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One Last Duty

Wilson tabletThe USS Oregon was once again placed in full commission on August 21, 1919 and assigned one last duty. The ship would serve as the reviewing platform for President Woodrow Wilson as he gave the Pacific fleet a postwar welcome at Seattle, Washington.

It was a great honor for the crew of the Oregon to have the President of the United States onboard and a bronze tablet was placed on the deck were President Wilson had stood during the review.

By now though, the Navy had realized that the USS Oregon could not continue to serve with the active fleet, when fifteen inch guns were the norm now. The new battlewagons were bigger, more heavily armed and armored, and were faster. The honor of being the reviewing platform was one last sentimental gesture before the ship was finally decommissioned, on October 4, 1919.

The Oregon, along with her fellow comrades of the Spanish-American War, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Texas were slated to be sunk for target practice at sea, but a Spanish-American War veterans group, together with other civic organizations started a campaign to save the Oregon.

With the assistance of then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had an interest in naval history and affairs, the Oregon was spared from the new guns of the U.S. Navy. The aging warrior was allowed to remain.

The photo of the bronze tablet (above) was place on the deck of the USS Oregon. It reads: 

This tablet marks the spot where President Woodrow Wilson stood while reviewing the Pacific Fleet - Sept 13, 1919 Scout Young Auxiliary No. 3 United Spanish War Veterans - June 14, 1928

 

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