USS Michigan (BB-27)

Photograph of the Battleship USS Michigan - NARA - 19-N-13573.jpg
USS Michigan (BB-27) in 1912
History
United States
Name:Michigan
Namesake:State of Michigan
Builder:New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down:17 December 1906
Launched:26 May 1908
Sponsored by:F. W. Brooks
Commissioned:4 January 1910
Decommissioned:11 February 1922
Struck:10 November 1923
Identification:Hull symbol: BB-27
Fate:Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and type:South Carolina-class battleship
Displacement:
  • 16,000 long tons (16,257 t) (standard)
  • 17,617 long tons (17,900 t) (full load)
Length:
Beam:80 ft 3 in (24 m)
Draft:24 ft 6 in (7 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed:18.5 kn (21 mph; 34 km/h)
Range:6,950 nmi (7,998 mi; 12,871 km) at 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)
Complement:869
Armament:
Armor:

USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state. She was the second member of her class, the first dreadnought battleships built for the US Navy. She was laid down in December 1906, launched in May 1908; sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry; and commissioned into the fleet 4 January 1910. Michigan and South Carolina were armed with a main battery of eight 12-inch (305 mm) guns in superfiring twin gun turrets; they were the first dreadnoughts to feature this arrangement.

Michigan spent her career in the Atlantic Fleet. She frequently cruised the east coast of the United States and the Caribbean Sea, and in April 1914 took part in the United States occupation of Veracruz during the Mexican Civil War. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Michigan was employed as a convoy escort and training ship for the rapidly expanding wartime navy. In January 1918, her forward cage mast collapsed in heavy seas, killing six men and injuring three others[1]. In 1919, she ferried soldiers back from Europe. The ship conducted training cruises in 1920 and 1921, but her career was cut short by the Washington Naval Treaty signed in February 1922, which mandated the disposal of Michigan and South Carolina. Michigan was decommissioned in February 1923 and broken up for scrap the following year.

Design

Line-drawing of the South Carolina class

Michigan was 452 ft 9 in (138 m) long overall and had a beam of 80 ft 3 in (24 m) and a draft of 24 ft 6 in (7 m). She displaced 16,000 long tons (16,257 t) as designed and up to 17,617 long tons (17,900 t) at full combat load. The ship was powered by two-shaft vertical triple-expansion engines rated at 16,500 ihp (12,304 kW) and twelve coal-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers, generating a top speed of 18.5 kn (34 km/h; 21 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 5,000 nmi (9,260 km; 5,754 mi) at a speed of 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph). She had a crew of 869 officers and men.[2]

The ship was armed with a main battery of eight 12-inch (305 mm)/45[a] caliber Mark 5 guns in four twin gun turrets on the centerline, which were placed in two superfiring pairs forward and aft. The secondary battery consisted of twenty-two 3-inch (76 mm)/50 guns mounted in casemates along the side of the hull. As was standard for capital ships of the period, she carried a pair of 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, submerged in her hull on the broadside. The main armored belt was 12 in (305 mm) thick over the magazines, 10 in (254 mm) over the machinery spaces, and 8 in (203 mm) elsewhere. The armored deck was 1.5 to 2.5 in (38 to 64 mm) thick. The gun turrets had 12 inch thick faces, while the supporting barbettes had 10 inch thick armor plating. Ten inch thick armor also protected the casemate guns. The conning tower had 12 inch thick sides.[2]