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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive

USS OLYMPIA (C 6/CA 15/CL 15/IX 40)


Drawing courtesy of Robert Jensen


CLASS - OLYMPIA
Displacement 5,870 Tons, Dimensions, 344' 1" (oa) x 53' 1" x 24' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 8"/35, 10 x 5"/40, 14 x 6pdr, 6 x 1pdr, 6 x 18" tt..
Armor, 3 1/2" Shields, 4 3/4" Deck, 5" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 13,500 IHP; 2 Vertical, Triple Expansion Engines, 2 screws
Speed, 20 Knots, Crew 412.
Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 17 June 1891 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA
Launched 05 NOV 1892
Commissioned 05 FEB 1895
Decommissioned 8 NOV 1899
Commissioned JAN 1902
Decommissioned 02 APR 1906
Commissioned 1916
Reclassified on 17 JUL 1920 as CA 15
Reclassified 18 AUG 1921 as CL 15
Decommissioned 09 DEC 1922
Reclassified on 30 JUN 1931 as IX 40
Stricken 11 SEP 1957
Transfered to the Cruiser Olympia Assn. on 11 SEP 1957
Designated as a National Historic Landmark 29 JAN 1964
Transfered to the Independence Seaport Museum JAN 1996

While still afloat and open as a museum, the Olympia may still not survive.
Please visit the "Friends Of The Cruiser Olympia" website to read more about her.


Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Olympia
c0649
105k Saturday, 5 November 1892. Over 20,000 guests and spectators are in attendance at Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California, for the launching of the United States' newest warship, Cruiser No. 6. The ship is sponsored by Miss Anna Belle Dickie, daughter of George W. Dickie, manager of Union Iron Works. At 11:25am, Miss Dickie christens Cruiser No. 6 "Olympia." At 11:27am, Miss Elsie Lilienthal cuts the launching rope, and OLYMPIA slides down the ways, and into history. Today 120 years later, she is the oldest steel warship afloat, and the only one from America's new steel navy. Michael Mohl
Olympia
c0616
68k Port side view, date unknown. Steve Graham
Olympia
c0617
147k Starboard bow view of the USS Olympia (C 6); date and place unknown. Darryl Baker
Olympia
c0632
220k Officers of the Olympia, date unknown. Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0650
569k Olympia's Apprentice Boys, date unknown. Steve Graham
Olympia
c0642
496k As IX 40, Port bow view, date and location unknown, possibily Philadelphia.. Ron Reeves
Olympia
c0623
65k

USS Olympia (C 6) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa July 1895. Photo from the William H. Topley Collection, courtesy of Charles M. Loring, Napa, CA, 1972.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 76121.

USNHC
Olympia
c0622
46k

USS Olympia (C 6) At Hong Kong, circa April 1898, probably just prior to the declaration of war. Olympia has been repainted from peacetime "white and buff" into wartime grey. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Dutreaux Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 84575.

USNHC
Olympia
c0651
44k Flag flown on USS Olympia during the Battle Of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898.

Collection of Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command.

Steve Graham
Olympia
c0652
44k Photograph of the hoist of the flag flown on USS Olympia during the Battle Of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898.

Collection of Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command.

Steve Graham
Olympia
c0647
189k

Painting by Douglas Michie, USS Olympia in Hong Kong on Washington's birthday 1898 in full dress.

Wolfgang Hechler
Boston
bos37
47k Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898

Colored print after a painting by J.G. Tyler, copyright 1898 by P.F. Collier. Ships depicted in left side of print are (l-r): Spanish Warships Don Antonio de Ulloa, Castilla, and Reina Cristina. Those in right side are (l-r): USS Boston, USS Baltimore and USS Olympia.

Collections of the Navy Department, purchased from Lawrence Lane, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 71839-KN

Robert Hurst
Boston
bos38
39k "The Battle of Manila", 1 May 1898

Contemporary halftone print after an artwork by W.G. Wood, originally reproducted by courtesy of F.A. Munsey. It depicts the Spanish ships at left (l-r): Isla de Cuba, Isla de Luzon and Reina Cristina. The Cavite batteries are in the center distance. At right are (l-r): USS Boston, USS Baltimore, USS Raleigh, USS Olympia and USS Concord.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 1256.

Robert Hurst
Olympia
c0601
131k Photo taken September 27, 1898 shows the ship in her original design configuration. The forward 8" twin turret is visible here. USN
Olympia
c0621
55k

USS Olympia (C 6) Photographed in 1898-99, while serving as flagship of Admiral George Dewey, Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Squadron. Courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS, 1967.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 43346.

USNHC
Olympia
c0620
70k

USS Olympia (C 6) Photographed by Hart, New York, upon her return to the United States in 1899. She is flying the four-star flag of Admiral George Dewey.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 2894.

USNHC
Olympia
c0619
80k

USS Olympia (C 6) Photograph copyright 1899 by E. Chickering. Collection of Paymaster William R. Pattison.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 93400.

USNHC
Olympia
c0618
59k

USS Olympia (C 6) In New York Harbor following her arrival from Manila, circa late September 1899. The original photograph was copyright by B.L. Singley and published on a stereograph card by the Keystone View Company. Note small steam launch in left foreground, with a rowed water "taxi" boat beyond. Courtesy of Louis Smaus, 1985.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 100316.

USNHC
Olympia
c0624
65k

USS Olympia (C 6) Oil on canvas by Francis Muller, circa 1900, showing Olympia leading a column of cruisers. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. Navy Art Accession #: 44-6-I.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 47388-KN.

USNHC
Olympia
c0639
65k

Close up image of the USS Olympia stern plate, Boston Navy Yard, 1901.

Digital ID: ggbain 03312 Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Bill Gonyo
Olympia
c0628
95k

Starboard quarter while at anchor in 1902.

Taken by E. Muller.

Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0629
104k

Starboard quarter while at anchor in 1902 (same as above but cropped differently).

Taken by E. Muller.

Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0605
203k

Port Bow, February 10 1902.

Image # (19-N-13918).

National Archives
Olympia
c0615
129k USS Olympia (C 6) at Boston Navy Yard, 1 November 1902. USN
Olympia
c0626
283k Port bow view at anchor, 27 SEP 1908. Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0636
33k Starboard quarter view while in Drydock #1, Charleston Shipyard, Charleston, SC, 2 October 1915. Robert Hall
Olympia
c0648
137k The casket of the Unknown Soldier is removed from the USS Olympia at the Washington Navy Yard on 09 November 1921. Ron Reeves

Olympia
c0640

Olympia
c0641

109k

 

 

155k

The casket of the Unknown Soldier is removed from the USS Olympia at the Washington Navy Yard on 09 November 1921. Tommy R. Trampp
Olympia
c0602
114k Shown here in July, 1919 as rearmed with a uniform battery of ten 5"/51s. She was reclassified IX 40 in June, 1931 but remained basically in this configuration until officially becoming a museum ship in 1957. At that time she was restored to her original appearance. USN
Olympia
c0645
231k

Photo Caption - U.S.S. Olympia, Bottom paint test, Standard Anti-fowling paint. Port Bow. Navy Yard Phila. May 16, 1922.

NARA II - Navy Yard Philadelphia Photo #3008

Tracy White
Olympia
c0646
263k

Photo Caption - U.S.S. Olympia, Bottom paint test. Resin Benzol Anti-fowling paint. Port Quarter Aft. Navy Yard Phila. May 16, 1922.

NARA II - Navy Yard Philadelphia Photo #3011

Tracy White
Olympia
013022c
630k

Olympia (C6) & Florida (BB 30) in middle chambers of the Gatun Locks, 13 June 1922.

National Archives and Record Administration photo #RG 185-G Vol. 10 # 63

Ron Reeves
Olympia
c0607
64k 1945, as IX 40, Port bow view. National Archives
Detroit
c0636
  Battleships in dry-dock; Tennessee (BB 43) & California (BB 44) taken between 8 May and 27 October 1946.
This photo comes from the U.S.Naval Institute and has an accompanying photocopy identifying all of the surrounding ships.
It does identify the two cruisers as Detroit (CL 8) (inboard) and Trenton (CL 11) (outboard). It also identifies two returned U.K. DEs: HMS Rupert (DE 96) outboard of Olympia (ex-C 6) (IX 40), and HMS Berry (DE 3) ahead of the cruisers, and visible in the California's photo (it's still wearing its British hull #--K312).
The Naval Institute photo was taken at a later date, as more of the "packaging" on the two battleships had been completed.
According to Tennessee's deck logs, she entered Drydock #5 with California on 8 May 1946.
South Dakota (BB 57) (mid-stern section visible at upper left of photo) subsequently entered Drydock #4--the 1946 "Navy Day" program from the shipyard indicates that this had taken place by 27th October of that year.

The four CLs that were scrapped in Drydock #4 at the Philadelphia NSY were: Omaha (CL 4), Cincinnati (CL 6), Raleigh (CL 7) and Marblehead (CL 12).
I have two documents from the 4th Naval District, and of course they give different completion dates for the scrapping of these ships. The first document (dated 1 Apr 46) indicates that scrapping was completed on 27 February of that year; the second document (also dated 1 April 46) gives the completion date as 10 March 1946.
(My notes also indicate that scrapping was completed at the yard on nine ex-destroyer types as of 29 March 46: Litchfield (DD 336), Pruitt (DD 347), Jouett (DD 396), Clark (DD 361), Balch (DD 363), Sampson(DD 394), Schley (DD 103), Stringham (DD 83) and Whipple (DD 217).

The remaining CLs; Detroit (CL 8), Trenton (CL 11), Richmond (CL 9), Concord (CL-10) and Memphis (CL-13) were all sold to the Patapsco Scrap Co. of Baltimore. The sales bid (B-76-47AV T) was opened on 6 Dec 46; the five ships were sold for $336,140 (or $67,228 each), and custody of the ships was transferred to Patapsco between 27 December 46 and 21 January 47.
Note also that the attached photo distinctly shows that both cruisers have all four funnels--I think it's an optical illusion that either of these had had any of them removed.

The "light colored objects" in front of the two cruisers might "possibly" be barbettes from the Illinois (BB 65). According to drawings in the 1945 "Gun Mount and Turret Catalog", these two items appear to be about the same diameter as the barbettes for the two BBs' Tennessee & California; 14"/50 triple gun turrets; inside diameter 31 feet, from the same source -- outside diameter would have been about 33 feet. The Illinois barbettes would have an inside diameter about 37 1/4 feet, outside diameter rather over 39 feet.

USN photo submitted by Joe Lewis, courtesy of U.S.Naval Institute. Majority text by Joe Lewis.
Chuck Haberlein contributed to the (BB 65) i.d. with text. Photo added 08/07/07.
Olympia
c0643
2m Taken in 1957 as the Olympia was being moved from drydock at Keystone Ship Repair which was the old Cramp Shipyard to her new home beside the Ben Franklin Bridge. Ron Reeves
Olympia
c0608
75k 1957, as IX 40 prior to transfer to the Cruiser Olympia Association, Stern quarter view. National Archives
Olympia
c0609
68k 1957, as IX 40 prior to transfer to the Cruiser Olympia Association, Starboard bow view. National Archives
Olympia
c0637
54k

USS Olympia (IX 40), still in her haze grey paint, being pushed by tugs to her new home in Philadelphia, September 1957

Treasure Island Museum-SFCB

Robert Hurst

Olympia
c0630
345k Brochure from the Cruiser Olympia Association, circa 1970's. Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0631
169k Brochure from the Cruiser Olympia Association, circa 1980's. Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0610
95k 1985, at Penn Landing, Philadelphia, PA, Port Bow view. Dale C. Haskin
Olympia
c0611
92k 1985, at Penn Landing, Philadelphia, PA, Port Quarter view. Dale C. Haskin
Olympia
c0612
25k 1985, at Penn Landing, Philadelphia, PA, Starboard Quarter view. Dale C. Haskin
Olympia
c0613
152k 1985, at Penn Landing, Philadelphia, PA, Open bridge (theoretically, Commodore Dewey's GQ station during the Battle of Manila Bay) and pilot house. Dale C. Haskin
Olympia
c0614
113k 1985, at Penn Landing, Philadelphia, PA, Officers Quarters. Dale C. Haskin
Olympia
c0606
233k Port side view, date unknown. National Archives
Olympia
c0603
104k Philadelphia, January 14, 1997. © Richard Leonhardt
Olympia
c0604
87k Philadelphia, January 14, 1997. © Richard Leonhardt
Olympia
c0638
  USS Olympia at her permanent berth alongside the USS Becuna (SS 319) in Philadelphia on 15 November 1999. She is outfitted and painted in the same manner as when she entered Manila Bay over a century ago. Robert Hurst
Olympia
c0634
173k At the the Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA, 01 July 2006. Wendell McLaughlin
Olympia
c0635
201k At the the Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA, 01 July 2006. The submarine inboard of her is the Becuna. Wendell McLaughlin
Olympia
c0633
180k Ship's bell, 01 July 2006. Wendell McLaughlin

Olympia
c0627

310k Deck plan of Olympia, from the Independence Seaport Museum Robert M. Cieri
Olympia
c0644
225k November 28, 2010 - Within three years, experts estimate, the Olympia will fall apart. If it isn't saved, it will be dismantled for scrap or sunk to build an artificial reef off Cape May, N.J. And with it will go a symbol of America's age of empire. When the Olympia was built, the United States was redefining itself as a global power, taking on expensive, elective wars in ever-more-distant places. The USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor in February 1898, and though the cause was unclear, popular opinion blamed Spain. Ten days later, an ambitious young assistant secretary of the Navy named Theodore Roosevelt - whose boss, Secretary of the Navy John Long, had taken the day off- seized the opportunity to put the Navy on war footing. Roosevelt ordered Commodore George Dewey, aboard the Olympia in Hong Kong, to attack Spanish ships at their port in Manila, capital of the Philippines. That April, the Spanish-American War began. Bill Gonyo

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Final Rank Dates
Read, John J., CAPT   02/05/1895 -
Vanduzer Louis Sayre, LCDR   07/1897
Gridley, Charles Vernon, CAPT   07/28/1897 - 05/25/1898
Lamberton, Benjamin Peffer, CAPT   05/25/1898 - 11/08/1899
Decommissioned   11/08/1899 - 01/02/1902
Lyon, Harvey Ware, CAPT   01/02/1902 -
Howard, Thomas Benton, CAPT RADM 01/1904 - 06/07/1905
Niblack, Albert Parker, CDR RADM 06/07/1905 - 04/02/1906
Decommissioned   04/02/1906 - 05/15/1917
Knapp, Harry Shepard, CAPT VADM 05/15/1907 -
Decommissioned   08/26/1907 - 06/01/1908
Decommissioned   09/01/1908 - 05/14/1909
Decommissioned   08/28/1909 - 1916
Cole, William Carey, CAPT RADM 10/1910 - 06/03/1912
Bierer, Bion Barnett, CDR   10/30/1916 -
Christy, Harley Hannibal, CAPT VADM 08/19/1917 - 09/07/1918
Upham, Frank Brooks, CDR RADM 09/07/1918 - 01/1919
Boyd, David French, CAPT   01/1919 - 12/1919
Wyman, Henry Lake, CAPT   12/1919 - 12/1921
Asserson, William Christian, CAPT   12/1921

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


USS OLYMPIA (C 6/CA 15/CL 15/IX 40) 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.
USS Olympia at the Independence Seaport Museum.
Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Cruiser Photo Index Page

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Last updated on 04/27/2014