USS UTAH BB-31 / AG-16
The Forgotten Ship of Pearl Harbor
On 9 July 1921, Utah departed for Europe, stopping in Lisbon, Portugal, and Cherbourg, France. After arriving, she became the flagship of American warships in Europe. She carried on in this role until she was relieved by the armored cruiser USS Pittsburgh in October 1922.
Utah returned to the US on 21 October, where she returned to her old post as the flagship of BatDiv 6. In early 1924, Utah took part in the Fleet Problem III maneuvers, where she and her sister Florida acted as stand-ins for the new Colorado-class battleships. Later that year, Utah was chosen to carry the US diplomatic mission to the centennial celebration of the Battle of Ayacucho, which took place on 9 December 1924. She left New York on 22 November with General of the Armies John J. Pershing aboard for a goodwill tour of South America; Utah arrived at Callao, Peru, on 9 December. At the conclusion of Pershing's tour, Utah met him at Montevideo, Uruguay, and then carried him to other ports, including Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, La Guaira, Venezuela, and Havana, Cuba. The tour ultimately ended when Utah returned Pershing to New York on 13 March 1925. Utah conducted midshipman training cruises over the summer of 1925. She was decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 31 October 1925, and placed in drydock for modernization. The modernization replaced her coal-fired boilers with new oil-fired models, and her aft cage mast was replaced with a pole mast. She was reboilered with four White-Forster oil-fired models that had been removed from the battleships and battlecruisers scrapped as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty. Utah also had a catapult mounted on her Number 3 turret along with cranes for handling the floatplanes.
Utah returned to active duty on 1 December, after which she served with the Scouting Fleet. She left Hampton Roads on 21 November 1928 for another South American cruise. This time, she picked up President-elect Herbert C. Hoover and his entourage in Montevideo, and transported them to Rio de Janeiro in December, and then carried them home to the United States, arriving in Hampton Roads on 6 January 1929.