The USS Rhode Island BB-17 was
built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, Massachusetts.
She was commissioned on February 19, 1906 with Captain Perry Garst in
After acceptance trials Rhode Island was assigned to Squadron 1 in the
Atlantic Fleet on January 1, 1907.
On December 16, 1907, USS Rhode
Island began a cruise to circumnavigate the globe as part of Teddy
Roosevelt's Great White fleet.
During the first leg of the cruise, Rhode Island made port calls in
Trinidad, Rio de Janeiro, Punta Arenas, Callao and Magdalena Bay
arriving in San Diego, California on April 14, 1908.
USS Rhode Island and the fleet
departed San Francisco on July 7, 1908 to begin the second leg of the
cruise, arriving back in Norfolk, Virginia on February 23, 1909.
Rhode Island underwent overhaul and modernization at the New York Navy
Yard during the latter part of 1909. Rhode Island continued to serve
the Navy as a primary warship until May 15, 1916 when she was placed
in reserve commission.
USS Rhode Island was returned to full commission on March 27, 1917
shortly after the United States entered the World War. Rhode Island
was then assigned to anti-submarine patrol duty off Tangier Island,
Maryland until April of 1918.
After the war ended in November 1918, Rhode Island was commandeered as
a troop carrier and assisted in returning American troops from France.
Rhode Island made five round trip voyages between December 1918 and
July 1919. During this period she carried over 5000 troops from France
back to the United States.
USS Rhode Island was
decommissioned on June 30, 1920 and placed in reserve status. In
accordance with the Washington Naval Armaments Treaty, Rhode Island
was sold and scrapped on November 1, 1923.