Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Ohio III (Battleship No. 12)

1904-1922

Ohio was admitted to the Union on 1 March 1803, as the 17th state.

III

(Battleship No. 12: displacement 12,723; length 393'10"; beam 72'3"; draft 23'10"; speed 18 knots; complement 561; armament 4 12-inch, 16 6-inch, 6 3-inch, 8 3-pounders, 6 1-pounders, 2 .30 cal. machine guns; class Maine)

The third Ohio (Battleship No. 12) was laid down on 22 April 1899 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif.; launched on 18 May 1901. sponsored by Miss Helen Deschler; and commissioned on 4 October 1904, Capt. Leavitt C. Logan in command.

Designated flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, Ohio departed San Francisco on 1 April 1905 for Manila, Philippines, where she embarked the party of Secretary of War William H. Taft, which included Alice Roosevelt, the President's daughter. She conducted this party on much of its Far Eastern tour of inspection, and continued the cruise in Japanese, Chinese, and Philippine waters until returning to the United States in 1907.

Ohio sailed out of Hampton Roads, Va., on 16 December 1907 with the battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. Guns crashed a salute to President Theodore Roosevelt while he reviewed the Great White Fleet as it began the cruise around the world.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans, and later, Rear Adm. Charles S. Sperry, the fleet made calls on the east and west coasts of South America, rounding the Horn in between, en route to San Francisco. On 7 July 1908, Ohio and her sisters shaped their course west to the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. On each visit the American ships were welcomed with great enthusiasm, but none of their ports of call received them with such enthusiastic friendliness as Tōkyō, Japan, where they anchored on 18 October. The fleet's presence in Japanese waters, symbolized both American friendship and strength, and helped to ease dangerously strained relations between the two countries.

The fleet put in at Xiamen (Amoy), China, returned to Yokohama, held target practice in the Philippines, and made for home on 1 December. After steaming through the Suez Canal on 4 January 1909, the ships made Mediterranean calls, before anchoring in Hampton Roads on 22 February.

Ohio sailed on to New York, her home port for the next four years during duty training men of the New York Naval Militia and performing general service with the Atlantic Fleet.

In 1914 she sailed to the Gulf of Mexico to join in the patrol off Vera Cruz, protecting U.S. interests endangered by Mexican political turmoil. Ohio returned north in the summer for a Naval Academy midshipmen cruise, then joined the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, Pa., recommissioning for each of the next two summers' midshipmen cruises, 1915 and 1916.

Soon after the United States entered World War I, Ohio recommissioned on 24 April 1917. Throughout the war, she operated out of Norfolk, training crews for the expanding fleet, taking part in battleship maneuvers. She arrived at Philadelphia on 28 November 1918; was placed in reserve there on 7 January 1919; reclassified to BB-12 on 17 July 1920; decommissioned and stricken on 31 May 1922; and sold for scrapping on 24 March 1923.

A fourth Ohio (BB-68) was authorized on 19 July 1940, and her construction assigned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Construction was cancelled on 21 July 1943.

Updated and expanded by Mark L. Evans

24 June 2015

Published: Mon Aug 17 11:41:32 EDT 2015