FIRST USS MICHIGAN 1843-1922
The USS MICHIGAN, renamed the USS WOLVERINE, was the first iron warship
in the U.S. Navy and probably the first iron or steel warship of her
size in the world. She was originally designed as a "three-mast,
topsail schooner" with auxiliary steam power.
The MICHIGAN was on duty on the Great Lakes during the Civil War but
never engaged in battle. In 1905 a new USS MICHIGAN (BB27) was to be
commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The original MICHIGAN was renamed the
WOLVERINE, after the MICHIGAN state animal. About 1910 she was turned
over to the Naval Reserve as a Training Ship and remained active in
this capacity until 1922 when one of her engines broke down.
SECOND USS MICHIGAN (BB27)1910-1922
The second MICHIGAN (BB27) was laid down 17 December 1906 by New York
Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ; launched 26 May 1908 and commissioned 4
January 1910. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, MICHIGAN, with sister
ship SOUTH CAROLINA, were the U.S. Navy's first class of dreadnoughts
or all big-gun battleships. The layering of her main armament 12" guns
and placement of all turrets on the centerline was a novel arrangement
which spread as a universal battleship arrangement.
Prior to 1914 the battleship MICHIGAN operated in the North Atlantic,
the Gulf of Mexico, and along the Atlantic Coast. During World War I,
the warship escorted convoys, trained recruits, and engaged in fleet
maneuvers. On 6 August 1919, the MICHIGAN was placed in limited
commission and conducted various training cruises. MICHIGAN was
decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 11 February 1922 and was
stricken from the Navy list 10 November 1923 in accordance with the
treaty limiting naval armaments.