Thursday, October 2, 2014

USS Nebraska - Only Battleship Built in Washington State

History Link

One hundred and ten years ago this week, on October 7, 1904, tens of thousands of people lined the Seattle waterfront and watched from boats on Elliott Bay as the hull of the USS Nebraska -- the only battleship ever built in Washington -- slid down the ways at the Moran Shipyard. Seattleites had more than enough reason to be proud of the vessel -- its construction was buoyed by $100,000 in community aid.

Five years earlier, Seattle shipbuilder -- and former mayor -- Robert Moran submitted the lowest bid to build one of three new battleships for the U.S. Navy, but at a cost that was $300,000 more than the government was willing to pay. Knowing how important the contract was to Seattle, Moran offered to cover two thirds of the overage himself, if local businesses and individuals could raise the other $100,000. That they did, without hesitation.

In 1907, after being fitted with turrets and armaments and undergoing sea trials, the ship was handed over to the navy at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. Joining the Great White Fleet in 1908, the warship returned to Seattle as part of Theodore Roosevelt's worldwide show of American naval power prior to the fleet's departure for the Far East. Afterward, the Nebraska was used for practice maneuvers and saw little action during World War I, serving mainly as a transport ship. The "Pride of Seattle" was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1923.

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