USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was the second of two Nevada-class battleships. Both were ordered in a naval appropriation act on 4 March 1911. She was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation for the United States Navy in the 1910s. Oklahoma was the only US warship ever named for the 46th state.
The Oklahoma's keel was laid down on October 26, 1912 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, who bid $5,926,000 to construct the ship. By December 12, 1912, she was 11.2 percent complete, and by July 13, 1913 she was at 33 percent. She was launched on March 23, 1914. The ship was sponsored by Miss Lorena J. Cruce, daughter of Oklahoma Governor Lee Cruce. The launch was preceded by an invocation—the first for an American warship in half a century—given by Elijah Embree Hoss, and was attended by various dignitaries from Oklahoma and the federal government.
Following commissioning, the ship remained along the East Coast of the United States primarily visiting various Navy yards and began her sea trails. She was initially not able to join the Battleship Division Nine task force sent to support the Grand Fleet in the North Sea during World War I due to a lack of oil available there. In 1917, she underwent a refit and two 3-inch/50 caliber guns were installed forward of the mainmast for anti-aircraft defense, and nine of the 5"/51 caliber guns were removed or repositioned.