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Battleship Massachusetts

USS Massachusetts (BB-2) was an Indiana-class battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Commissioned in 1896, she was a small battleship with heavy armor and ordnance designed for coastal defense and not safe in high waves on the open ocean.
Massachusetts served in the Spanish–American War (1898) and took part in the blockades of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. After the war she served as a training ship for maneuvers and gunnery practice. She was decommissioned in 1906 for modernization, back in in 1910 and used for annual cruises for midshipmen during the summers until her decommissioning in 1914. In 1917 she was recommissioned again to serve as a training ship for gun crews during World War I. She was decommissioned for the final time in March 1919 under the name Coast Battleship Number 2 so that her name could be reused for USS Massachusetts (BB-54). In 1921 she was scuttled in shallow water off the coast of Pensacola, Florida and then used as a target for experimental artillery. The ship was never scrapped and in 1956 it was declared the property of the state of Florida. Since 1993 the wreck has been a Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It serves as an artificial reef and diving spot.
U.S.S. Massachusetts, interior of turret
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