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Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming, 1936: Finding Aid

Published in May 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 89
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming
  • Dates: 1936
  • Size: 0.21 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume
  • Creator: Wyoming (Battleship : BB-32)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: U.S.S. Wyoming was a United States Navy battleship and the lead ship of her class. The Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming was kept in the summer of 1936, while Wyoming was under the command of Clarence N. Hinkamp. The log is the product of a Naval Academy midshipman summer practice cruise.

History of U.S.S. Wyoming (Battleship: BB-32) as a Training Vessel

U.S.S. Wyoming (Battleship: BB-32), originally commissioned on September 25, 1912, was placed in reduced commission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on January 1, 1931 to prepare for demilitarization and conversion to a training ship in accordance with the 1930 London Treaty. During that process, Wyoming lost her blisters, side armor, and the removal of guns and turret machinery from three of her six main battery turrets. On 21 May 1931, Wyoming was relieved of her duties as flagship for the Scouting Force by the new heavy cruiser Augusta (CA-31) and by her sister ship Arkansas (BB-33) as flagship of the Training Squadron.

Wyoming, which had previously trained midshipmen in the summers of 1913, 1919, and 1924 (as well as Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps units between 1927 and 1930), began embarking Naval Academy midshipmen on May 29, 1931 at Annapolis for a cruise to European waters. Sailing on June 5, she came to the aid of Sir Hubert Wilkins' foundering submarine Nautilus ten days later. Wyoming took the disabled submersible in tow and took her to Queenstown, Northern Ireland. Later in the cruise, she visited Copenhagen, Greenock, Cadiz, and Gibraltar, before she returned to Hampton Roads on August 13. During her cruise, she was redesignated AG-17 on July 1, 1931.

Over the next four years, Wyoming continued summer practice cruises for Naval Academy midshipmen and training cruises for NROTC units from various universities. Her service took her throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as to northern European ports and into the Mediterranean.

On January 18, 1935, she embarked men of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, at Norfolk, for the winter-spring landing assault practices at Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal Zone. In almost every succeeding year, Wyoming took part in amphibious assault exercises, as the elements of the Fleet Marine Force and Navy developed tactics for use in possible conflicts of the future.

Departing Norfolk on January 5, 1937, Wyoming transited the Panama Canal and spent the following weeks engaged in assault landing exercises and gunnery drills at San Clemente Island. On February 18, 1937, a shrapnel shell exploded prematurely as it was being loaded, killing six marines and wounding 11. After the explosion, Wyoming steamed to San Pedro, where she transferred the wounded men to the hospital ship Relief (AH-1).

Completing her exercises and war games off California on March 3, 1937, Wyoming stood out of Los Angeles and headed back east. Returning to Norfolk on March 23, the ship served as flagship for Rear Admiral Wilson Brown, Commander, Training Squadron from April 15 to June 3, during the preparations for the upcoming Naval Academy practice cruise. Putting to sea on June 4 from Hampton Roads, Wyoming reached Kiel, Germany on June 21, where she was visited by officers from the German ship Admiral Graf Spee. Her midshipmen subsequently toured Berlin before Wyoming sailed for home on June 29, touching at Torbay, England, and Funchal, Madeira, before returning to Norfolk on August 3. After local exercises, Wyoming disembarked her midshipmen at Annapolis on August 26, 1937, then continued in her role as training ship, first for Naval Reserve units and then for Merchant Marine Reserve units, before she underwent an overhaul at the Norfolk Navy Yard (October 16, 1937-January 14, 1938).

For the next three years, Wyoming continued her operations out of Norfolk, Boston, and New York, visiting Cuban waters, as well as Puerto Rico and New Orleans. In addition, she conducted a Naval Academy practice cruise to European waters in 1938, visiting Le Havre, Copenhagen, and Portsmouth. On 2 January 2, 1941, Wyoming became the flagship for Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, Commander, Training, Patrol Force, and continued her training duties into autumn.

In November 1941, Wyoming began service as a gunnery training ship. She departed Norfolk on November 25, 1941 for gunnery training runs out of Newport, and was off Platt's Bank when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Putting into Norfolk on January 28, 1942, Wyoming sailed out into the lower Chesapeake Bay on February 5 to begin gunnery training drills in that would continue through World War II. Assigned to the Operational Training Command, United States Atlantic Fleet, Wyoming trained thousands of men in guns ranging from 5-inch to .50-caliber.

Refitted at Norfolk (January 12-April 3, 1944), Wyoming had the rest of her 12-inch turrets removed and replaced with twin-mount 5-inch guns. She resumed her gunnery training activities in the Chesapeake on April 10, 1944.

On 30 June 1945, Wyoming ended her career as a training ship. Following alterations at the New York Navy Yard, she reported to Composite Task Force 69 on July 13, 1945, which was established to study methods and tactics for dealing with the Japanese kamikazes. Wyoming remained the backbone of the unit through 1946. On July 11, 1947, Wyoming entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and was decommissioned on August 1, 1947.

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Description of Contents

The Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming, comprising 0.21 linear feet of documentation, was kept in the summer of 1936, while Wyoming was under the command of Clarence N. Hinkamp. The log is the product of a Naval Academy midshipman summer practice cruise.

The log, bearing the title "Midshipman smooth deck log, U.S.S. Wyoming - 1936" on the cover, notes the ship's course, speed, location, personnel issues, and operations with other vessels of the squadron, namely U.S.S. Arkansas and U.S.S. Oklahoma. The cruise, which originated in Annapolis, included calls at Portsmouth, Goteborg, Cherbourg, and Bilbao. Each entry is signed by the Midshipman of the Watch. At the front of the volume are three memoranda regarding the rationing of cadets.

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Arrangement

The Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use

Access

Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming 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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Accessioned on May 12, 1942. Accession No. 95057.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Official logbooks of U.S.S. Wyoming may be available in Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2007 at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming, MS 89

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in May 2020.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Naval education -- United States
  • United States Naval Academy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Wyoming (Battleship : BB-32)

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Ships' logs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Log of the U.S. Ship Wyoming, 1936

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