The Great White Fleet

USS Conneticut leads Atlantic Fleet ships to sea in 1907I noticed earlier today that it is almost the 100th Anniversary of the Cruise Around the World by the United States’ Great White Fleet. This took place between 16 December 1907 and 22 February 1909.

The fleet was farewelled by President Theodore Roosevelt at the Jamestown Exposition. Over 70,000 kilometres later the fleet returned to the Hampton Roads.

The fleet consisted of 16 battleships and many support ships. During its trip around the world it visited places such as Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Suez, Greece, Malta, Algeria, Italy, Gibraltar and South America amongst other places.

As it is the centenary of this feat and as I really do love warships from that period of time, it seemed only natural to mention it here and include some links.

For pictures and story, see the US’ Naval Historical Center (where the picture above came from) – in particular, the article The Cruise of the Great White Fleet with references provides a good discussion of the objectives and successes of the cruise.

Another interesting site is The Great White Fleet, A collection of postcards, medals, photographs, and memorabilia by William Stewart has a nice collection of memorabilia displayed on it. Following the link on this site to “the Cruise” and you can click on a map displaying the route of the cruise and see memorabilia collected from that port – a really interesting site (even if they refer to Australia’s Emu as an Ostrich).

Wikipedia has a description at The Great White Fleet which is a brief overview. For the chronically lazy, click on the following link for the Google Search for the Great White Fleet.

A fascinating piece of history and some wonderful old ships.

The ships involved are listed below:

First Squadron, First Division, USS Connecticut (BB-18), USS Kansas (BB-21), USS Vermont (BB-20), USS Louisiana (BB-19).

Second Division, USS Georgia (BB-15), USS New Jersey (BB-16), USS Rhode Island (BB-17), USS Virginia (BB-13).

Second Squadron, Third Division, USS Minnesota (BB-22), USS Maine (BB-10), USS Missouri (BB-11), USS Ohio (BB-12).

Fourth Division, USS Alabama (BB-8), USS Illinois (BB-7), USS Kearsarge (BB-5), USS Kentucky (BB-6).

The Fleet Auxiliaries consisted of store ships USS Culgoa and USS Glacier, repair ship USS Panther, tender USS Yankton and hospital ship USS Relief.

Torpedo Flotilla – USS Hopkins, USS Stewart, USS Hull, USS Truxton, USS Lawrence, USS Whipple and a tender USS Arethusa.

Lastly, Rich wants me to mention that there is a Great White Fleet Centennial t-shirt available from 🙂

5 thoughts on “The Great White Fleet

  1. Mark Grauer 30 November 1999 / 8:00 am

    Are there any surviving ships from the Great White Fleet?


  2. thomo the lost 30 November 1999 / 8:00 am

    I'm not sure of survivors. I'll do some research and maybe post an addendum here when I get back to Australia and my books.


  3. Ryan 30 November 1999 / 8:00 am

    Sadly, there are no surviving ships of the Great White Fleet. But the cruiser USS Olympia which is a contemporary of the GWF ships is displayed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.