Battleships of the 20th century

American Battleships

USS Kentucky  BB-06


USS Kentucky


USS Kentucky

Hull #



Laid down: 30 June 1896

Launched: 24 March 1898


16 May 1900

Sister Ships

USS Kearsarge BB-5

History Highlight

USS Kentucky (BB-6), a Kearsarge-class battleship, was launched on 24 March 1898 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company of Newport News, Virginia sponsored by Miss Christine Bradley, daughter of Governor William Bradley of Kentucky, and commissioned on 16 May 1900 with Captain Colby M. Chester in command.

After fitting out in New York Navy Yard during the summer, Kentucky sailed on 26 October 1900 for the Far East via Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. She joined the other American ships on the Asiatic Station at Manila February 1901 and six days later sailed for Hong Kong where she became flagship of the Southern Squadron under Rear Admiral Louis Kempff 23 March. Throughout the following year the battleship led her squadron as it watched over American interest in the Far East, visiting principal ports of China and Japan including Chefoo, Taku, Nanking, Woosung, Hong Kong, Amoy, Nagasaki, Kobe, and Yokohama.

Rear Admiral Frank F. Wildes also selected Kentucky as his flagship upon relieving Admiral Kempff on 1 March 1902, but he transferred his flag to Rainbow on 7 April. Rear Admiral Robely D. Evans, Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, chose Kentucky as his flagship at Yokohama on 4 November; and he continued to direct American naval operations in the Far East from her until she sailed from Manila for home on 13 March 1904. After retracing her steps through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar she arrived New York City on 23 May.

Upon completing overhaul in New York Navy Yard on 26 October, Kentucky devoted the following year for tactics and maneuvers off the Atlantic coast with the North Atlantic Fleet. The battleship joined the welcome of the British Squadron at Annapolis, Maryland, and New York City in the fall of 1905 and then cruised along the eastern seaboard until 23 September 1906. On that day off Provincetown, she embarked Marines from Maine, Missouri, and Kearsarge and landed them at Havana, Cuba, 1 October to protect American interests and property during the Cuban insurrection. She stood by to support forces ashore until 9 October before resuming battle practice and tactics in the North Atlantic.


Sold for scrap in 1924

Final Disposition

She remained there until decommissioning on 29 May 1920. Kentucky was sold to Dravo Construction Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for scrapping on 23 January 1924 in compliance with U.S. commitments under the Washington Naval Treaty.

Related Info

General characteristics


11,520 tons (11,705 metric tons)


375.3 feet (114.4 m)


72.2 feet (22.0 m)


37 feet (11 m)


16.9 knots (31.3 km/h)


554 officers and men


4 13 in (330 mm) guns

4 8 in (203 mm) guns

14 5 in (127 mm) guns

20 6 pounders (57 mm)

8 1 pounders (37 mm)

4 x .30 caliber (7.62 mm) machine guns

4 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes

Source: Wikipedia

Related Links

Maritimequest USS Kentucky BB-6 Photo Gallery 

NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive BB-6 USS KENTUCKY 1896 - 1899

NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER USS Kentucky (Battleship # 6, BB-6), 1900-1924

Return to American Battleships