Great White Fleet

The "Great White Fleet" sent around the world by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt from December 16, 1907, to February 22, 1909, consisted of sixteen new battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. The battleships were painted white except for gilded scrollwork on their bows. The Atlantic Fleet battleships only later came to be known as the "Great White Fleet."

The fourteen-month long voyage was a grand pageant of American sea power. The squadrons were manned by 14,000 sailors. They covered some 43,000 miles and made twenty port calls on six continents.

The battleships were accompanied during the first leg of their voyage by a "Torpedo Flotilla" of six early destroyers, as well as by several auxiliary ships. The destroyers and their tender did not actually steam in company with the battleships, but followed their own itinerary from Hampton Roads, Virginia to San Francisco, California. Two battleships were detached from the fleet at San Francisco, and two others substituted.

With the USS Connecticut (BB-18) as flagship under the command of Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, the fleet sailed from Hampton Roads on December 16, 1907, for Trinidad, British West Indies, thence to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sandy Point, Chile; Callao, Peru; Magdalena Bay, Mexico, and up the west coast, arriving at San Francisco, May 6, 1908.

After the arrival of the fleet off the west coast, the USS Glacier was detached and later became the supply ship of the Pacific Fleet. At this time also, the USS Nebraska, Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, and the USS Wisconsin, Captain Frank E. Beatty, were substituted for the USS Maine and USS Alabama.

At San Francisco, Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry assumed command of the Fleet, owing to the poor health of Admiral Evans. Leaving that port on July 7, 1908, the U.S. Atlantic Fleet visited Honolulu; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Manila, Philippines; Yokohama, Japan; Colombo, Ceylon; arriving at Suez, Egypt, on January 3, 1909.

In Egypt, word was received of an earthquake in Sicily, thus affording an opportunity for the United States to show its friendship to Italy by offering aid to the sufferers. Connecticut, Illinois, Culgoa, and Yankton were dispatched to Messina at once. The crew of Illinois recovered the bodies of the American consul and his wife, entombed in the ruins.

USS Scorpion, the Fleet's station ship at Constantinople, and USS Celtic, a refrigerator ship fitted out in New York, were hurried to Messina, relieving Connecticut and Illinois, so that they could continue on the cruise.

Leaving Messina on January 9, 1909, the Fleet stopped at Naples, Italy, thence to Gibraltar, arriving at Hampton Roads on February 22, 1909. There President Roosevelt reviewed the Fleet as it passed into the roadstead.

Table of contents
1 The First Leg
2 Second Leg
3 Third Leg

The First Leg

from Hampton Roads to San Francisco, 14,556 miles

Itinerary

PortArrivalDepartureDistance to Next Port
Hampton Roads, Virginia  December 16, 1907 1803 miles
Port of Spain, Trinidad December 23, 1907 December 29, 1907 3399 miles
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 12, 1908 January 21, 1908 2374 miles
Punta Arenas, Chile February 1, 1908 February 7, 1908 2838 miles
Callao, Peru February 20, 1908 February 29, 1908 3010 miles
Magdalena Bay, Mexico March 12, 1908 April 11, 1908 1132 miles
San Francisco, California May 6, 1908  

Ships

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans. First Division consisted of USS Connecticut (BB-18), the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus, USS Kansas (BB-21), Captain Charles E. Vreeland, USS Vermont (BB-20), Captain William P. Potter, and USS Louisiana (BB-19), Captain Richard Wainwright.

Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Second Division consisted of USS Georgia (BB-15), the Division flagship, Captain Henry McCrea, USS New Jersey (BB-16), Captain William H. H. Southerland, USS Rhode Island (BB-17), Captain Joseph B. Murdock, and USS Virginia (BB-13), Captain Seaton Schroeder.

Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas. Third Division consisted of USS Minnesota (BB-22), the Squadron flagship, Captain John Hubbard, USS Maine (BB-10), Captain Giles B. Harber, USS Missouri (BB-11), Captain Greenlief A. Merriam, and USS Ohio (BB-12), Captain Charles W. Bartlett.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. Fourth Division consisted of USS Alabama (BB-8), the Division flagship, Captain Ten Eyck De Witt Veeder, USS Illinois (BB-7), Captain John M. Bowyer, USS Kearsarge (BB-5), Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and USS Kentucky (BB-6), Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries consisted of USS Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, USS Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, USS Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson, USS Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Walter R. Gherardi, and USS Relief (a hospital ship).

The "Torpedo Flotilla" of destroyers consisted of USS Hopkins, Lieutenant Alfred G. Howe, USS Stewart, Lieutenant Julius F. Hellweg, USS Hull, Lieutenant Frank McCommon, USS Truxton, Lieutenant Charles S. Kerrick, USS Lawrence, Lieutenant Ernest Friedrick, USS Whipple, Lieutenant Hutch I. Cone, and USS Arethusa (a tender), Commander Albert W. Grant.

Second Leg

from San Francisco to Puget Sound and back

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. First Division consisted of USS Connecticut (BB-18), the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus USS Kansas (BB-21), Captain Charles E. Vreeland USS Minnesota (BB-22), Captain John Hubbard USS Vermont (BB-20), Captain William P. Potter

Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright. Second Division consisted of USS Georgia (BB-15), the Division flagship, Captain Edward F. Qualtrough, USS Nebraska (BB-14), Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, USS New Jersey (BB-16), Captain William H.H. Southerland, and USS Rhode Island (BB-17), Captain Joseph B. Murdock.

Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Third Division consisted of USS Louisiana (BB-19), the Squadron's flagship, Captain Kossuth Niles, USS Virginia (BB-13), Captain Alexander Sharp, USS Missouri (BB-11), Captain Robert M. Doyle, and USS Ohio (BB-12), Captain Thomas B. Howard.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder. Fourth Division consisted of USS Wisconsin (BB-9), the Division flagship, Captain Frank E. Beatty, USS Illinois (BB-7), Captain John M. Bowyer, USS Kearsarge (BB-5), Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and USS Kentucky (BB-6), Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were USS Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, USS Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Commander Charles B. McVay, USS Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, USS Relief (a hospital ship), Surgeon Charles F. Stokes, and USS Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson.

Third Leg

from San Francisco to Manila, 16,336 miles

Itinerary

PortArrivalDepartureDistance to Next Port
San Francisco, California  July 7, 1908 2126 miles
Honolulu, Hawaii July 16, 1908 July 22, 1908 3870 miles
Auckland, New Zealand August 9, 1908 August 15, 1908 1307 miles
Sydney, Australia August 20, 1908 August 28, 1908 601 miles
Melbourne, Australia August 29, 1908 September 5, 1908 1368 miles
Albany, Australia September 11, 1908 September 18, 1908 3458 miles
Manila, Philippine Islands October 2, 1908 October 9, 1908 1795 miles
Yokohama, Japan October 18, 1908 October 25, 1908 1811 miles
Amoy, China
(Second Squadron)
October 29, 1908 November 5, 1908 
Manila, Philippine Islands
(First Squadron)
October 31, 1908   
Manila, Philippine Islands
(Second Squadron)
November 7, 1908   

Ships

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry.

First Division consisted of USS Connecticut (BB-18), the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus, USS Kansas (BB-21), Captain Charles E. Vreeland, USS Minnesota (BB-22), Captain John Hubbard, and USS Vermont (BB-20), Captain William P. Potter.

The Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright. Second Division consisted of USS Georgia (BB-15), the Division flagship, Captain Edward F. Qualtrough, USS Nebraska (BB-14), Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, USS New Jersey (BB-16), Captain William H.H. Southerland, and USS Rhode Island (BB-17), Captain Joseph B. Murdock.

The Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Third Division consisted of USS Louisiana (BB-19), the Squadron flagship, Captain Kossuth Niles, USS Virginia (BB-13), Captain Alexander Sharp, USS Missouri (BB-11), Captain Robert M. Doyle, and USS Ohio (BB-12), Captain Thomas B. Howard.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder. Fourth Division consisted of USS Wisconsin (BB-9), the Division flagship, Captain Frank E. Beatty, USS Illinois (BB-7), Captain John M. Bowyer, USS Kearsarge (BB-5), Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and USS Kentucky (BB-6), Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were USS Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, USS Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Commander Charles B. McVay, USS Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, USS Relief (a hospital ship), Surgeon Charles F. Stokes, and USS Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson.

Final Leg

from Manila to Hampton Roads, 12,455 miles

Itinerary

PortArrivalDepartureDistance to Next Port
Manila, Philippine Islands  December 1, 19082,985 miles
Colombo, Ceylon December 13, 1908 December 20, 1908 3448 miles
Suez, Egypt January 3, 1909 January 4 - January 6, 1909 2443 miles
Gibraltar January 31 - February 1, 1909 February 6, 1909 3579 miles
Hampton Roads, Virginia February 22, 1909   

Ships

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. First Division consisted of USS Connecticut (BB-18), the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus, USS Vermont (BB-20), Captain Frank F. Fletcher, USS Kansas (BB-21), Captain Charles E. Vreeland, and USS Minnesota (BB-22), Captain John Hubbard.

Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright. Second Division consisted of USS Georgia (BB-15), the Division flagship, Captain Edward F. Qualtrough, USS Nebraska (BB-14), Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, USS New Jersey (BB-16), Captain William H. H. Southerland, and USS Rhode Island (BB-17), Captain Joseph B. Murdock.

Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder. Third Division consisted of

USS Louisiana (BB-19), the Squadron flagship, Captain Kossuth Niles, USS Virginia (BB-13), Captain Alexander Sharp, USS Missouri (BB-11), Captain Robert M. Doyle, and USS Ohio (BB-12), Captain Thomas B. Howard.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Fourth Division consisted of USS Wisconsin (BB-9), the Division flagship, Captain Frank E. Beatty, USS Illinois (BB-7), Captain John M. Bowyer, USS Kearsarge (BB-5), Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and USS Kentucky (BB-6), Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were USS Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, USS Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Commander Charles B. McVay, and USS Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson.


">
" size=20>

 
 

Browse articles alphabetically:
#0">0 | #1">1 | #2">2 | #3">3 | #4">4 | #5">5 | #6">6 | #7">7 | #8">8 | #9">9 | #_">_ | #A">A | #B">B | #C">C | #D">D | #E">E | #F">F | #G">G | #H">H | #I">I | #J">J | #K">K | #L">L | #M">M | #N">N | #O">O | #P">P | #Q">Q | #R">R | #S">S | #T">T | #U">U | #V">V | #W">W | #X">X | #Y">Y | #Z">Z