Historic Ships - World War I Centennial

Historic Ships

3523 Independence Pkwy
La Porte
United States

The Battleship TEXAS is the last dreadnought in existence in the world, a veteran of Vera Cruz (1914) and both World Wars, and is credited with the introduction and innovation of advances in gunnery, aviation and radar. Having been designed in the first decade of the 20th century, (keel laid in 1911 and completed in 1914), and having seen action in some of the most intense and critical campaigns of WWII, she is an important piece of our naval and maritime history.

After the United States entered World War I, she spent the year 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, Texas protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships, and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of Allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918, she escorted the German Fleet en route to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France.

(from the First TEXAS Volunteers' Website and the Battleship Texas State Historic Site web site)

Penn's Landing
United States

USS Olympia, a 5586-ton protected cruiser built at San Francisco, California, was commissioned in February 1895. Her initial service was as flagship on the Asiatic Station. In that role, she participated in Philippines area Spanish-American War operations, including the Battle of Manila Bay, and returned to the U.S. in September 1899.

From 1902 to 1906, Olympia was active in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean, and then saw occasional service as a Naval Academy training ship into 1909. She was a barracks ship at Charleston, South Carolina, from 1912 to 1916, and recommissioned for sea duty in the latter year. Olympia spent World War One and the early post-war years in the Atlantic, the Russian Arctic and in the Mediterranean area. She was briefly reclassified as CA-15 in 1920, then CL-15 in 1921. In October-November 1921 she brought home the body of the "Great War's" Unknown Soldier.

6.5 miles (10.5 km) south-southeast of Kenosha
Pleasant Prairie
Kenosha County
United States

The SS Wisconsin was a steamboat that sank in Lake Michigan off the coast Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. In 2009 the shipwreck site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Wisconsin was built at the Dry Dock Complex in 1881. During World War One, she served as a convalescent hospital ship named the General Robert M. O'Reilly after Robert Maitland O'Reilly, a former Surgeon General of the United States Army. In addition to Wisconsin and General Robert M. O'Reilly, the vessel was also named the Naomi, the E. G. Crosby and Pilgrim. The Wisconsin foundered in October of 1929 after a leak occurred during a violent storm. The wreckage site is a popular location for historians, archaeologists and divers. It lies in 90 to 130 feet (27 to 40 m) of water, 6.5 miles (10.5 km) south-southeast of Kenosha. (from Wikipedia)

12 Fulton St
New York
United States

The United States Lightship LV-87 (also known as AMBROSE) is a lightship built 1907 and served at the Ambrose Channel station until 1932. Lightship LV-87was built as a "floating lighthouse" to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay between Coney Island, New York and Sandy Hook, New Jersey-an area filled with sand bars and shoals perilous to approaching vessels. During World War One her navigation lights helped guide US warships and military convoys into and out of New Your Harbor.
LV-87 was decommissioned on March 4, 1966 from the Coast Guard after 59 years of service. In 1968 she was given to the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. Currently she is moored at Pier 16 on the East River and is used as a floating exhibit. In 1989, the lightship was declared a National Historic Landmark.