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    Spanish American War & WWI pre-dreadnaught - USS Massachusetts (BB-2). USS Massachusetts (BB-2) was the sixth of nine warships named for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Commissioned in 1896 she was a heavily armed and armored, Indiana class, pre-dreadnought battleship intended for coastal defense. Her hull number "2" indicating that she was the second American battleship ever built.

    The ensign of the Massachusetts is a 70" X 92", wool bunting, 45-star, double applique, sewn stripe flag finished with heading and grommets. The flag is marked on the upper obverse hoist, "6 X 10 U.S. DOUBLE WARP BUNTING" and on the reverse upper hoist, "USS MASSACHUSETTTES (BB-2)" and "Marine Bulger Samuel Nolan 1896.)

    After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the Massachusetts home ported in New York and steamed to Key West to join the Fleet. In May 1889, she began to participate in the blockade of Santiago de Cuba, but missed the naval engagement there as she was taking on coal in Guantanamo. She was then sent to Puerto Rice to support the American occupation before returning to New York.

    After the war, she resumed training and patrol duties with the North Atlantic Squadron. Sadly, her service was unfortunately marred by several accidents and groundings. She was placed in reserve in a reduced commission status and conducted several of the annual midshipmen summer cruises, but by 1910, she was considered obsolete and was decommissioned. During WWI, she was recommissioned and used for gunnery training for the duration. After the war she was re-designated "Coast Battleship Number 2" so her name could be used for the new USS Massachusetts (BB-54). After her final decommissioning in 1919, she was struck from the naval register and used as a target ship for land-based artillery. She was scuttled in 1920 and is now a diving wreck at the Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve.

    For her service, the USS Massachusetts (BB-2) earned the Navy Spanish Campaign Medal and the WWI Victory Medal.

    Condition: The ensign of the Massachusetts is in good condition/ It is used, worn and soiled, but otherwise complete.

    This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 369

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