U.S.S. Wyoming Diary, 1917-1919 (bulk 1918): Finding Aid
Published in December 2021
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 31
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: U.S.S. Wyoming Diary
- Dates: 1917-1919
- Bulk Dates: 1918
- Size: 0.04 linear feet
- Container Summary: 2 folders
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: The U.S.S. Wyoming Diary spans from 1917 to 1919, although the bulk of the diary itself spans from July 4 through December 18, 1918. The diary, kept by an unidentified U.S. Navy officer, begins with his arrival on board U.S.S. Wyoming on July 4, 1918 at Scapa Flow and was kept while the Wyoming operated with the Grand Fleet's Sixth Battle Squadron out of Rosyth (July 9-September 23 and October 6-December 1) and Scapa Flow (September 25-October 5), and later out of Portland, England to rendezvous with President Wilson's transport (December 4-13), before sailing from Plymouth, England to return to the United States (December 14-18).
History of U.S.S. Wyoming (Battleship: BB-32) in World War I
U.S.S. Wyoming, having just returned from Caribbean waters, was off Yorktown, Virginia, when the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. In the months that followed, she served in the Chesapeake Bay region as an engineering ship until November 13, 1917, when Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman broke his flag in U.S.S. New York (Battleship: BB-34) as Commander, Battleship Division 9. Wyoming, New York, U.S.S. Delaware (Battleship: BB-28), and U.S.S. Florida (Battleship: BB-30) sailed for Great Britain on November 25 and reached Scapa Flow on December 7, 1917. Although retaining their American designation as Battleship Division 9, those four ships became the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet upon arrival in British waters.
Wyoming carried out maneuvers and tactical exercises with the units of the British Grand Fleet until February 6, 1918, when the Sixth Battle Squadron and eight British destroyers got underway to guard a convoy to Stavanger, Norway. Wyoming dodged torpedo wakes off Stavanger on February 8, but reached Scapa Flow safely two days later. In the following months, Wyoming continued to patrol off the British Isles, guarding against the German High Seas Fleet.
Between June 30 and July 2, 1918, Wyoming operated with the Sixth Battle Squadron and a division of British destroyers, guarding Allied minelayers constructing the North Sea Mine Barrage. Later, Wyoming returned to the Firth of Forth, where the Grand Fleet was inspected by the King George V.
On November 21, 1918, ten days after the armistice ended World War I, U.S.S. Wyoming, U.S.S. New York, U.S.S. Texas (Battleship: BB-35), and U.S.S. Arkansas (Battleship: BB-33) joined the Grand Fleet as it escorted the German High Seas Fleet into the Firth of Forth to be interned following the cessation of hostilities.
On December 12, 1918, Wyoming sailed under the flag of Rear Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, Battleship Division 9, from Portland, England, bound for France. The following morning, she and other battleships rendezvoused with U.S.S. George Washington (Transport: ID-3018), which was transporting President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference.
After escorting the President and his party, Wyoming returned Admiral Sims to Plymouth, England, along with the newly appointed Ambassador to Great Britain. Disembarking her passengers on December 14, the battleship loaded 381 bags of mail and sailed for the United States. Wyoming reached New York City on Christmas Day 1918 and remained there through New Year's Day 1919.
Description of Contents
The U.S.S. Wyoming Diary, comprising 0.04 linear feet of documentation, spans from 1917 to 1919, although the bulk of the diary itself spans from July 4 through December 18, 1918. The diary, kept by an unidentified U.S. Navy officer, begins with his arrival on board U.S.S. Wyoming on July 4, 1918 at Scapa Flow and was kept while the Wyoming operated with the Grand Fleet's Sixth Battle Squadron out of Rosyth (July 9-September 23 and October 6-December 1) and Scapa Flow (September 25-October 5), and later out of Portland, England to rendezvous with President Wilson's transport (December 4-13), before sailing from Plymouth, England to return to the United States (December 14-18).
Included in the collection with the diary is a 1917 pamphlet advertising the services of the American Soldiers' and Sailors' Club in Paris.
The U.S.S. Wyoming Diary consists of typically brief, daily entries noting the weather and sea conditions, movements of other vessels (including U.S.S. New York, U.S.S. Texas, U.S.S. Arkansas, and U.S.S. Delaware), shipboard recreation, liberty, watch duty, inspections, coaling operations, and drills. Some entries note specific events, including the possible sighting of a German U-boat by H.M.S. Centurion (July 7), Wyoming winning first prize in a minstrel show (July 14), inspection of the fleet by the King George V of England (July 22-23), hearing gunfire off in the distance while at sea with the Sixth Battle Squadron (August 9), torpedo defense exercises with the Sixth Battle Squadron (August 15, August 21), witnessing two airplanes collide and crash into the sea (September 4), inspection by Admiral Henry T. Mayo (September 21), meeting the Wyoming's new Commanding Officer Harley Hannibal Christy (September 26), responding to an erroneous report of German cruisers off the Isle of May (September 30), U.S.S. Texas receiving equipment to carry airplanes (October 13), signing of the Armistice and shipboard celebrations (November 11), receiving the surrendered German High Seas Fleet (November 21), being cheered by the British while departing Rosyth for the last time (December 1), and rendezvousing with U.S.S. George Washington to escort President Wilson to France for the Paris Peace Conference (December 12-13). There is one personal entry dated July 6, 1919, as well as several doodles throughout.
The U.S.S. Wyoming Diary is arranged alphabetically by document type.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The U.S.S. Wyoming Diary is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Manuscripts and Archives in May 2009. Accession No. 09-11.
Related Archival Material
Additional material in this repository produced by sailors and officers serving with the Sixth Battle Squadron during World War I can be found in the Richard Leo Diary, MS 361 and the Frederick W. Teubner Letters, MS 299.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
U.S.S. Wyoming Diary, MS 31
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Cressman, Robert J. "Wyoming III (Battleship No. 32)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2016, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/w/wyoming-iii.html.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in December 2021. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in December 2021.
Name and Subject Terms
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Naval Operations, American
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Naval Operations, British
- Wyoming (Battleship : BB-32)