USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was the lead ship of her class of United States Navy "super-dreadnought" battleships. She was the third Navy ship named for the state of Pennsylvania.
She was laid down on 27 October 1913, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 16 March 1915, sponsored by Elizabeth Kolb of Philadelphia, Pa., and commissioned on 12 June 1916, with Captain Henry B. Wilson in command.
Upon commissioning, Pennsylvania was attached to the Atlantic Fleet. On 12 October 1916, she became flagship of Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, when Admiral Henry T. Mayo shifted his flag from Wyoming to Pennsylvania. In January 1917, Pennsylvania steamed for Fleet maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea. She returned to her base at Yorktown, Virginia on 6 April, the day of the American declaration of war against Germany. She did not sail to join the British Grand Fleet since she burned fuel oil rather than coal, and tankers could not be spared to carry additional fuel to the British Isles. In the light of this circumstance, only coal-burning battleships were selected for this mission. Based at Yorktown, she kept in battle trim with Fleet maneuvers, tactics, and training in the areas of the Chesapeake Bay, intervened by overhaul at Norfolk and New York, with brief maneuvers in Long Island Sound.