Shipping Out

Posted April 27, 2004 at 4:23pm

Following the 1928 elections, President-elect Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, embarked on a goodwill trip around the world. After reaching South America in December, their traveling party boarded the USS Utah in Montevideo, Uruguay, for a trip to Rio de Janeiro and then the voyage home.

While on board the Utah, the first lady-to-be was captured on film taking a picture of the traveling photographers who were themselves tasked with covering the Hoovers. Judging by their expressions, a number of photographers seemed to enjoy the role reversal.

This voyage marked the closing days of the Utah’s tenure as a battleship. On July 1, 1931, the ship was reclassified as a mobile target and installed with a radio-control apparatus. Commissioned in August 1911, the Utah saw action in World War I as the flagship for Rear Adm. Thomas Rogers and provided cover for Allied convoys operating around Great Britain. The Utah was moored at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when it was hit by a Japanese aerial torpedo attack, causing it to roll over and sink. The ship still sits near Ford Island, located within the naval base.