Another US Battleship to support The Grand fleet:
USS Wyoming (BB-32)
The USS Wyoming (BB-32) was the third U.S. naval ship to be named for the state and her keel was laid down in February 1910 at William Cramp and Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She launched 25 May 1911 and was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in September 1912 under the command of Capt. Frederick L. Chapin.
Early Years and World War IThe USS Wyoming was a prestigious, high-profile vessel from the beginning of her career, serving as the flagship of the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet soon after she was commissioned.
Prior to the outbreak of the World War I, the USS Wyoming completed tours of Europe and the Mediterranean. Once war was declared, she operated primarily along the east coast and in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. She was sailing in the waters off Yorktown, Virginia, on 6 April 1917 when she received the news that the U.S. declared war on Germany.
During the war, the USS Wyoming operated with the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Her primary duty was to patrol the sea-lanes against German U-boats. Aside from having to dodge an occasional torpedo, no U.S. navy ship engaged any vessel of the Imperial Deutsche Kriegsmarine in combat during World War II. However, the USS Wyoming and three of her sister ships were used in the confiscation of Germany's capital ships when they were surrendered to the Allies under the terms of the Armistice following the war.
Post World War IThe USS Wyoming returned to the U.S. and routine duties following the war. In 1919, she was part of the fleet that participated in the Navy's early marine aviation experiments in May of that year, before returning to the Norfolk, where she was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. In 1921 she was returned to the Atlantic and was used primarily for training purposes and routine maneuvers.
In 1927, the USS Wyoming underwent conversion from a coal burner to an oil burner and received new turbines as well as blisters for added underwater protection against torpedoes, along with other upgrades. The blisters and much of her heavy armament were removed a few years later under the terms of the 1930 London Treaty for the limitation and reduction of naval armaments. Her designation was changed from battleship to miscellaneous auxiliary the following year and her number changed to AG-17. The next several years were spent training midshipmen and she participated in the development of amphibious assault techniques.
In 1937, the USS Wyoming was ordered back to the Pacific for three months of battle exercises. In February of that year, during assault landing exercises and gunnery drills at San Clemente Island off the coast of California, a shrapnel shell exploded prematurely as it rammed into one of the ship's five-inch broadside guns. Tragically, six marines were killed, and 11 were wounded.
In March, the USS Wyoming headed back to the east coast, arriving in Norfolk on March 23. In June, she sailed for a tour of Europe and visitors to the vessel included officers from the German "pocket battleship" Graf Spee.
Upon her return to Norfolk, the USS Wyoming continued her role as training ship until entering the Norfolk Navy Yard for an overhaul between mid-October 1937 and January 1938.
World War IIIn November 1941, the USS Wyoming became a gunnery training ship. She was operating in this capacity off the coast of Rhode Island when news of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor arrived on December 7. The vessel continued as a training platform for future naval gunners in Chesapeake Bay for the duration of the war and earned the nickname "Chesapeake Raider."
During the first four months of 1944, the USS Wyoming again entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for refits. During this period, the last of her 12-inch turrets were removed and replaced with twin-mount five-inch guns, and newer models of fire control radars were installed.
In June 1945, the USS Wyoming sailed for the New York Navy Yard for further alterations. Leaving the yard on 13 July 1945, she was used to study methods and tactics for dealing with the Japanese kamikaze pilots, as the Pacific war was still dragging on.
Final Years and FateThe USS Wyoming remained the mainstay of the Naval training program during her final years. Among her crew at that time was a young seaman from Plains, Georgia, named Jimmy Carter.
The USS Wyoming was 35 years old when she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. She was decommissioned on 1 August 1947 and her crew and material were transferred to the USS Mississippi (AG-128). The USS Wyoming was struck from the Navy list on 16 September 1947, and her hulk was sold a month later to the Lipsett Scrap Metal Company of New York City.