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Warship Wednesday, March 31, 2021: NOLA by way of Brazil

Here at LSOZI, we take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1954 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, March 31, 2021: NOLA by way of Brazil

Published by Detroit Publishing Company, 1890-1912. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Here we see the Elswick-built Chacabucu-class protected cruiser USS New Orleans (later CL-22) at Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1900s. Prominently displayed is the cruiser’s elaborate stern decoration, which looks a lot like the Brazilian national emblem, and for good reason.

As part of a general Latin American naval build-up, Brazil ordered four cruisers in 1894 from Armstrong, Whitworth & Co from a design by British naval architect Philip Watts at ₤265,000 a pop. These ships, with a 3,800-ton displacement on a 354-foot hull, were smaller than a frigate by today’s standards but in the late 19th century, with a battery of a half-dozen 6″/50 (15.2 cm) BL Marks IX guns and Harvey armor that ranged between 0.75 inches on their hull to 4.5-inches on their towers, were deemed protected cruisers.

For batting away smaller vessels, they had four 4.7-inch (120mm) Armstrongs, 14 assorted 57 mm and 37mm quick-firing pieces, and three early Nordenfelt 7mm machine guns. To prove their worth in a battle line, they had three torpedo tubes and a brace of Whitehead 18-inch fish with guncotton warheads. They would be the first ships in the Brazilian fleet to have radiotelegraphs and were thoroughly modern for their time.

However, their four Vosper Thornycroft boilers and turbines, augmented by an auxiliary sailing rig, could only just make 20 knots with everything lit on a clean hull.

The lead ship of the class, laid down as Chacabucu (Elswick Yard Number 629) for the Brazilian government in March 1895, was sold to the Chileans just six months later with her name duly switched to Ministro Zenteno after a hero of the latter country. The second vessel, Almirante Barroso (Yard No. 630), was ordered in November 1894 and commissioned on 29 April 1897. Yard Nos. 631 and 676 were to be Amazonas and Almirante Abreu.

Amazonas in British waters on builder’s trials with no flags. Photo via Vickers Archives.

When things got squirrelly between the U.S. and Spain in early 1898 over Cuban independence and the lost battleship USS Maine, American purchasing agents were active in Europe both to A) expand Uncle Sam’s fleet, and B) prevent the Spaniards from doing the same.

This led to an agreement to buy from Brazil the old dynamite cruiser Nictheroy, though without her guns, and the two nearly complete cruisers outfitting on the Tyne. Lt. John C. Colwell, the naval attaché in London, personally took delivery of both British-built cruisers at Gravesend, England on 18 March, just a month after the loss of Maine and still a month before the American declaration of war.

With that, Nictheroy became USS Buffalo, Amazonas very quickly became USS New Orleans –the first time the name was carried by an active warship on the Navy List– and Almirante Abreu would eventually join the fleet as USS Albany. New Orleans, ready to go, would be sailed across the Atlantic by scratch crews from the cruiser USS San Francisco while English engineers handled the machinery, recording her Brazilian name in her logbook for the crossing.

USS New Orleans arrives off the New York Navy Yard, April 1898, after crossing the Atlantic. Note oversize commissioning pennant flying from her mainmast, and Brazilian Navy paint scheme. She had been purchased from Brazil on 16 March 1898, while still under construction in England. Sailing on her inaugural Atlantic crossing was a 15-man Marine det commanded by 1LT George Barnett, a future 12th Commandant of the Corps. NH 45114

She proved a popular subject with photographers, after all, she was a brand-new cruiser that descended seemingly from Mars himself, on the eve of the nation’s first conflict with a European power since 1815.

USS New Orleans (1898-1929) Docked at the New York Navy Yard, April 1898, immediately after her maiden voyage from England. The receiving ship USS Vermont is at the left. Note New Orleans’ extra-long commissioning pennant. NH 75495

U.S. Navy protected cruiser, USS New Orleans. The photo is listed as an “8-inch gun crew” although it is a 6″/50 (15.2 cm) Mark 5 Armstrong gun. Perhaps the caption was propaganda. Note the Marine in marching order and the bosun to the left with his pipe in his pocket. Detroit Publishing Company, 1890-1912.

US Navy protected cruiser USS New Orleans, six-inch gun. Note the small guns in the mast. Also, the man photobombing to the right of the frame, likely the photographer (Edward H. Hart) due to his bespoke hat. Published by Detroit Publishing Company, possibly 1898.

USS New Orleans (1898-1929) Photographed during the Spanish-American War, 1898. Note the change in her scheme from the Brazilian pattern. NH 45115

US Navy protected cruiser USS New Orleans (1898-1930, later PG-34, CL-22) leaving Brooklyn Navy Yard during the Spanish-American War. Photographed by Edward H. Hart, published by Detroit Publishing Company, 1898. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. LC-DIG-DET-4A13959

Her Span Am War service was significant, shipping out of Norfolk three weeks after the declaration and meeting the Flying Squadron off Santiago de Cuba on 30 May. The next day, our new cruiser, along with USS Massachusetts (Coast Battleship No.2) and USS Iowa (Coast Battleship No.4) reconnoitered the harbor, exchanging heavy fire with both Spanish ships and shore batteries.

Attack on Santiago, 31 May 1898 by USS MASSACHUSETTS (BB-2), USS IOWA (BB-4), and USS NEW ORLEANS (CL-22) by W.B. Shearer. USN 903384

New Orleans went on to spend the rest of her war on blockade duty, shuffling between Guantanamo Bay and San Juan. On 17 July 1898, she captured the French blockade runner Olinde Rodrigues trying to sneak into the latter and sent her, under a prize crew, to Charleston, South Carolina. The steamship was owned and claimed by La Compagnie Generale Transatlantique out of Harve, which later became the subject of a lengthy court case that, in the end, left the New Orleans’s crew without prize money.

USS New Orleans (1898-1929) Halftone photograph, taken during the Spanish-American War and published in the book War in Cuba, 1898. Courtesy of Alfred Cellier, 1977. NH 85648

Immediately after the conclusion of hostilities, she took part in the Peace Jubilee in New York, visited her namesake “hometown” in the Crescent City, then sailed for the Philippines via the Suez, arriving just before Christmas 1899, where she would remain on station for four years.

U.S. Navy protected cruiser, USS New Orleans on Asiatic Station, 1902. Shown is CPT (later RADM) Charles Stillman Sperry (USNA 1866), skipper, and his XO, LCDR James T. Smith. Note the ornate triple ship’s wheels in the background. Donation of Walter J. Krussel, 1949. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Laid up from 1905 to 1909, she recommissioned in 1910 with a new suite of American-pattern guns and headed to the Far East once again, with a gleaming new scheme worthy of TR’s Great White Fleet.

LOC LC-D4-5521

USS NEW ORLEANS (CL-22) Photographed before World War I in her white scheme. Note signalman atop the bridge. Description: Courtesy of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973.NH 92171

U.S. Navy protected cruiser, USS New Orleans, quarter-deck over the stern. Note her searchlights and torpedo-busting guns in the tower. Detroit Publishing Company, 1890-1912

Officers, crew, and mascot of USS New Orleans at Yokohama (CL-22), Japan, 1910. Note the flat caps and cracker jacks of the sailors; fringed epauletted body coats and cocked hats of the officers; outfits that were much more 19th Century than 20th. Via the Yangtze River Patrol Association.

USS NEW ORLEANS (CL-22) Flying a “Homeward Bound” pennant, circa 1912. Halftoned photo original view was courtesy of “Our Navy” magazine. NH 45118

By 1914, she was back in North American waters, spending time– along with most of the other surface assets of the fleet– in Mexican waters, patrolling that country’s Pacific coast in a haze gray scheme. This was a mission she would continue for three years, alternating with trips back up to Puget Sound where she would serve as a training vessel for the Washington State Naval Militia.

USS New Orleans CL-22. March 1916 crew photo taken during an overhaul at PSNS. Note the difference in uniforms from the China photo taken just six years prior. Via Puget Sound Navy Museum.

When the U.S. entered the Great War, she was transferred to the Atlantic, arriving at Hampton Roads on 27 August 1917. From there, she escorted a convoy carrying Doughboys and materiel to Europe. However, with plenty of ships on tap in the British Isles, the funky third-class cruiser received orders once more for the Pacific, reaching Yokohama from Honolulu on 13 March 1918.

USS NEW ORLEANS (CL-22) En route to the Asiatic Station, early in 1918, note her dark gray scheme. NH 45120

It was about this time that the Western Allies decided to intervene in the affairs of civil war-torn Russia, landing troops in Vladivostok in the Pacific as well as Archangel and Murmansk in the White/Barents Seas.

U.S. Soldiers parade in Vladivostok, Aug. 1918, a mission that would span four years and involve New Orleans for most of that. 

New Orleans would remain off and on as a station ship in Vladivostok until 17 August 1922, as the city’s population had quadrupled from 90,000 to more than 400,000 as refugees from the anti-Bolshevik White Russian forces and the Czechoslovak Legion, the latter formed from Austro-Hungarian Army POWs in Siberia, swelled the port, seeking to escape the oncoming Reds. Sheltered under the guns of American, British, French, and Japanese ships, the city remained the last large holdout from Moscow’s control, only being secured by the Red Army in October 1922 with the withdrawal of the hated “Interventionists.”

Czech Maj. Gen Radola Gajda and Captain E. B. Larimer on the deck of USS NEW ORLEANS, Vladivostok, 1919. A former Austrian and Montenegrin army field officer, Gajda helped the Russians raise the Czech legions in 1916 and would later become a high-level commander in the White Army in Siberia– even leading a coup to get rid of its overall leader, Russian Adm. Alexander Kolchak. Gajda would escape Vladivostok for Europe and briefly become the Chief of the General Staff for the Czech Army in the mid-1920s. Note his Russian cossack-style shashka saber with a knot as well as a mix of Russian, Austrian and Montenegrin medals. NH 1097.

Her last mission completed, and her tonnage held against the fleet in future naval treaties, New Orleans returned to Mare Island on 23 September, after calls en route at Yokohama and Honolulu, and was decommissioned on 16 November 1922. Stricken from the Navy List on 13 November 1929, she was sold for scrapping on 4 February 1930 to D. C. Seagraves of San Francisco, California.

As for her sisters, Chacabucu/Ministro Zenteno remained in Chilean service until 1930 and was scrapped while about the same time the Brazilian Barroso was disarmed and turned into a floating barracks, ultimately being written off sometime later, date unknown.

Zenteno and Barroso, Jane’s 1914 listing.

Albany missed the Span Am War, being commissioned in the River Tyne, England, on 29 May 1900. Sailing for the Far East from there where she would serve, alternating cruises back to Europe, until 1913 she only went to the U.S. for the first time for her mid-life refit. Recommissioned in 1914, Albany served off Mexico, gave convoy duty in WWI, and ended up with sister New Orleans briefly in Russia. With the post-war drawdown, she was placed out of commission on 10 October 1922 at Mare Island and sold for scrap in 1930.

Epilogue

Our cruiser is remembered in period maritime art.

U.S. Navy protected cruiser, USS New Orleans (later PG 34 and CL 22), port bow. Reproduction of a painting by Koerner & Hayes, circa 1897-98.

Her plans are in the National Archives.

A single 4.7-inch Elswick Armstrong gun from each of these English-made Brazilian cruisers in U.S. service is installed at the Kane County, Illinois Soldier and Sailor Monument at the former courthouse in Geneva, Illinois.

SECNAV has done a good job of keeping a “NO Boat” or “NOLA boat” on the Naval List for roughly 103 of the past 122 years.

The second completed USS New Orleans would also be a cruiser, CA-32, leader of her seven-hull class of 10,000-ton “Treaty Cruisers” built in the early-to-mid 1930s. The class would give very hard service in WWII, with three sunk at the horrific Battle of Savo Island. However, USS New Orleans (CA-32) was luckier, earning a remarkable 17 battlestars, going on to be laid up in 1947 and stricken/scrapped in 1959.

USS New Orleans (CA-32) In English waters, about June 1934. Photographed by Wright & Logan, Southsea, England. Donation of Captain Joseph Finnegan, USN (Retired), 1970. NH 71787

The third USS New Orleans was an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship, LPH-11, commissioned in 1968. After a 30-year career, she was decommissioned and later disposed of in a SINKEX in 2020.

A vertical view of the amphibious assault ship USS NEW ORLEANS (LPH-11) underway. CH-53 Sea Stallion and CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters line the flight deck, 6/16/1988. PH2 Weideman/DNST8807549.

The fourth New Orleans is a Pascagoula-built San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, LPD-18, that has been in the fleet since 2007.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Aug. 21, 2020) A rigid-hull inflatable boat, right, transits the Philippine Sea from the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18). New Orleans, part of America Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit team is operating in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serves as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Taylor DiMartino)

Specs:

Jane’s 1914 listing for Albany and New Orleans.

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Warship Wednesday Nov. 18, 2015: The Brooklyn Stinger of the Calico King

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.
– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday Nov. 18, 2015: The Brooklyn Stinger of the Calico King

656923

Here we see the steam gunboat USS Scorpion (PY-3) in her gleaming white scheme in an image taken in 1899. She may not look it, but when the Detroit Photographic Co. snapped this photo, the mighty Scorpion was already a killer.

Mr. MCD Borden (not Franz Ferdinand)

Mr. MCD Borden (not Franz Ferdinand)

Ordered by Massachusetts textile magnate Matthew Chaloner Durfee Borden, commonly referred to at the time as “the Calico King” due to his huge factories in the Fall River area, Scorpion began life in 1896 as the very well-appointed steam yacht Sovereign built by the private yard of John N. Robins in South Brooklyn, New York to a design by J. Beaver Webb.

The rakish vessel, a 212-footer at the waterline (250-foot oal) with twin masts and twin screws powered by 2500shp of triple expansion engines, she could touch 15 knots with ease and, when running light in just ten feet of seawater, surpass that when needed.

The New York Times wrote she was, “supposed to be the fastest craft of its size on the Atlantic seaboard, and all the Jersey Central Railroad commuters between Seagirt and Atlantic Highlands know all about it.”

Borden entered her into the New York Yacht Club, where he was an esteemed member and she sailed under his care with the Seawanhaka Yacht, South Side Sportsmen’s, and Jekyll Island Clubs as well.

When war with Spain came, Borden did the patriotic thing and placed his yacht at the Navy’s service, who promptly hauled her to the New York Navy Yard, painted her haze gray, added a quartet of 5″/40 guns located on her sides, fore and aft of the superstructure– the heaviest battery fitted to any yacht converted for service during that conflict, and commissioned her four days later as USS Scorpion on 11 April 1898.

12130301

While only a yacht, her powerful 5″ guns, typically reserved for cruisers, made her a brawler able to dish out some heavy blows and the Navy Department had just the man to conn her. You see Scorpion’s skipper was German-born LCDR Adolph Marix (USNA Class of 1868) and the former executive officer of the battleship USS Maine whose explosion in Havana four months earlier had sparked the war.

Adolph_Marix on ScorpionBy May she was off the coast of Cuba and spent an eventful ten weeks capturing lighters, assisting with landings, enforcing blockades and patrolling the shallows and high seas alike with the Flying Squadron.

On July 18, she was part of a 7 ship attack force, including two gunboats of shallow draft—Wilmington and Helena; two armed tugs—Osceola and Wampatuck; and two converted yachts—Hist and Hornet that sailed into the heavily fortified Spanish base at Manzanillo and, with using her big 5-inchers to good effect, kept the Spanish coastal batteries tied down while the smaller ships destroyed five Spanish gunboats, three blockade runners and one pontoon in less than four hours with little damage to themselves.

When the war ended, Scorpion was recalled to New York, painted white and refitted with a smaller armament while Marix left on his way to become a Vice Admiral. He wasn’t the only one. Over the course of her 31 years in the Navy, she had a staggering 21 skippers to include a Medal of Honor winner and no less than five who went on to become admirals.

In October 1900. Description: Catalog #: NH 2742 Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command

In October 1900. Description: Catalog #: NH 2742 Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command

Another Detroit Publishing Co. shot, this one from 1903, with her laundry hanging. LOC# http://www.loc.gov/item/det1994010972/PP/

Another Detroit Publishing Co. shot, this one from 1903, with her laundry hanging. LOC

View of officers and men circa 1904. Note the six pounder Description: Catalog #: NH 83748

View of officers and men circa 1904. Note the six-pounder Description: Catalog #: NH 83748

Photograph of ship, with diary entry and roster of officers. Lieutenant Commander Richard G. Davenport was aboard as passenger. Description: Catalog #: NH 43803

Photograph of ship, with diary entry and roster of officers. Lieutenant Commander Richard G. Davenport was aboard as passenger. Description: Catalog #: NH 43803

As you may have guessed, Borden never got the Scorpion back and the Navy paid good money for her. She spent six years with the North Atlantic Squadron as a dispatch ship and flag waver small enough to venture into backwater ports around the Caribbean and protect U.S. interests.

NH 83747

Speaking of which, by 1908 she was on her way to Europe. Keeping the svelte gunboat with her 60-70 man peacetime crew in semi-permanent anchor in the Bosporus near the Dolma Bagtchi Palace, she became the station ship in Constantinople. There she remained, leaving to take the occasional Black Sea or Med cruise, for a decade.

NH 103045

Several times she took part in international actions, helping to assist earthquake victims in Messina, Italy; landing armed sailors to guard the U.S. Legation in Constantinople during riots in the city; and venturing into the disputed Balkan ports during the tumultuous events that led up to the Great War.

USS Scorpion (PY-3) in Constantinople, circa 1912 NHHC UA 04.01 Margaret Duggan Collection

USS Scorpion (PY-3) in Constantinople, circa 1912 NHHC UA 04.01 Margaret Duggan Collection

Speaking of which, when the U.S. entered WWI on the side of the Allies, the humble Scorpion faced the might of the German-cum-Ottoman battlecruiser Goeben and, a suddenly a stranger in a strange land, was peacefully interned on 11 April 1917 without a fight, her breechblocks removed and a guard posted.

View taken at Constantinople, Turkey, in 1919 of ship's officers. Front row (L-R): Lieutenant Samuel R. Deets, USN; Commander Richard P. McCullough, USS; Lieutenant Leonard Doughty, USN. Back row: Lieutenant George P. Shields (MC), USN; Paymaster Clarence Jackson, USN; Lieutenant William O. Baldwin, USN; Lieutenant Gale A. Poindexter, USN. Description: Courtesy of LCDR Leonard Doughty, 1929 Catalog #: NH 50276

View taken at Constantinople, Turkey, in 1919 of ship’s officers. Front row (L-R): Lieutenant Samuel R. Deets, USN; Commander Richard P. McCullough, USS; Lieutenant Leonard Doughty, USN. Back row: Lieutenant George P. Shields (MC), USN; Paymaster Clarence Jackson, USN; Lieutenant William O. Baldwin, USN; Lieutenant Gale A. Poindexter, USN. Description: Courtesy of LCDR Leonard Doughty, 1929 Catalog #: NH 50276

When the war ended, she rearmed and remained as the flag of the U.S. High Commissioner to Turkey, keeping her place in now-Istanbul until 1920 when the influx of White Russian exiles and tensions with Greece forced her relocation to Phaleron Bay, Greece, where she remained on station until recalled back to the states 16 June 1927.

In the early 1920s, the Black Sea was an American lake, as the Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Ottoman fleets had largely ceased to exist while the British and French fleets, facing near bankruptcy and mutinous crews, respectively, were keen to send only a few vessels to Constantinople and Odesa and withdraw them as soon as possible. At its height, the U.S. fleet in Constantinople included over 26 warships including the battleships Arizona and Utah, a dozen destroyers, heavy and light cruisers, floating repair shops, and transport ships.

Anchored off the Dolma Bagtche Palace, Constantinople, probably during the early 1920s. Description: Original negative, given by Mr. Franklin Moran in 1967.Catalog #: NH 65006 Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command.

Anchored off the Dolma Bagtche Palace, Constantinople, probably during the early 1920s. Description: Original negative, given by Mr. Franklin Moran in 1967.Catalog #: NH 65006 Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command.

1925

1925

Decommissioned, Scorpion sat on red lead row for a couple years, a Spanish-American War vet in a fleet of 1920s modern marvels.

On 25 June 1929, she was sold for her value in scrap. Very few artifacts remain from her other than some postal covers.

Her name has gone on to become something of an albatross for the submarine force. USS Scorpion (SS-278), a Gato-class submarine, was lost in 1944 to a mine in the Yellow Sea while USS Scorpion (SSN-589), a Skipjack-class submarine, was lost in an accident in 1968. In each case there were no known survivors and her name has been absent from the Naval List for 47 years.

As for Borden, he passed away in 1912 at age 69 while his beloved Sovereign/Scorpion was in Europe. His leviathan American Printing Company outlived them all, but by 1934 was shuttered because of the Great Depression.

Specs:

Displacement: 775 long tons (787 t)
Length: 212 ft. 10 in (64.87 m)
Beam: 28 ft. 1 in (8.56 m)
Draft: 11 ft. (3.4 m)
Installed power: 2 × WA Fletcher Co, Hoboken NJ triple expansion steam engines; 2500 IHP total; powered by twin Babcock and Wilcox 225# boilers. (as built) later Four Yarrow boilers, two 1,400ihp vertical inverted triple expansion steam engines, two shafts.
Propulsion: Twin screw
Speed: 14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h)
Complement: 35 (civilian service) 90 (1898) 60 (1911)
Armament:
(1898) – Four 5″/40 guns
(1905) – Six 6-pounder (57mm) guns and four 6mm Colt machine guns
(1911) – Four 6 pounders in rapid fire mounts

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Warship Wednesday March 14

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steampunk navies of the 1880s-1930s and will profile a different ship each week.

– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, March 14

Here we have the USS Massachusetts

USS Massachusetts (Battleship No. 2) was an Indiana-class battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned six years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. The ship class also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. She was designed for coastal defense and as a result her decks were not safe from high waves on the open ocean.

Massachusetts served in the Spanish–American War (1898) as part of the Flying Squadron and took part in the blockades of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. She missed the decisive Battle of Santiago de Cuba after steaming to Guantánamo Bay the night before to resupply coal. After the war she served with the North Atlantic Squadron, performing training maneuvers and gunnery practice. During this period she suffered an explosion in an 8-inch gun turret, killing nine, and ran aground twice, requiring several months of repair both times. She was decommissioned in 1906 for modernization.

Although considered obsolete in 1910, the battleship was recommissioned and used for annual cruises for midshipmen during the summers and otherwise laid up in the reserve fleet until her decommissioning in 1914. In 1917 she was recommissioned to serve as a training ship for gun crews during World War I. She was decommissioned for the final time in March 1919 under the name Coast Battleship Number 2 so that her name could be reused for USS Massachusetts (BB-54). In 1921 she was scuttled in shallow water off the coast of Pensacola, Florida and then used as a target for experimental artillery. The ship was never scrapped and in 1956 it was declared the property of the state of Florida. Since 1993 the wreck has been a Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It serves as an artificial reef and diving spot.

Displacement:     10,288 long tons (10,453 t; 11,523 ST)
Length:     350 ft 11 in (106.96 m)
Beam:     69 ft 3 in (21.11 m)
Draft:     27 ft (8.2 m)
Propulsion:

Two vertical inverted triple expansion reciprocating steam engines
4 double ended Scotch boilers later replaced by 8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
9,000 ihp (6.7 MW) (design)
10,400 ihp (7.8 MW) (trial)

Speed:

15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) (design)
16.2 kn (30.0 km/h; 18.6 mph) (trial)

Range:     4,900 nmi (9,100 km; 5,600 mi)
Complement:     473 officers and men
Armament:

4 × 13″/35 gun (2×2)
8 × 8″/35 gun (4×2)
4 × 6″/40 gun removed 1908
12 × 3″/50 gun added 1910
20 × 6-pounders
6 × 1 pounder guns
5 × Whitehead torpedo tubes

Armor:     Harveyized steel

Belt: 18–8.5 in (460–220 mm)
13″ turrets: 15 in (380 mm)
Hull: 5 in (130 mm)

Conventional nickel-steel

Tower: 10 in (250 mm)
8″ turrets: 6 in (150 mm)
Deck: 3 in (76 mm)

Warship Wednesday March 7th

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steampunk navies of the 1880s-1930s and will profile a different ship each week.

– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, March 7

Here we have the USS Oregon BB-3

USS Oregon (BB-3) was a pre-Dreadnought Indiana-class battleship of the United States Navy. Her construction was authorized on 30 June 1890,

Oregon with her warpaint on in 1898. She steamed 14,000 miles in 66 days, over 212 miles per day, to reach Cuba from the West Coast

In 1898 she steamed 14,000 miles in 66 days, a remarkable feat of seamanship for the iron hulled steam navy. She took part in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, where she and the cruiser Brooklyn were the only ships fast enough to chase down the Spanish cruiser Cristóbal Colón, forcing its surrender. Around this time she received the nickname “Bulldog of the Navy”. She was still afloat in WWI and served as an escort for US troops to Siberia in 1918. The next year she was decommed for the last time and turned into a floating museum operated by the state of Oregon from 1925-41, one of the first of its kind in the country.

When WWII started the city donated her back to the navy and she was used as an ammunition barge during the battle of Guam, finally being broken up in 1956…in Japan.

Displacement:     10,288 long tons (10,453 t; 11,523 ST)
Length:     351 ft 2 in (107.04 m)
Beam:     69 ft 3 in (21.11 m)
Draft:     27 ft (8.2 m)
Propulsion:

Two vertical inverted triple expansion reciprocating steam engines[2]
4 double ended Scotch boilers
9,000 ihp (6.7 MW) (design)[3]
11,111 ihp (8.285 MW) (trial)

Speed:

15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) (design)[3]
16.8 kn (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) (trial)

Range:     5,600 nmi (10,400 km; 6,400 mi)[a][4]
Complement:     473 officers and men[5]
Armament:

4 × 13″/35 gun (2×2)
8 × 8″/35 gun (4×2)
4 × 6″/40 gun removed 1908
12 × 3″/50 gun added 1910
20 × 6-pounders
6 × 1 pounder guns
5 × Whitehead torpedo tubes[b]

Armor:     Harveyized steel

Belt: 18–8 in (460–200 mm)
13″ turrets: 15 in (380 mm)
Hull: 6.25 in (159 mm)

Conventional nickel-steel

Tower: 10 in (250 mm)
8″ turrets: 6 in (150 mm)
Deck: 4.5 in (110 mm)