Massachusetts departed Norfolk, Virginia, on 13 May for
Cienfuegos, Cuba, where she took up blockade duties on 22 May. On the
afternoon of 31 May in company with battleship Iowa and cruiser New
Orleans, she bombarded the forts at the entrance to Santiago de Cuba,
and exchanged fire with Spanish cruiser Cristobal Colon, forcing the
enemy ship to retire into the inner harbor of Santiago. The battleship
remained on patrol off Santiago, intermittently bombarding Spanish
fortifications, until 3 July, when she stood out to coal at Guantanamo
Bay. Missing the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, the battleship steamed
back to her station on 4 July, arriving in time to help battleship
Texas force cruiser Reina Mercedes to beach and surrender at midnight 6
July. Following duty in support of the American occupation of Puerto
Rico, 21 July to 1 August, Massachusetts steamed for home, arriving New
York 20 August.
During the next seven years, Massachusetts cruised the
Atlantic coast and eastern Caribbean as a member of the North Atlantic
Squadron. From 27 May to 30 August 1904, the warship served as a
training ship for United States Naval Academy midshipmen off New
England and then entered New York Yard for overhaul. Departing New York
13 January 1905, the battlewagon then steamed for the Caribbean on
training maneuvers, operating there until she returned north to cruise
off New England in May. Putting into New York 12 November 1905, she
underwent inactivation overhaul and then decommissioned 8 January 1906.
Massachusetts was placed in reduced commission 2 May
1910 to serve as a summer practice ship for Naval Academy midshipmen.
During the next four years she made three midshipman cruises -- twice
to Western Europe before entering the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in
September 1912. Following a brief voyage to New York 5 October to 16
October for the Presidential Fleet Review, the warship returned to
Philadelphia where she remained until decommissioning 23 May 1914.
Massachusetts recommissioned 9 June 1917 at Philadelphia. Sailing 9
October, she arrived at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode
Island, on the 15th, where she embarked Naval Reserve gun crews for
gunnery training in Block Island Sound. Continuing on this duty until
27 May 1918, the old battleship then underwent repairs at Philadelphia
Navy Yard. Assigned to battle practice, "A" Division, Battleship Force
1, Atlantic Fleet, 9 June 1918, the veteran battlewagon steamed to
Yorktown, Virginia, the same day, and for the remainder of World War I
served as a heavy gun target practice ship in Chesapeake Bay and local
Atlantic waters. Massachusetts returned to Philadelphia 16 February
1919. Redesignated "Coast Battleship No. 2", 28 March, the warship
decommissioned for the final time on the 31st.
She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 22
November 1920, and loaned to the War Department as a target ship.
Scuttled off Pensacola Bay, Florida, on 6 January 1921, the hulk was
bombarded by batteries from Fort Pickens for four years and then
returned to the Navy 20 February 1925. Though offered for sale for
scrap, no acceptable bids were received and finally, on 15 November
1956, the ship was declared the property of the state of Florida. In
1993, the site became the fourth Florida Underwater Archaeological
Preserve, designed to become an artificial reef.