Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council Navy League of the US

USS Washington History: ACR-11


The first six Washingtons were named for George Washington; the seventh and eighth, for Washington state. This history will concentrate on the ships named for the State of Washington

The first Washington named for the State ACR-11 (Armored Cruiser No. 11) was laid down on 23 September 1903 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 18 March 1905; sponsored by Miss Helen Stewart Wilson, daughter of United States Senator John L. Wilson of Washington state; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 7 August 1906, Capt. James D. Adams in command.

Characteristics (Armored Cruiser No. 11: displacement 15,712; length 504’5″; beam 72’10”; draft 25′; speed 22 knots; complement 887; armament 4 10-inch, 16 6-inch, 22 3-inch, 4 18-inch torpedo tubes; class Tennessee), Coal Powered.

Her Main armament of four 10-inch (254 mm) guns in twin turrets was the heaviest carried by any American armored cruiser. Their armor was thinner than earlier cruisers due to newly imposed congressional restraints on tonnage for armored cruisers and the need for them to be able to steam at 22 knots.

Washington first visited Bremerton in the Summer 1908, operated off the west coast into 1909 including a deployment to the Philippines, China and Japan. Following deployment Washington entered Navy Yard Puget Sound for repairs Mar 21 1909.

Washington returned to the Atlantic via South America Fall of 1910 and served as flagship for the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, in 1912

Washington (Armored Cruiser No. 11) at Seattle in 1908, with the Olympic Mountains in the background. Her four tall stacks underscore the emphasis on speed in the design of the armored cruiser, predecessor of the battle cruiser of World War I. (NH 63652)

On 9 November 1916, Washington was renamed Seattle (retaining her classification as Armored Cruiser No. 11). She was simultaneously taken out of reserve and recommissioned for duty as flagship of the Destroyer Force.

She sailed on 14 June 1917 as an escort for the first American convoy to European waters and as flagship for Rear Admiral Albert Cleaves.

Seattle operated on escort duties for the remainder of World War I, completing her ninth round-trip voyage at New York on 27 October 1918. After the armistice, Seattle she brought back doughboys from France until 5 July 1919. Seattle sailed for the west coast to join the Pacific Fleet.

On 1 March 1923, Seattle became the flagship for the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, they operated from Seattle to Hawaii and from Panama to Australia.





On 1 July 1931, the ship’s designation was changed to “unclassified.” As receiving ship, Seattle served as a floating barracks-a “clearance house for personnel”-at New York into the 1940’s. She was ultimately placed out of commission and was struck from the Navy list on 19 July of the same year. Sold on 3 December 1946 to Hugo Neu, of New York City, the former flagship of the United States Fleet and receiving ship at New York was subsequently scrapped.