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Gunboat Photo Archive

Helena (PG 9)
ex-Gunboat No. 9



Call sign:
George - Quack - Mike - Tare

Wilmington Class Gunboat:

  • The first Helena was laid down 11 October 1894 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA
  • Completed 29 January 1896
  • Launched 30 January 1896
  • Commissioned USS Helena (Gunboat No. 9), 8 July 1897 at the New York Navy Yard
  • Decommissioned 19 April 1905 at Cavite, Philippine Islands
  • Recommissioned 16 July 1906
  • Decommissioned
  • Recommissioned 15 August 1917
  • Designated PG-9, 7 July 1920
  • Placed in reduced commission 29 June 1929
  • Decommissioned 27 May 1932 and struck from the Navy list
  • Sold for scrap 7 July 1934.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 1,390 t.
  • Length 251' 10"
  • Length between perpendiculars 250' 9"
  • Beam 40' 1½"
  • Draft 9'
  • Speed 13 kts.
    1914 - 15.50 kts.
  • Complement 175
    1911 - 187
    1921 - 195
  • Armament: Four 4" gun mounts, four 11-pounders and one 3" rifle
    1905 - Eight 4" rapid fire mounts, four 6-pounder rapid fire mounts, four 1-pounder rapid fire mounts and two 6mm mounts
    1911 - Eight 4"/40 rapid fire mounts and four 3-pounder rapid fire mounts
  • Propulsion: Four Hohenstein boilers, two 980ihp vertical triple expansion steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Helena 414k Replacement photo: Photo from The American Navy; Belford, Middlebrook and Co., Chicago - 1898 Original photo: Tommy Trampp
    Replacement photo: Thomas Becher
    Helena 303k c. 1898
    Photo from the New York Tribune Illustrated Supplement
    Mike Mohl
    Helena 141k c. 1898
    Photo from Colliers History of the Spanish American War, published immediately after the war
    Dan Wilmes
    Helena 76k Photographed in Far Eastern waters sometime after 1899, while dressed with flags for a holiday
    U.S. Navy photo NH 53500
    Naval Historical Center
    Helena 204k Helena sometime between 1897 and 1901
    Photo courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Co. Image from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographic Division under digital ID: det.4a13896
    Robert Hurst
    Helena 109k c. 1903
    At winter quarters in a mud dock at Newchwang, China
    Courtesy U.S. Warships of World War I
    Mike Green
    Helena 107k Painted by the Chinese artist Qikit, 1905.
    Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    Donation of Mrs. A.W. Lott. Navy Art Accession: 76-301-A.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85566-KN
    Naval Historical Center
    Helena 50k Photo by Rau from the 1914 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships Robert Hurst
    Helena 107k c. 1925
    Canton, China
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert M. Cieri

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR William Thomas Swinburne, USN8 July 1897 - September 1897
    02CDR Charles Herbert Stockton, USNSeptember 1897 - 8 December 1897
    03CDR William Sinburne, USNDecember 1897 - 1899
    04CDR Royal Rodney Ingersoll, USN - Retired as Rear Admiral5 April 1901
    05CDR James Clarkson Gillmore, USN16 June 1906
    06CDR John William Buchanan, USN16 May 1908 - 21 May 1909
    07CDR Reuben Oscar Bitler, USN21 May 1909 - 25 January 1910
    08CAPT Chester Mahlon Knepper, USN25 January 1910
    09CDR George Ralph Marvell, USN - Retired as Rear Admiral12 February 1912 - 12 July 1912
    10CDR Richard Harrison Jackson, USN12 July 1912 - 27 December 1913
    11CDR William Carey Cole, USN - Retired as Rear Admiral27 December 1913 - 1915
    12CDR William Daniel Botherton, USN1915
    13CDR Robert Andrew Abernathy, USN1923
    14CDR James Patrick Lannon, USN - USNA Class of 1902
    Awarded the Medal of Honor (1914 - Awarded in 1929) and the Navy Cross (World War I)
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    26 May 1923
    15CAPT Edward Theodore Constein, USN5 September 1924
    16CDR Eldred Bewes Armstrong, USN15 June 1926
    17LCDR William Palmer Bacon, USNJuly 1929
    18LCDR Melville Cochran Partello, USN10 July 1931 - 27 May 1932
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Bill Gonyo

    View Helena (PG-9) Library of Congress Images
    View the Helena (PG 9)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval Historical Center website
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Gunboat (PG) Photo Index

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