DIVE ON IN! THE USS MASSACHUSETTS IS A MUST FOR NAS PENSACOLA
By Buddy Blouin
Florida is a great place to live or visit because there is so much to do, but the highlights usually involve a body of water. This is for good reason, as the Sunshine State is surrounded by plenty of it, considering its 1,350 miles of coastline comes second only to Alaska. The USS Massachusetts can be found near NAS Pensacola and can lead its visitors on a fun adventure. Incorporating nature, history, and recreation, check out this popular site the next time you’re looking for an adventure outdoors.
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Where Is the USS Massachusetts?There are many answers to this question because there have been several watercraft sharing the same name. But if you are looking for the USS Massachusetts BB-2, you’re going to need to pack some scuba gear. It now serves as an artificial reef and popular diving spot off of the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
The History of the USS Massachusetts BB-2Long before it was a popular diving hole, the BB-2 USS Massachusetts Indiana-class battleship served our country in different ways. It was first launched on June 10, 1893, and would serve in the Spanish-American War and World War I after being recommissioned. The USS Massachusetts would play a key role in a blockade around Cuba and help destroy Spanish forces that attempted to push through. Over the life of the battleship, there were plenty of incidents, including a training accident gone wrong that would kill nine members. There was also a time when the ship was severely damaged after hitting a rock in Maine and becoming grounded. During World War I, she would begin to be used as a target for training, and this would start a trend that would continue in various phases, even after the war. Eventually, after being scuttled off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, and bombed by Fort Pickens, there were various attempts to scrap her throughout the years. But she would ultimately be declared property of the state of Florida, where she remains today. In 1993, a hundred years after she was launched, the USS Massachusetts battleship became the fourth Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve and continued her life as an artificial reef that is a popular place to dive to this day. The USS Massachusetts wreck was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
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Visit the “Worst Battleship Ever Built”The wreck of the USS Massachusetts ended up getting bad press before she really got a chance to prove herself; however, the design and actions that would come about afterward did little, if anything, to change the perception of the ship. Not everything works out in life. Even the greatest military in the history of history is going to swing and miss a few times, but now residents of NAS Pensacola have only around one and a half nautical miles and a 20-30 foot drop in the Gulf of Mexico separating them from just another weekend or a diving adventure in the deep blue sea.
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