USS Wyoming BB-32 (1912-1947)

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The USS Wyoming is a large battleship that was built in Philadelphia. She was launched in September of 1912 and operated mainly in the Atlantic for the first year of service. However, in October 1913 she was sent into the Mediterranean Sea. The next year the Wyoming would help in the operation in the Vera Cruz intervention. After completing that operation she was to remain in the Western Atlantic until the US entered WWI and then she was part of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea until the end of the war.

Between the Great Wars

When the war ended she returned to the routine aspect of a battleships life and even sailed into the Pacific Ocean for several years. After a short visit to Chile she returned to the Atlantic Ocean and at times went into the Pacific for exercises. During the year 1927 she had her coal engines exchanged for oil burning ones. That transition meant she would lose her “basket” mast, but that also meant she would be laid up for a period of time which let the navy install more protection and armament to the ship.

With the London Treaty the Wyoming was turned into a training ship. To meet this function she had half of her twelve inch guns removed. She would remain in this function for a decade. However, she would still make the midshipmen cruises across the Atlantic. Since she was a training ship, she even proved helpful in the practice runs of amphibious landings and those proved vital for the Marines and Navy for later use in WWII.

Action in World War II

With the threat of WWII on the horizon the Wyoming was turned into a massive gunnery training ship. The ship was stationed in Chesapeake Bay for this and is reported to have fired more shells than any other ship in the navy. The rest of the Wyoming’s big guns that were left from the treaty of London were remove d in 1944 and replaced with five-inch guns. This was done to reflect the ever increasing need for anti-aerial gunnery. In 1945 the Wyoming became an experimental gunnery ship that would last until she was decommissioned in 1947. Unfortunately, that would be the last act that this great ship would serve in since she was turned into scrap in October of the same year she was decommissioned.

Asbestos in Navy Ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet throughout conflicts during the last century, battleships also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers who served on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common on these ships because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.


Naval Historical Center

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