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Gunboat Photo Archive

Bennington (Gunboat No. 4)


Yorktown Class Gunboat:

  • Laid down in June 1888 by N. F. Palmer and Co., Chester, PA
  • Completed 15 May 1889
  • Launched 3 June 1890
  • Commissioned 20 June 1891
  • Decommissioned 5 September 1901 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA
  • Recommissioned 2 March 1902
  • Damaged beyond economical repair by boiler explosion, 21 July 1905 at San Diego, CA
  • Decommissioned 31 October 1905
  • Converted to a barge in 1906
  • Struck from the Navy list 10 September 1910
  • Sold for scrap 14 November 1910.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 1,710 t.
  • Length 244' 5"
  • Beam 36'
  • Draft 14'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 197
  • Armament: Six-6" breech-loading rifles, two 6-pounders, two 3-pounder rapid firing guns, two Hotchkiss revolving cannon and two Gatling guns
    (1905 Armament: Six 6" Rapid Fire mounts, four Rapid Fire 1-pounders and two .30 cal. machine guns)
  • Propulsion: Four cylinderical boilers, two 3,300ihp horizontal triple-expansion engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Bennington
    Bennington 120k Bennington fitting out at the Delaware River Iron Works shipyard, Chester, Pennsylavania, circa 1890.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 56379
    Robert Hurst
    USS Bennington (Gunboat No. 4)
    Bennington 118k A gunboat off Mare Island Navy Yard waterfront, during the 1890s. She is either the USS Concord (Gunboat No. 3) or Bennington. The receiving ship Independence is in the
    left background.
    Courtesy of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1970
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 70558
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 104k Photographed circa 1891 by J.S. Johnston, New York City.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 63248
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 112k Photographed in a European harbor, circa 1892-1893, with USS Newark (Cruiser No. 1) alongside.
    Courtesy of Arrigo Barilli, Bologna, Italy.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 56381
    Bennington 99k Bennigton in harbor, 1893.
    Copied from "The New Navy of the United States", by N.L. Stebbins, (New York, 1912)
    Donation by Donald Shadell, 1987
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102742
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 153k Bennington off Valaparaiso, Chile, 3 April 1894.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102821
    Bennington 104k In drydock at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa 1894-98. This photograph was published on a color-tinted postcard by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco, California.
    Courtesy of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer, 1986.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 100931-KN

    Photo enhanced by Tom Kermen
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 110k A fine-screen halftone reproduction of a photograph of the ship in harbour, circa 1891-1901. It was published by the SUB-POST Card Co., of Los Angeles, California.
    Donation of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102777
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 402k Replacement photo: Bennington dressed with flags in a harbour, probably while serving with the Squadron of Evolution, circa 1891-92.
    Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 67551

    Second Replacement photo: Photo from The American Navy; Belford, Middlebrook and Co., Chicago - 1898
    Original photo: Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Second Replacement photo: Thomas Becher
    Bennington 115k Philadelphia (Cruiser No. 4), at right, and a gunboat off the Mare Island Navy Yard waterfront, during the mid-1890s. The latter is either USS Concord (Gunboat No. 3)
    or Bennington.
    Photo from the William H. Topley Collection, courtesy of Charles M. Loring, Napa, Ca, 1972
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 76115
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 155k Bennigton in the Kowloon Dry Dock, Hong Kong, China in 1901.
    Collection of Chief Boatswain's Mate John E. Lynch, USN. Donated by his son Robert J. Lynch, in April 2000
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102766
    Bennington 77k At Shanghai, China, on 4 July 1901, dressed with flags in honor of Independence Day.
    Collection of Chief Boatswain's Mate John E. Lynch, USN. Donated by his son, Robert J. Lynch, in April 2000.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102765
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 180k Broadside view of Yorktown at Mare Island in the spring of 1903. USS Yorktown (PG 1) is inboard.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 004-10-1905
    Original photo: Naval Historical Center
    Replacement photo: Darryl Baker
    Bennington 70k Underway in heavy seas, circa 1903-1905.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102747
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 238k Bennington at Mare Island in the spring of 1903. The USS Yorktown (PG 1) is inboard.
    U.S. Navy photos
    Darryl Baker
    Bennington 228k
    Bennington 177k View of Bennington's main deck looking aft at Mare Island in the spring of 1903.
    U.S. Navy photos PG 4 004-015-1905 and PG 4 004-016-1905
    Bennington 238k
    Bennington 131k Bennington probably off San Francisco, California, circa 1903.
    Photogrpah from the Union Iron Works Scrapbook. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1967.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 56380
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 170k Bennington at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa 1903.
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, 1975
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 83961
    Bennington 107k Warships of the U.S. Pacific Squadron in the moonlight, during a Latin American cruise, circa 1903-04. USS New York (Armoured Cruiser No. 2) is in the left center. The other two ships listed in no particular order are USS Concord (Gunboat No. 3) and Bennington.
    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 85693
    Bennington 154k Bennington at anchor, probably in San Francisco Bay, California, circa 1903-1904. This image is printed on postcard published during the first decade of the Twentieth Century by Frank J. Stumm, Benicia, California.
    Courtesy of Harrell ("Ed") Coffer, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105303
    Bennington 80k At anchor while serving with the Pacific Squadron in 1904.
    Donation of John C. Reilly, Jr., 1977.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102751
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 211k c. 1904
    Serving with the Pacific Squadron
    Robert M. Cieri
    Bennington 147k Bennigton at the U.S Naval Station, Honolulu, Hawaii, circa 1904. The bow of USS Solace (1898-1930) is visible at the extreme left.
    Collection of Martin Fenne
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102743
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 133k U.S. Warships and Revenue Cutters in harbour, probably in Alaskan waters, circa 1904. USS New York (Armoured Cruiser No. 2) is in the right center. USRC Bear is at left, with (in no particular order), USS Concord (Gunboat No. 3) and Bennington second and third from left.
    Collection of Martin Fenne
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102741
    Bennington 119k Bennington, in the foreground, and USS Solace (1898-1930) at the U.S. Naval Station, Honolulu, Hawaii, circa 1904. Probably photgraphed from onboard USS New York (Armoured Cruiser No. 2).
    Collection of Martin Fenne
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 102744
    Bennington 115k Ships in the Mare Island channel circa 1905 in the foreground are USS Marblehead (C-11) with two stacks and the Gunboat USS Alert with one stack and in the background are Bennington (one stack and three masts) and USS Cincinnati (C-7) (two masts and two stacks).
    U.S. Navy photo C 11 001-1905
    Darryl Baker
    Bennington 156k Ship's officers and crew posed on deck and in her foremast rigging, at San Diego, California, 3 March 1905
    Courtesy of the Historical Collection, Union Title Insurance Company, San Diego, California
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 56382
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 257k Bennington's in Mare Island's Dry Dock No. 1 in May 1905 with USS Dart (YFB 308) and USS Pike (SS 6) forward and the civilian ferry Vallejo aft.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 001-5-1905
    Darryl Baker
    Bennington 148k Bennington, at left and USAT Dix, at Honolulu, Hawaii, in June 1905. This halftone image is printed on a postcard mailed at San Francisco, California, on 14 June 1907, addressed to Miss Madeline M. March, of Hollister, California.
    Courtesy Harrell ("Ed") Coffer, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105305
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 169k Partially sunk in San Diego Bay, California, two hours after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion. This fine-screen halftone photograph, with a commemorative message, is printed on a postcard published soon after the tragedy by Sewards' Post Cards, Los Angeles, California
    Courtesy of Harrell E. ("Ed") Coffer, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photos NH 105306-KN and NH 105307-KN
    Bennington 142k
    Bennington 132k Halftone reproduction of a photograph, showing the ship's starboard side, amidships, as she was beached at San Diego, California, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion. A disabled six-inch gun is in the center of the image.
    Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps), November 1931.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 56383-A
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 185k Halftone reproduction of a photograph, showing the ship as her engine room was being pumped out, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion at San Diego, California. Note her National Ensign flying at half-staff
    Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps), November 1931
    Naval History and Heritage Command photos NH 56383-B and NH 56383-C
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 124k
    Bennington 83k Partially sunk in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85694
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 101k Salvage party at work on the partially sunken ship, in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85695
    Bennington 372k Postcard
    Sewards' Post Cards, Los Angeles, CA
    Robert M. Cieri
    Bennington 90k Salvage party at work on the partially sunken ship, in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion. Bennington's National Ensign is flying at half staff.
    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85696
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 115k Removing the dead from the ship, following her boiler explosion at San Diego, California, 21 July 1905.
    Photographed and published on a stereograph card by C.H. Graves, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (MSC), 1979.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 89081
    Bennington 116k 21 July 1905
    Broadside view of Bennington in Mare Island channel.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 001-7-1905
    Darryl Baker
    Bennington 121k Bennington partially dismantled in dry dock at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, either during her 1901-1903 overhaul or while being stripped following her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion. This colour-tinted photograph is printed on postcard published during the first decade of the Twentieth Century by Frank J. Stumm, Benicia, California. Mailed to Mrs. C.W. Baker of Orange County, California, it was postmarked at San Francisco, California, on 23 April 1910.
    Courtesy of Harrell ("Ed") Coffer, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105304-KN
    Robert Hurst
    Bennington 98k Sectional view of the gunboat Bennington printed in the Boston Daily Globe in 1905
    Courtesy of the Boston Daily Globe
    Bennington 1220k Front page of the 22 July 1905 edition of the New York Tribune Michael Mohl
    Bennington 206k Postcard showing various scenes. The most important aspect of this view is that is shows (in upper left) a photo of Gunner's Mate John Henry Turpin (1876-1962) who was a survivor of two historical explosions; aboard the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, Cuba on 15 February 1898 and the Bennington in San Diego Bay on 21 July 1905.
    © 1905 by Special View Co., 326 Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA
    Robert M. Cieri
    Bennington 292k 23 August 1905
    Bennington in Dry Dock No. 1 at Mare Island.
    U.S. Navy photos PG 4 517-8-1905 and PG 4 515-8-1905
    Darryl Baker
    Bennington 238k
    Bennington 287k 23 August 1905
    Damaged bow of Bennington in Dry Dock No. 1 at Mare Island. Bennington's bow was damaged in a collision with the Protected Cruiser USS Chicago.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 001-8-1905
    Bennington 179k 26 August 1905
    Damaged bow of Bennington in Dry Dock No. 1 at Mare Island. Bennington's bow was damaged in a collision with the Protected Cruiser USS Chicago.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 001-8-1905
    Bennington 154k 12 September 1906
    Bow view of the decommissioned Bennington at Mare Island showing her boilers being removed. Note that her forward port gun has been removed.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 729-9-1906
    Bennington 215k 31 October 1906
    Bow view of the decommissioned Bennington at Mare Island.
    U.S. Navy photo PG 4 568-10-1906
    Bennington
    Bennington 141k The barge Bennington at Honolulu.
    U.S. Navy photo Honolulu 1912 - 1924
    Darryl Baker
    USS Bennington Monument
    Bennington 107k USS Bennington Monument, San Diego, California. Ceremonies dedicating the monument at Fort Rosecrans, overlooking San Diego harbor, 7 January 1908. It was erected in memory of the Navy personnel who lost their lives in the boiler explosion on board USS Bennington (Gunboat 4) at San Diego on 21 July 1905. North Island and Coronado are in the left background. A cruiser of the St. Louis class is at right.
    Photographed by Norton-Bennette, 820 Fifth St., San Diego.
    Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, donated by Myles DeSomer, 1975.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 82136
    Naval Historical Center
    Bennington 165k Bennington Monument Dedication Ceremony on 7 January 1908. Contains most of Admiral Goodrich's address
    Photo by S. Sutcliffe, San Diego, CA
    Robert M. Cieri
    Bennington 321k c. 1910
    Bennington Monument at Point Loma, CA
    Bennington 114k Bennington Monument shaft, Bennington National Cemetery, San Diego, California Photograph taken circa the 1940s or 1950s. This monument was erected as a memorial to the men lost in the 21 July 1905 boiler explosion on board USS Bennington (Gunboat 4) at San Diego.
    Donation of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102773
    Naval Historical Center

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Royal B. Bradford, USN20 June 1891
    02CDR Edward David Taussig, USN - USNA Class of 186731 August 1898
    03CDR Chauncey Thomas, USNUSNA Class of 18712 March 1903
    04CDR Kossuth Niles, USN - USNA Class of 1869
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    15 December 1903 - March 1904
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Joe Radigan

    View the Bennington (Gunboat No. 4)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval Historical Center website
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