South Thimble Island in Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Chesapeake Bay: History Happened Here
The Navy Sees the World
On the morning of December 16, 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt sent the "Great White Fleet" around the world to demonstrate American technology and resolve. Sixteen battleships passed by this point en route to Trinidad and points south, returning to American waters in 1909. The squadrons were manned by 14,000 sailors. They covered some 43,000 miles and made twenty port calls on six continents. Modern electrical and propulsion systems required shore facilities for training. When the U.S. entered World War I, the Navy established a large training base in Norfolk, including a submarine base and an air station. The Army and Navy conducted tests of air power in the Bay during the 1920s. USS Alabama (Battleship #8) shows the effect of a phosphorus bomb while serving as a target in the Bay, September 27, 1921. In the foreground is a Navy F5L seaplane. Wrecks in the distance are other old battleships used as targets. USS Connecticut (Battleship #18) leads the Atlantic Fleet out of Hampton Roads in December, 1907.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics Military • Notable Events • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1856.
Location. 36° 57.998′ N, 76° 6.747′ W. Marker is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is on South Thimble Island. Marker is on Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (U.S. 13), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia Beach VA 23455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lucius J. Kellam, Jr. (here, next to this marker); Tribute to Admiral de Grasse (here, next to this marker); The Chesapeake Bay : History Happened Here (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Chesapeake Bay : History Happened Here (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Chesapeake Bay: History Happened Here (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Chesapeake Bay : History Happened Here (within shouting distance of this marker); Adam ThorowgoodMeeting of Three Commanders (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia Beach.
Also see . . .
1. Great White Fleet. Wikipedia entry:
"The Great White Fleet" was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into four squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability. (Submitted on August 25, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
2. Navy F5L Seaplane. Wikipedia entry:
The twin engine F5L was one of the Felixstowe F series of flying boats developed by John Cyril Porte at the Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe, England during World War I, from an original design by the American Glen Curtiss. The F5L was an American-built version of the Felixstowe F.5; it was also known as the Curtiss F5L and (in civilian operation) as the Aeromarine 75. It entered service at the end of the war and was the US Navy’s standard patrol plane until 1928, when it was replaced by the PN-12. (Submitted on August 25, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
3. USS Connecticut (BB-18). Wikipedia entry:
U.S.S. Connecticut served as the flagship for the Jamestown Exposition in mid-1907, which commemorated the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony. She later sailed with the Great White Fleet on a circumnavigation of the Earth to showcase the US Navy's growing fleet of blue-water-capable ships. After completing her service with the Great White Fleet, Connecticut participated in several flag-waving exercises intended to protect American citizens abroad until she was pressed into service as a troop transport at the end of World War I to expedite the return of American Expeditionary Forces from France. (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 701 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 25, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. 4. submitted on October 24, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.