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Album S-582 page 1: First page of the album 'Our European Cruise. October 25th, to December 15th, 1913'

Online Library of Selected Images -- Photo Albums

USS Arkansas (Battleship # 33) Photo Album: "Our European Cruise. October 25th, to December 15th, 1913"
(Naval History and Heritage Command Photographic Lot # S-582) --
General Description

This album, whose provenance is unfortunately unrecorded, was compiled by a contemporary member of USS Arkansas' crew, possibly a senior Yeoman. It has 88 pages (44 separate sheets, measuring 10.93" x 6.94"), with all but 6 featuring text and/or photographic prints. Those 82 generally chronologically arranged pages contain 141 postal card format photographs. An extensive text describes the activities of the ship and her crew, beginning with target practice in the Caribbean just before her Mediterranean cruise; the voyage across the Atlantic in late October and early November 1913; her visit to Naples, Italy, during 8-30 November; sightseeing trips by her crew to Naples, Rome, Venice, Florence and Pompeii; and the return voyage to the United States in December 1913. Though the photographs provide some interesting views of contemporary Navy life and a large number of "tourist" images in and around Italian cities, the volume's beautifully typewritten text is perhaps its most noteworthy feature, and makes it unique among the hundreds of photo albums in our collections.

Arkansas was one of fourteen Atlantic Fleet ships that participated in the U.S. Navy's October-December 1913 Mediterranean cruise, described in that year's "Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy" as: "... arranged largely for the educational advantages to be derived by officers and enlisted men from an opportunity to visit foreign ports and to travel in foreign countries. Such diversion from the usual exercises of the fleet conduces to increased contentment; and, in consequence, more widespread interest in the Navy and increase of its popularity will result." Nine battleship made the voyage: Wyoming, Fleet commander Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger's flagship; Arkansas; Utah; Florida; Delaware; Kansas; Vermont; Connecticut and Ohio. They were accompanied by the hospital ship Solace; storeship Celtic and three big colliers: Cyclops; Jason and Orion. These five auxiliaries rendered the warship force to a great extent independent of shore support, thus lending an element of strategic "reach" to what was otherwise a friendly sightseeing voyage.

Once in the Mediterranean, the fleet split up, with Arkansas and Florida going to Naples for three weeks, while the other ships visited Malta, Genoa, Villefranche and Marseilles. Crewmen received leave for extensive sightseeing, the ships were opened for visits by local residents and officers and men were liberally entertained ashore. A good time appears to have been had by all. On 3 December 1913 the fleet passed Gibraltar, homeward bound, leaving behind a Europe that just nine month later would be convulsed by the first of the Twentieth Century's pair of great World wars. At the time, however, the coming cataclysm was quite unanticipated -- the Navy's big worry then was the Mexican Revolution, which, in the spring of 1914 generated a major U.S. Naval combat operation at Vera Cruz, involving most of the ships that had enjoyed a peaceful trip to the "Old World" a short time before.

For additional information and pictorial coverage on USS Arkansas, see:

  • USS Arkansas (Battleship # 33, later BB-33), 1912-1946.

    To browse through this album page-by-page:

  • Start with Front Cover & Pages 1-9 and follow page links near the bottom of each presentation page.
  • With the exception of the covers, all of this album's pages are presented in vertical format.

    To go directly to specific pages, click the appropriate entry on the list below:

    Front Cover & Pages 1-9

    Pages 10-19

    Pages 20-29

    Pages 30-39

    Pages 40-49

    Pages 50-59

    Pages 60-69

    Pages 70-79

    Pages 80-88 & Back Cover


    For a listing of specific subjects seen in this album, keyed to the pages where they appear, see:

  • USS Arkansas (Battleship # 33) Photo Album: "Our European Cruise. October 25th, to December 15th, 1913" -- General Description, Part Two.

    Click on the linked page numbers to see small pictures ("thumbnails") of those pages.
    Click on the thumbnails to access larger images of the pages.


  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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    Page made 4 August 2004
    Coding updated 22 April 2009