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Gunboat Photo Archive


Panay served the Navies of Spain and the United States.


  • Laid down in 1884 as Panay for the Spanish Navy by the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines
  • Acquired by the Army and transferred to the Navy in 1899
  • Commissioned USS Panay 3 June 1899
  • Decommissioned 7 August 1902 at Cavite
  • Recommissioned 12 January 1907
  • Decommissioned 5 October 1907
    (1914 Ships Data, U.S. Naval Vessels shows decommissioning date as 1 October 1908)
  • Struck from the Navy list 19 June 1914 and placed in service as a ferry at Cavite
  • Placed out of service 27 September 1919
  • Sold 15 April 1920
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 162 t.
    1914 - 170 t.
  • Length 94' 10"
  • Beam 17' 3"
  • Draft 7' 1"
  • Speed 8 kts.
  • Complement 27
  • Armament: One 6-pounder and two 1-pounders
    1905 - Added two Colt machine guns
    1911 - One 3-pounder rapid fire mount and two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts
  • Propulsion: One Scotch boiler, two 75ihp vertical inverted compound engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    No image of the Panay is available at this time

    Commanding Officers
    01ENS Harris Laning, USN - USNA Class of 7 June 1895
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    3 June 1899 - 7 August 1902
    02Midshipman Chester William Nimitz, USN - USNA Class of 1905
    Attained the rank of Fleet Admiral - Awarded four Navy Distinguished Service Medals and the Army Distinguished
    Service Medal
    12 January 1907 - 5 October 1907
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: The first Panay was laid down for the Spanish Navy in 1884 by Cavite Navy Yard; completed in 1885, purchased by the U.S. Army upon American occupation of the Philippines, and transferred to the Navy in 1899. She commissioned 3 June 1899, Ens. Harris Laning in command.

    Throughout the Philippine Insurrection, Panay served on blockade and patrol duty, intercepting contraband and aiding the Army on Mindanao, Leyte, Cebu, Samar, and Negros. Decommissioning at Cavite 7 August 1902, she was repaired and recommissioned 12 January 1907, Midshipman (Ens. from 2 February 1907) Chester W. Nimitz in command. Assigned to patrol Mindanao, Nimitz, who was to be Commander-in-Chief Pacific in World War II as a Fleet Admiral, took Panay, his first command, into many of the small ports to show the flag. He also commanded the naval station at Polloc. Returning to Cavite in July, Nimitz and his men were assigned to recommission Decatur, and Panay went into reserve, decommissioning 5 October 1907.

    Panay served as a yard craft at Olongapo and Cavite and as a ferryboat between Cavite and Manila in the years that followed, even after she was struck from the Navy List 19 June 1914. She was sold 15 April 1920.

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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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