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USS Minnesota (BB-22), the fifth of six Connecticut-class pre-dreadnought battleships, was the first ship of the United States Navy in honor of the 32nd state. She was laid down at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia in October 1903, launched in April 1905, and commissioned into the US fleet in March 1907, just four months after the revolutionary British battleship HMS Dreadnought entered service. Minnesota was armed with a main battery of four 12-inch (300 mm) guns and a secondary battery of twenty 7 and 8 in (178 and 203 mm) guns, unlike Dreadnought, which carried an all-big-gun armament that rendered ships like Minnesota obsolescent.

Shortly after she entered service, Minnesota joined the Great White Fleet for its circumnavigation of the globe in 1908–09. The years from 1909 to 1912 were uneventful, but thereafter the ship began to become involved in conflicts in the Caribbean. She supported efforts to put down an insurrection in Cuba in 1912 and patrolled the coast of Mexico in 1913–14 during the Mexican Revolution. In 1916, the ship was placed in reserve, though she quickly returned to service when the United States entered World War I in April 1917. During the war, she trained naval personnel; while cruising off the eastern coast of the United States in September 1918, she struck a naval mine laid by a German U-boat. The extensive damage required lengthy repairs that kept her out of service for the rest of the war. She helped to return American soldiers from Europe in 1919 before resuming her training ship duties in 1920–21, before being decommissioned in December 1921 and broken up for scrap at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1924.

USS Minnesota BB-22 WL Print

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