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USS PENNSYLVANIA/PITTSBURGH (Armored Cruiser No. 4/CA 4)

CLASS - PENNSYLVANIA
Displacement 13,680 Tons, Dimensions, 504' (oa) x 69' 7" x 26' 6" (Max)
Armament 4 x 8"/40, 14 x 6"/50 18 x 3"/50, 12 x 3pdr, 2 x 1pdr, 2 x 18" tt.
Armor, 6" Belt, 6 1/2" Turrets, 4" Deck, 9" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 23,000 IHP; 2 Vertical, Inverted, Triple Expansion Engines, 2 screws
Speed, 22 Knots, Crew 830.
Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 07 AUG 1901 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA
Launched 22 AUG 1903
Commissioned 09 MAR 1905
Used for flight Deck testing from late 1910 to early 1911
Decommissioned 01 JUL 1911
Renamed Pittsburgh 27 AUG 1912
Commissioned 20 MAY 1913
Reclassified CA 4 in 1920
Decommissioned 15 OCT 1921
Commissioned 02 OCT 1922
Decommissioned 10 JUL 1931
Used in weapons testing after decommissioning
Stricken 26 OCT 1931
Fate: Sold for scrap 21 DEC 1931

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Pittsburgh
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2.21m News article on the launching of the California from the San Francisco newspaper "On Call" dated 29 April 1904 Michael Mohl
Pittsburgh
acr0444
54k Port quarter view while in drydock, location and date unknown. Pieter Bakels
Pittsburgh
acr0445
248k Moored, port side to, date and location unknown. Mike Hughes
Pittsburgh 145k

USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) Photograph taken circa 1905-1908, and published on a color-tinted postal card by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco, California. Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (Retired), 1983.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 101229-KN.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pennsylvania
acr0458
145k

Cover of Army and Navy Register dated 8 April 1905.

Ron Reeves
Pittsburgh 145k

USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) Anchored at Oyster Bay, New York, during the Naval review there, 4 September 1906. Published on a stereograph card by the Keystone View Company, 1906. Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(MSC), 1977.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 85296.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh
acr0450
303k

Photo Caption:

"A FLOCK OF UNCLE SAM'S PEACE DOVES AT THE BROOKLYN NAVY-YARD

The work of preparing the warships for their 13,000-mile voyage into the Pacific, and of keeping of all other vessels in the highest state of efficiency, is being prosecuted with all possible dispatchat all of the United States Naval Stations."

In the photo - Battleship INDIANA (upper left), armored cruiser PENNSYLVANIA (middle left), armored curiser COLORADO (top center), battleship ALABAMA (Center), armored cruiser MARYLAND (left), and armored cruiser WEST VIRGINIA (foreground).

Library of Congress Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-66021

Tom Kermen
Pittsburgh 183k

USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, being fitted with a temporary wooden deck in preparation for Eugene Ely's airplane landing attempt. Ely landed his Curtiss pusher biplane on board the ship on 18 January, the first airplane landing on a warship. The landing deck, 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, was inclined slightly to help slow the plane as it landed, and had a thirty-degree ramp at its after end.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USNHC/Darryl L. Baker
Pittsburgh 123k

This an another view of the flight deck being installed aboard USS Pennsylvania at Mare Island Navy Yard in 1910.

U.S. Navy Photo.

Darryl L. Baker
Pittsburgh 151k

USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, in January 1911, after she had been fitted with a temporary wooden deck in preparation for Eugene Ely's airplane landing attempt. Ely landed his Curtiss pusher biplane on board the ship on 18 January, the first airplane landing on a warship. The landing deck, 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, was inclined slightly to help slow the plane as it landed, and had a thirty-degree ramp at its after end.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 90066.

USNHC/Darryl L. Baker
Pittsburgh 67k

USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) In San Francisco Bay, California, in January 1911, after she had been fitted with a temporary wooden deck in preparation for Eugene Ely's airplane landing attempt. Ely landed his Curtiss pusher biplane on board the ship on 18 January , the first airplane landing on a warship. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1977.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 85460.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 191k

Starboard stern quarter with Eugene B. Ely landing plane on flight deck. 18 January 1911.

Image # (80-G-428455)

National Archives
Pittsburgh 85k

First airplane landing on a warship, 18 January 1911 - Eugene B. Ely lands his Curtiss pusher biplane on USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), anchored in San Francisco Bay, California. Photograph from the Eugene B. Ely scrapbooks.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 1385.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 153k

First airplane landing on a warship, 18 January 1911 - Eugene B. Ely's Curtiss pusher biplane nears the landing platform on USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), during the morning of 18 January 1911. The ship was then anchored in San Francisco Bay, California.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 82737.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh 130k

First airplane landing on a warship, 18 January 1911 - Eugene B. Ely's Curtiss pusher biplane lands aboard USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), during the morning of 18 January 1911. The ship was then anchored in San Francisco Bay, California. The plane has now caught the first lines of the arresting gear, and sandbags at the ends of the lines are being pulled along the landing platform as the plane moves forward.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 77608.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
acr0447
89k

Aviator Eugene B. Ely poses with Captain Charles F. Pond, USN, Commanding Officer of USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), shortly after Ely had landed his airplane on board the ship, in San Francisco Bay, California, 18 January 1911. Ely's wife, Mabel, is standing beside him, second from the left. The woman at right is probably Captain Pond's wife. Ely, whose landing was the first ever made on a warship, is wearing a leather helmet and goggles. Rubber inner tubes are wrapped around his shoulders to provide floatation in case he landed in the water. Photographed by R.J. Waters & Co.

Photograph from the Eugene B. Ely scrapbooks.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 77580.

Bill Gonyo
Pittsburgh 137k

Aviator Eugene B. Ely Stands by his Curtiss pusher biplane, just before taking off from USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) to return to land, 18 January 1911. - Earlier in the day he landed on the ship's deck, the first time an airplane had alighted on a warship. Pennsylvania was then at anchor in San Francisco Bay, California. Note the light emergency floats under the plane's lower wings and Ely's flying attire, including rubber inner tubes worn around his shoulders as a life preserver. The hooks on the bottom of the plane's undercarriage were used to catch lines placed across the ship's landing platform in order to bring the aircraft to a stop. Photograph from the Eugene B. Ely scrapbooks.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 77588.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh 116k

Eugene B. Ely's Curtiss pusher biplane Taking off from USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) to return to land, 18 January 1911. Earlier in the day Ely landed on the ship's deck, the first time an airplane had landed on a warship. The ship was then at anchor in San Francisco Bay, California. Photograph from the Eugene B. Ely scrapbooks.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 77499.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 80k

Eugene B. Ely's Curtiss pusher biplane Flying off aircraft platform on USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), 18 January 1911. Earlier in the day Ely had landed on the ship's deck, the first time an airplane alighted on a warship's deck. Pennsylvania was then anchored in San Francisco Bay, California. Photograph from the Eugene B. Ely scrapbooks.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 77565.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
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65k Eugene B. Ely's Curtiss pusher biplane Taking off from USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) to return to land, 18 January 1911. Earlier in the day Ely landed on the ship's deck, the first time an airplane had landed on a warship. The ship was then at anchor in San Francisco Bay, California. Tom Kermen
Pittsburgh
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91k A model of the USS Pennsylvania at the time of Eugene Ely's flight. The model is at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. Judson Phillips
Pittsburgh
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119k A model of the USS Pennsylvania at the time of Eugene Ely's flight. The model is at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. Judson Phillips
Pittsburgh 121k

Curtiss "Hydroaeroplane" Being prepared for hoisting aboard USS Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), during experiments in San Diego Bay, California, on 17 Feburary 1911. Glenn Curtiss is standing atop the aircraft.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-1051558.

National Archives
Pittsburgh 103k

USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) View on deck, looking aft at other armored cruisers of the South Atlantic Squadron, while they were underway at sea, circa 1917-1918. Note Pittsburgh's deep roll to port, and canvas covers over her afterdeck skylights. Courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Ellis M. Zacharias, USN, 1931.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 50065.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
acr0454
135k

Photo caption "Looking out 7" gun port, U.S.S. Pennsylvania." The gun is actually a 6"/50

Navy Bureau of Construction & Repair., ca. 1918

John Hendershot
Pittsburgh 90k

USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) At Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, circa 1917-1918. Courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Ellis M. Zacharias, USN, 1931.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 50062.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh 80k

USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) In a floating drydock at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, circa 1917-1918. Courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Ellis M. Zacharias, USN, 1931.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 50051.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 532k USS Pittsburgh, Moored in the San Marco Basin, Venice, Italy, in 1919. From the collection of Edward Barrall. Jennifer Peterson
Pittsburgh 164k USS Pittsburgh, Moored in the San Marco Basin, Venice, Italy, in 1919. From the collection of Edward Barrall. Jennifer Peterson
Pittsburgh 441k USS Pittsburgh, anchored in an unknown Mediterranean port during 1919. Note the 3-Star flag flying from the after mast. Pittsburgh was the flagship for the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean. From the collection of Edward Barrall. Jennifer Peterson
Pittsburgh 64k

USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) In a harbor in the Adriatic Sea area, circa 1919.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 50352.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
acr0446
88k

USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, 27 May 1919. Panoramic photograph, taken by Crosby, 11 Portland Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Crosby Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 105195

Robert Hurst
Pittsburgh
acr0457
620k

At anchor in the port of Barcelona in the early 1920's.

Photo #24385N

Museu Marítim de Barcelona and the photo-blog FOTOdeMAR
Pittsburgh
acr0451
624k

As Flagship for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, USS Pittsburgh visited Barcelona, Spain, in July 1920, when these photos were taken. Some newspapers reported she was a "battleship." Since she had borne the name Pennsylvania, the mistake is somewhat understandable

From the collection of the late Antoni Blasi

Col·lecció Antoni Blasi, via Camil Busquets
Pittsburgh
acr0452
540k

As Flagship for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, USS Pittsburgh visited Barcelona, Spain, in July 1920, when these photos were taken. Some newspapers reported she was a "battleship." Since she had borne the name Pennsylvania, the mistake is somewhat understandable

From the collection of the late Antoni Blasi

Col·lecció Antoni Blasi, via Camil Busquets
Pittsburgh 89k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) Alongside a wharf, probably in a European port, circa 1920. Collection of Rear Admiral Paulus P. Powell, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 72265.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
acr0456
103k
We have a picture (attached) of a bell from Rochester Cathedral UK in the Medway Archive collection inscribed “USS Pittsburgh In Memory Of 1920”. The meaning of this was lost until an article in the Chatham News 20-12-1920 came to light which explains everything:

The Pittsburgh’s crew, in recognition of the hospitality they received whilst their ship was in Chatham Dockyard for two and a half months, paid for the re-casting of a Cathedral bell.

The following was published in The Chatham News 20-12-1920.

“U.S.S. PITTSBURGH. Officers and Men Give a Bell to Rochester Cathedral.

The following letter sent this week to the Dean of Rochester, speaks for itself:

Dear Dr. Storrs, Before the ship sails from Chatham, I wish to express to you our appreciation of the honour you have done us, in coming on board to address my officers and men, and for the special service which you held for us in your Cathedral. We are grateful for these kindnesses, and I beg you to thank Mrs. Storrs, and the ladies of Rochester, for their entertainment of our men in the Guildhall, Rochester. I hand you herewith a cheque for £52 10s, from Admiral Huse, the Officers and Men of Pittsburgh, to cover the cost of re-casting a bell for the Cathedral chimes. I understand that it is agreeable to you to have the bell marked: U.S.S. Pittsburgh 1920. Please accept this as a token of our great appreciation of kindnesses received, and of our sincere desire that our two peoples may always happily associate and feel as kindly toward each other, as we do, to our hosts of the last two-and-a-half months. May the Pittsburgh bell sound from the tower of your ancient Cathedral a sweet tone, a note of goodwill from us to you.


Sincerely and respectfully yours, J. W. TODD, Capt. U.S. Navy, Comdg.”


The bell is No 3 the Cathedral tower so still rings out today.
Roger Smoothy
Pittsburgh 57k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) In a Mediterranean Port, circa 1923-1926. Panoramic photograph. Courtesy of Robert M. Ramsey, 1981.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 95655.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 149k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) Members of the ship's landing force in a boat, off Shanghai, China, in 1927. Note steel helmets and M1910 infantry equipment worn by these men. Several picks are in evidence, but few spades. Sailor on the left of the group seated on the gunwale has a non-standard entrenching axe on his pack. There are also three litter bearers present (at left), and a number of men of Oriental appearance on the far side of the boat.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 50794.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh 72k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) In the Wangpoo River, off Shanghai, China, circa 1927. Note the different elevations of the 8"/45 guns of her forward turret. Also note the missing forward stack, which was removed in 1926, making her unique within the class. Courtesy of Penland Dixon, 1983.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 95119.

USNHC
Pittsburgh
acr0455
94k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) moored off the Shanghai Bund, China, circa 1927. Note that her after smokestack is being painted. This image is cropped from Photo # NH 105067. Donation of Mrs. Charles E. Winslow, 1993, from the collection of her late husband, former U.S. Marine Charles E. Winslow.

U.S. Naval Historical Centre Photograph. Photo # NH 105067-C.

Robert Hurst
Pittsburgh 83k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) Underway at sea, circa 1926-1931, as refitted for service as Asiatic Fleet flagship. Note the dense smoke from her boiler fires.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 720.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 83k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) Underway, circa 1929. Courtesy of William P. Healey, 1979.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 92515.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 98k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) View of the ship's forward 8"/45 gun turret and bridge, seen from her forecastle, 1930. The photograph appears to have been taken while the ship was off Shanghai, China. Note non-standard tampions closing the gun muzzles. Courtesy of W.G. Kelly, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 71964.

USNHC
Pittsburgh 103k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) Anchored off Shanghai, China, circa 1930-1931.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 51997.

USNHC/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh 130k

USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) The decommissioned ship being used in bomb tests, 8 October 1931. This photograph shows the explosion of the first 500-pound bomb in the test series.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives #80-G-405490.

National Archives/Fred Weiss
Pittsburgh
acr0449
488k The USS Pittsburgh’s bell is located in New Milford, Connecticut, in Litchfield County. The bell was erected by the American Legion Ezra Woods Post No. 31 in 1951 in memory of Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp (1853 – 1923). The USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) was his flagship.

Photo by Michael Herrick

Bill Gonyo

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
McLean, Thomas Chalmers, CAPT   03/09/1905 -
Ward, Aaron, CAPT RADM 03/1907 - 03/17/1908
Wilner, Francis Adams, CAPT   03/17/1908 -
Pond, Charles Fremont, CAPT   07/03/1909 - 02/1910
Evans, William E., LCDR   02/1910 - 03/1910
Decommissioned   07/01/1911 - 05/20/1913
Raby, James Joseph, CDR RADM 07/04/1912 - 05/20/1913
Lang, Charles Jonas, CDR   05/20/1913 -
Bradshaw, George Brown, CDR   08/1914
Kautz, Austin, CAPT   12/10/1914
Bowen Sr., Harold Gardiner, CDR VADM 01/1916 -
Price, Claude Bernard, CDR   08/05/1916
Dayton, John Havens, CAPT RADM 11/1918 -
Todd, David Wooster, CAPT   04/30/1919
Reeves, Joseph Mason (Bull), CAPT ADM 04/1921 - 10/15/1921
Decommissioned   10/15/1921 - 10/02/1922
Klemann, John Valentine, CAPT   ~1923
Evans, Franck Taylor, CAPT   06/28/1924 - 08/1926
Steele Jr., George Washington, CAPT   09/20/1926 - ~1928
Powell, Halsey, CAPT   1929 - 07/10/1931

(List courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves - Photos courtesy of Bill Gonyo)


USS PENNSYLVANIA/PITTSBURGH (Armored Cruiser No. 4/CA 4) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable To This Ship

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.
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