SSBN 742 Wyoming
The submarine Wyoming (SSBN 742) is the fourth U.S. Naval ship to be named after the 44th state of the Union.
The First Rhode Island
The first Wyoming, a wooden-hulled screw sloop-of-war, was commissioned in 1859 and operated along the Pacific coast of the United States, and Central and South America until 1862. In June of that year, Wyoming proceeded to the Far East in what would prove to be a fruitless search for the Confederate cruiser Alabama.
In response to an outbreak of anti-foreign agitation in Japan, Wyoming sailed from Philadelphia to Yokohama, arriving in May 1863 to protect American lives and property. The unrest continued, however, and in June, two armed Japanese vessels attacked an American merchantman in the Strait of Shiminoseki.
When word of the attack reached American officials in Japan, they reacted by directing Wyoming to seize and, if necessary, destroy the offending vessels. On July 16, 1863, Wyoming entered the strait and began taking fire from shore batteries. Answering that fire, Wyoming steamed toward a bark, a brig, and a steamer, sinking the steamer and damaging the bark and the brig. During the hour-long battle, Wyoming was struck in the hull 11 times and suffered four men killed and seven wounded, one of whom later died. Significantly, Wyoming was the first foreign warship to take action to uphold treaty rights in Japan.
In 1867, Wyoming participated in a punitive expedition against Formosan natives who had killed a crew of shipwrecked American merchant sailors and spent the 1880s as a training ship for Naval Academy midshipmen. Wyoming was sold in 1892.
The second Wyoming (Monitor No. 10) was launched September 8, 1900, by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco. In 1902, the ship sailed to Panamanian waters when a civil war in Columbia threatened American lives and interests, and remained in the region to monitor the situation until the spring of 1904. In 1908, Wyomingbecame the first U.S. Navy ship to be converted to oil fuel. A year later, Wyoming was renamed Cheyenne to clear the name for the projected Battleship No. 32. Cheyenne subsequently served as a submarine tender, and later as a miscellaneous auxiliary, and was decommissioned in 1926.
The third Wyoming (Battleship No. 32) was launched May 25, 1911, at William Cramp and Sons shipyard in Philadelphia. Following its commissioning in September 1912, Wyoming became the flagship of the Commander of the United States Atlantic Fleet. Wyoming participated in drills and exercises in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean over the next several years. In November 1917, Wyoming sailed for the British Isles, reaching Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, where the battleship became part of the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. During this time, Wyoming performed convoy escort duties while guarding against the danger posed by the German High Seas Fleet.
In accordance with the 1930 London treaty limiting Naval armaments, Wyoming was demilitarized in 1931, with the removal of its armor, and guns and turret machinery from three of its six main battery turrets. Wyoming embarked on another phase of its lengthy career in 1941 when it was converted to use as a gunnery training ship. In this capacity, Wyoming fired off more ammunition than any other ship in the fleet, while training some 35,000 sailors on seven different types of guns. Wyoming was decommissioned in August 1947.
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