— Illinois —
There have been two commissioned warships of the USN to bear the name USS Illinois. However, a further three have carried the name but never sailed.
The first Illinois was a screw sloop laid down in 1864. The end of the American Civil War halted her construction and she was never completed. Her timbers were broken up on the ways in 1872. She is not shown.
The second Illinois, shown at top, was a full-scale brick-and-concrete mockup of the Indiana class, built for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago during 1893. She was built on pylons in Lake Michigan and had no propulsion, but she did have functioning wiring, a n operational secondary battery, a full service galley, a crew of 200 and a Navy captain. Her main armament was fake, but she was used as an exhibit throughout the expo and later contemplated for moving and use for the Illinois State Militia as a headquarters. Plans were abandoned and she was demolished. See my full post on her under #fauxship .
The first commissioned Illinois and the first to have the USS designation was BB-7, lead ship of the Illinois class but the last to be completed. She is shown at middle prior to 1909 based on her pole masts, later changed to cage masts. Illinois commissioned in 1901 and sailed as part of the Great White Fleet in 1907-9. She later served as a training ship on the East Coast during WWI, and joined the NY State Militia afterwards. In 1924 she had a tremendous wooden house built on her and served as an armory until 1941 when she became USS Prairie State (IX-15) and a training school. She served as a barracks ship post-war and was scrapped in 1956. See my full Class Clashes post under #ussillinois and scroll past recent photos.
The fourth ship named Illinois was BB-65. Originally slated to be the Montana and lead ship of that battleship class, she was redesignated as an Iowa class in 1940 and laid down in 1942. Shifting priorities had her nearly converted to a carrier, but plans were abandoned and construction continued slowly. She was cancelled at 22% complete 11 August 1945, and was kept as a potential target hull until scrapping in 1958.
Last is SSN-786! ⬇️⬇️