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Date: 1908
Overall: 33 x 33 mm, 4 mm
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00004340
Place Manufactured:New York

User Terms

    This metal souvenir badge features the battleship USS VERMONT underway on the Great White Fleet world tour. The badge was produced by the Pioneer Manufacturing Co to commemorate the peace time visit of the American Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908.
    SignificanceThis badge is representative of the visit of the Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908 and the prolific production of commemorative souvenirs.
    HistoryUSS VERMONT was a Connecticut class battleship launched on 31 August 1905. It conducted its shakedown cruise with the Atlantic Squadron. VERMONT sailed as a unit of the 1st division in the American Great White Fleet tour in 1907-1909 and visited ports in Chile, Peru, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan and China. It was used in operations in Hamptons Roads and served in World War I. VERMONT was decommissioned on 30 June 1920.

    In December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria. Badges, medallions, pins, postcards and photographs all reflected the enthusiasm surrounding a potential new and powerful ally.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: USS VERMONT

    Web title: Badge featuring USS VERMONT

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