Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Gunpowder explosion on board of American battleship USS Massachusetts killed and wounded several men according to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad dated 18 January 1903


An item dated London, England 17the reporting that during gun target practices off Culebra near Puerto Rico on board of the American battleship Massachusetts a powder explosion killed 5 men and wounding another 4.(1)

1. Indiana-class consisting of the Oregon, Massachusetts and Indiana, preceded by the Maine and Texas and succeeded by the Iowa. The first American battleships which were comparable by the ones built for European navies although still for coastal defence tasks with a freeboard such low that it was dangerous to act on the open oceans. Building ordered on 30 June 1890, laid down at William Cramp&Sons Ship&Engine Building Corporation, Philadelphia, USA on 25 June 1891, launched by Leila Herbert on 10 June 1893, commissioned on 10 June 1896, decommissioned on 8 January 1906, modernized including improving balance and traversing of main gun turrets, although considered to be obsolete still recommissioned on 2 May 1910, decommissioned on 23 May 1914, recommissioned on 9 June 1917, renamed Coast battleship Number 2 on 29 March 1919, decommissioned on 31 March 1919, stricken on 22 November 1920, loaned to the War Department, scuttled in shallow water off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, USA becoming a target for artillery experiments by the coastal batteries of Fort Pickens and even railway artillery since January 1921, transferred back to the navy on 20 February 1925, efforts to sell her to be broken up then and in 1956 were fruitless lacking satisfying bids and nowadays still existing as an artificial reef.