Doughboy Foundation Home
previous arrow
next arrow

Historic Ships

"The centennial of World War One offers an opportunity for people in the United States to learn about
and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors."
from The World War One Centennial Commission Act, January 14, 2013

The few surviving United States ships that saw action or service in World War One today serve as museums around the nation.  There are also a number of World War One-era shipwrecks offshore that may be accessible to divers.   To add a ship to this page, send an email to the webmaster with the relevant information. (See disclaimer.)

Geolocalisation bp
Seaport Museum, 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
19106 Philadelphia

The Olympia carried the U.S. Unknown Soldier from WW1 back from France.  Olympia was Admiral Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay in May, 1898.   Moored along the Delaware River at Penn's Landing at the foot of Spruce Street alongside the WW2 submarine Becuna, launched 1944.

There is an admission charge to go on board and tour the ship.  However, you can see  the ship without charge from the Penn's Landing walkway along the river, reached via the public streets and sidewalks.   You can reach the Olympia at Penn's Landing via Columbus Blvd. or the Spruce St. or Dock St. walkways.

Independence Seaport Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Museum will be CLOSED every Monday from January 9 - March 2017 with the exception of holidays.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the Historic Ships will be open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

The Museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

See the museum's web site for further details.

  • Bench
6.5 miles (10.5 km) south-southeast of Kenosha
53158 Pleasant Prairie

The SS Wisconsin was a steamboat that sank in Lake Michigan off the coast Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. In 2009 the shipwreck site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Wisconsin was built at the Dry Dock Complex in 1881. During World War One, she served as a convalescent hospital ship named the General Robert M. O'Reilly after Robert Maitland O'Reilly, a former Surgeon General of the United States Army. In addition to Wisconsin and General Robert M. O'Reilly, the vessel was also named the Naomi, the E. G. Crosby and Pilgrim. The Wisconsin foundered in October of 1929 after a leak occurred during a violent storm. The wreckage site is a popular location for historians, archaeologists and divers. It lies in 90 to 130 feet (27 to 40 m) of water, 6.5 miles (10.5 km) south-southeast of Kenosha.

The United States Lightship LV-87 (also known as AMBROSE) is a lightship built 1907 and served at the Ambrose Channel station until 1932. Lightship LV-87 was built as a "floating lighthouse" to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay between Coney Island, New York and Sandy Hook, New Jersey-an area filled with sand bars and shoals perilous to approaching vessels. During World War One her navigation lights helped guide US warships and military convoys into and out of New York Harbor.

LV-87 was decommissioned on March 4, 1966 from the Coast Guard after 59 years of service. In 1968 she was given to the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. Currently she is moored at Pier 16 on the East River and is used as a floating exhibit. In 1989, the lightship was declared a National Historic Landmark.

  • Bench

The Battleship TEXAS is the last dreadnought in existence in the world, a veteran of Vera Cruz (1914) and both World Wars, and is credited with the introduction and innovation of advances in gunnery, aviation and radar. Having been designed in the first decade of the 20th century, (keel laid in 1911 and completed in 1914), and having seen action in some of the most intense and critical campaigns of WWII, she is an important piece of our naval and maritime history.

After the United States entered World War I, she spent the year 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, Texas protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships, and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of Allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918, she escorted the German Fleet en route to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France.