USS Neversail: The Landlocked Ship That Made Its Own Waves

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Recruiting poster showing USS Recruit. Carlton T. Chapman, artist, ca. 1917. The Mariners’ Museum and Park 1998.33.28

During World War I, a Navy vessel ‘sailed’ the concrete of New York City for three years. The only water it ever encountered was from the sky and the city’s municipal water supply. The battleship, nicknamed “USS Neversail” and the “Street Dreadnaught,” was officially christened USS Recruit.

This recruiting poster depicts Recruit proudly steaming through the waves, leading other vessels in its wake. In reality, Recruit was constructed, commissioned, manned, decommissioned, and dismantled without ever touching an ocean. Yet despite being landlocked, the ship played an important role during World War I.   Read more