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(later - LEMNOS)
Sister ship: IDAHO
Notes: The two ships of the MISSISSIPPI class were authorized under the Navy Act of 3 March 1903. They were an attempt to reproduce the main features of the preceding VERMONT class on 3,000 tons less displacement (as mandated by the U. S. Congress); the resulting ships were considered, at best, a qualified success. At one point during their design process, it was considered that they be armed with 12 - 10" guns, in six twin turrets arranged with two at the ends and four in the "wing" positions -- a layout popular with designers of "all big gun" ship before 1905, but only put into practice by German and Japanese builders. (Friedman, U. S. BATTLESHIPS, pg. 51 -- see Bibliography.) But this design was rejected, and the ships were built as "cut-down" CONNECTICUT class battleships. Originally, they had no mainmasts, but cage masts were fitted in 1909. Following trials, it was shown that the bow casemates for the 3" guns were so "wet" as to be useless; upon their return, these guns were relocated to the tops of the forward 8" turrets.
Upon commissioning, MISSISSIPPI made several cruises to Cuba and in the Caribbean, and represented the United States at the inauguration of the President of Cuba in January, 1909. In 1910, MISSISSIPPI took part in training exercises with elements of the British and French fleets in their home waters. Upon her return to "home" waters, MISSISSIPPI made several cruises, including a cruise to Cuba in May, 1912, with a detachment of the Second Marine Division; these troops were landed at El Cuero on 19 June. In August, 1912, MISSISSIPPI was placed in reserve at Philadelphia. MISSISSIPPI was re-activated on 30 December 1913 to serve as the aeronautic station ship at the new Naval Air Station at Pensacola, FL. Upon her arrival on 21 January 1914, the crew of the MISSISSIPPI, along with a detachment of naval aviators, rebuilt the old naval base into a naval air station. When fighting broke out in Mexico in April, 1914, MISSISSIPPI sailed for Vera Cruz. She arrived on 24 April and served as a floating base for six Curtis seaplanes and their pilots, as well as a detachment of Marines. In June, 1914, MISSISSIPPI returned to Pensacola and transferred her aviation gear to the armored cruiser NORTH CAROLINA. She then proceeded to Newport News, and on 30 July 1914, MISSISSIPPI was sold to Greece. (The sale of the MISSISSIPPI and the IDAHO raised enough money for a third NEW MEXICO class battleship.) MISSISSIPPI was renamed LEMNOS, and served as a coast defense ship with the Greek Navy. In 1926, her boilers were retubed. In 1932, LEMNOS was placed in the inactive reserve, and much of her armor was removed and used in fortifications on Aegina Island. She served as a floating battery at Salamis, and on 23 April 1941, LEMNOS (along with her sister KILKIS) was sunk by German Ju-87 dive bombers.