After shakedown and alterations, the new battleship
joined the "Great White Fleet" at San Francisco after 6 May 1908,
replacing USS Alabama.
Departing San Francisco 7 July 1908, the Fleet visited Honolulu,
Hawaii; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Manila,
Philippine Islands; Yokohama, Japan; and Colombo, Ceylon, arriving
Suez, Egypt, 3 January 1909. Departing Messina, Italy, on the 9th, the
Fleet visited Naples, Italy, then Gibraltar, arriving Hampton Roads on
22 February where President Theodore Roosevelt reviewed the fleet as it
passed into the roadstead.
Nebraska continued duty with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. She attended the
Hudson-Fulton Celebration in 1910 and the Louisiana Centennial during
1912. She earned the Mexican Service Medal for operations at Veracruz,
Mexico, from 1 May to 21 June 1914 and 1 June to 13 October 1916. After
a period of reduced commissioned service, she was again placed in full
commission 3 April 1917.
When war was declared 6 April 1917, Nebraska was undergoing repairs at
the Boston Navy Yard, attached to the 3rd Division, Battleship Force,
U.S. Atlantic Fleet. On 13 April 1917 she departed Boston to engage in
maneuvers and battle practice with the fleet in the Chesapeake Bay
area. She operated along the east coast, primarily training armed guard
crews for American merchantmen, until entering the Norfolk Navy Yard 15
April 1918 for repairs.
At Hampton Roads 16 May 1917, she received on board the body of the
late Carlos M. DePena, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
from Uruguay, with full honors, departing Hampton Roads the same day
and arriving Montevideo 10 June in company with Pittsburgh, flagship of
the Pacific Fleet. The Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, came on
board for the ceremonies and the body of the late Uruguyan Minister to
the United States was transferred with full honors. Nebraska departed
Montevideo 15 June for home, arriving Hampton Roads 26 July.
The battleship departed New York 17 September 1917 as principal escort
for a fast merchant convoy of 18 ships to an eastern Atlantic
rendezvous, returning to Hampton Roads 3 October. Nebraska made two
more convoy voyages in the Atlantic, returning from the latter 2
December to prepare for service in returning American troops from
Nebraska made four voyages from the United States to Brest, France,
transporting 4,540 troops to and from the United States. On the first
trip, she departed Hampton Roads 30 December 1918, arrived Brest 11
January 1919, and returned Newport News 28 January. The final voyage to
return veterans from France ended when she arrived Newport News,
Virginia, 21 June with 1,279 troops.
On 22 June 1919 Nebraska was detached from the transport service and
shortly thereafter sailed to join Division 2, Squadron 1, U.S. Pacific
Fleet, for operations along the west coast under command of Captain P.
N. Olmstead until she decommissioned 2 July 1920.