In 1917 the U.S. Navy built a full-size battleship in Union Square, New York. It would stay there for the next three years.
Intended as a recruitment and training center, the ship was commissioned as a normal seagoing ship, under the command of Acting Captain C. F. Pierce, and manned by trainee sailors from Newport Training Station. Internally the ship had a wireless station, full officer's quarters, doctor's quarters and examination rooms to assess the health of potential candidates.
Constructed from wood, the USS Recruit carried two cage masts, a conning tower and a dummy funnel, or smokestack. It had six wooden replicas of 14-inch (360 mm) guns housed in three twin turrets, 10 wooden five-inch (130 mm) anti-torpedo boat guns and two replica one-pound saluting guns, matching the configuration of battleships of the time.
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