlantic to join the Grand Fleet in the North Sea, where she was employed with the Sixth Battle Squadron until a month after the November 1918 Armstice ended the fighting.

During the first decade of the post-war era, Wyoming took part in the regular operations of the U.S. Navy's battleship fleet. She was in the Atlantic area until mid-1919, then went to the Pacific, where she remained for two years. In July 1920, she received the designation BB-32 and in early 1921 cruised south to visit Chile. She returned to the Atlantic in August 1921, but periodically transited the Panama Canal for Pacicific ocean exercises. Wyoming steamed to Europe on a midshipmen cruise in the summer of 1924. In 1927, she was modernized, exchanging her coal-fired boilers for new oil-burning types, losing her after "basket" mast and receiving improvements to protection, armament and machinery.

Under the terms of the 1930 London Treaty, Wyoming was "demilitarized" in early 1931, becoming a training ship, with the new hull number AG-17. With half of her twelve-inch guns removed, she served in that function for the rest of the decade, and beyond, making midshipmen cruises across the Atlantic on several occasions. She also took part in a number of amphibious landing exercises, providing experience that would be vital to the Navy and Marine Corps during the 1940s.

In November 1941, with formal U.S. participation in the Second World War clearly in the offing, Wyoming took on the mission of training thousands of sailors in the art and science of gunnery. Throughout the war, she operated in the Chesapeake Bay area, reportedly firing off more ammunition than any other U.S. Navy ship. Wyoming's remaining big guns were replaced with more five-inch and smaller weapons in early 1944, reflecting an increasing emphasis on anti-aircraft requirements. In July 1945 she became an experimental gunnery ship with what soon became the Operational Development Force, serving in that capacity until August 1947, when she decommissioned and handed the function over to USS Mississippi (AG-128). USS Wyoming was sold for scrapping in October 1947.