USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
|USS Massachusetts (BB-2) as painted by Antonio Jacobsen|
USS Massachusetts (BB-2) as painted by Antonio Jacobsen
|Career (United States)||100x35px|
|Laid down:||25 June 1891|
|Launched:||10 June 1893|
|Commissioned:||10 June 1896|
|Decommissioned:||31 March 1919|
|Fate:||Bombing target; artificial reef|
|Displacement:||10,288 tons (9,333 tonnes)|
|Length:||350.9 ft (107.0 m)|
|Beam:||69.3 ft (21.1 m)|
|Draft:||24 ft (7.3 m)|
|Speed:||16.21 kn (30.02 km/h; 18.65 mph)|
|Complement:||586 officers and men|
|Armament:||4 × 13 in (330 mm)/35 cal guns, 8 × 8 in (200 mm)/35 cal guns, 4 × 6 in (150 mm)/40 cal guns, 2 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal guns, 20 × 6-pounders, 6 × 1-pounders, 6 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes|
Massachusetts was laid down on 25 June 1891 by William Cramp and Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was launched on 10 June 1893, sponsored by Miss Leila Herbert, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Hilary Herbert, and commissioned on 10 June 1896, Captain Frederick Rodgers in command.
Pre-Spanish American War
Underway for shakedown on 4 August 1896, Massachusetts conducted trials and maneuvers off the middle Atlantic coast until 30 November, when she entered New York Navy Yard for overhaul. Following a brief voyage to Charleston, South Carolina from 12-20 February 1897, the battleship departed New York on 26 May for Boston, Massachusetts, arriving two days later for a celebration in her honor, including the presentation of the Massachusetts Coat of Arms on 16 June, and a gift of a statue of victory the next day.
She departed Boston on 19 June to cruise to St. Johns, Newfoundland, arriving on 23 June. Sailing on 28 June the warship operated off the Atlantic coast for the next 10 months, participating in training maneuvers with the North Atlantic Squadron off Florida, and making calls at major east coast ports. On 27 March 1898, she was ordered to Hampton Roads to join the "Flying Squadron" for the blockade of Cuba.
Massachusetts departed Norfolk, Virginia on 13 May for Cienfuegos, Cuba, where she took up blockade duties on 22 May. On the afternoon of 31 May, in company with Iowa and New Orleans, she bombarded the forts at the entrance to Santiago de Cuba, and exchanged fire with Cristobal Colon, forcing the enemy ship to retire into the inner harbor of Santiago. The battleship remained on patrol off Santiago, intermittently bombarding Spanish fortifications until 3 July, when she stood out to coal at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Missing the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, the battleship steamed back to her station on 4 July, arriving in time to help Texas force cruiser Reina Mercedes to beach and surrender at midnight on 6 July. Following duty in support of the American occupation of Puerto Rico from 21 July-1 August, Massachusetts steamed for home, arriving New York on 20 August.
During the next seven years, Massachusetts cruised the Atlantic coast and eastern Caribbean as a member of the North Atlantic Squadron. From 27 May-30 August 1904, the warship served as a training ship for United States Naval Academy midshipmen off New England and then entered New York Yard for overhaul. Departing New York on 13 January 1905, the battlewagon then steamed for the Caribbean on training maneuvers, operating there until she returned north to cruise off New England in May. Putting into New York on 12 November, she underwent inactivation overhaul and then decommissioned on 8 January 1906.
Massachusetts was placed in reduced commission on 2 May 1910 to serve as a summer practice ship for Naval Academy midshipmen. During the next four years, she made three midshipman cruises - two to Western Europe - before entering the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in September 1912. Following a brief voyage to New York from 5-16 October for the Presidential Fleet Review, the warship returned to Philadelphia, where she remained until decommissioning on 23 May 1914.
World War I
Massachusetts recommissioned on 9 June 1917 at Philadelphia. Sailing on 9 October, she arrived at the Naval Training Station at Newport, Rhode Island on the 15th, where she embarked Naval Reserve gun crews for gunnery training in Block Island Sound. Continuing on this duty until 27 May 1918, the old battleship then underwent repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Assigned to battle practice, "A" Division, Battleship Force 1, Atlantic Fleet on 9 June 1918, the veteran battlewagon steamed to Yorktown, Virginia, the same day, and for the remainder of World War I served as a heavy gun target practice ship in Chesapeake Bay and local Atlantic waters. Massachusetts returned to Philadelphia on 16 February 1919. Redesignated "Coast Battleship No. 2", 28 March, the warship decommissioned for the final time on the 31st.
She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 22 November 1920, and loaned to the War Department as a target ship. Scuttled off Pensacola Bay, Florida on 6 January 1921, the hulk was bombarded by batteries from Fort Pickens for four years and then returned to the Navy on 20 February 1925. Though offered for sale for scrap, no acceptable bids were received, and finally, on 15 November 1956, the ship was declared the property of the state of Florida. In 1993, the site became the fourth Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve, designed to become an artificial reef. 
- Alden, John D. American Steel Navy: A Photographic History of the U.S. Navy from the Introduction of the Steel Hull in 1883 to the Cruise of the Great White Fleet. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989. ISBN 0870212486
- Friedman, Norman. U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870217151
- Reilly, John C. and Robert L. Scheina. American Battleships 1996-1923: Predreadnought Design and Construction. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1980. ISBN 0870215248
- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER USS Massachusetts (Battleship # 2, BB-2), 1896-1921, later renamed Coast Battleship # 2
- Maritimequest USS Massachusetts BB-2 Photo Gallery
- NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive BB-2 USS MASSACHUSETTS 1891 - 1906
- Museums in the Sea USS Massachusetts