The Great White Fleet


The "Great White Fleet" sent around the world by President Roosevelt consisted of sixteen new battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. They were supported by several other ships but the world's focus was on the battleships, the clear demonstration of US Naval Power. The trip was a show of US ability to project power. The battleships' hulls were painted white except for gilded scrollwork on their bows. The circumnavigation of the globe took fourteen months. Starting after the Jamestown Exposition of 1907, the ships left on 19 December 1907. When looking at the itinerary, it is important to recognize that in each port, the ships needed to be recoaled and reprovisioned as well as undertaking repairs, and showing the flag by participating in parades and social functions for the officers and crew. It is also important to realize that the fleet had to go around South America because the Panama Canal would not be completed until 1914 but was able to transit the Suez Canal which had been in use since 1869.

Other web sites about the Great White Fleet are: Memories of the Great White Fleet,  NHHC: The Great White Fleet

© Richard Tripp 2012