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Gunboat Photo Archive

Princeton, Gunboat No. 13

Call sign (1912):
Nan - Quack - Pup

Newport Class Gunboat:

  • Laid down in May 1896 by J. H. Dialogue and Son, Camden, New Jersey
  • Launched 3 June 1897
  • Commissioned 27 May 1898 at Philadelphia, PA
  • Decommissioned 12 June 1903 at Mare Island Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned 12 May 1905
  • Decommissioned 3 July 1907 at Bremerton, WA
  • Recommissioned 5 November 1909
  • Decommissioned 18 February 1915 and laid up until 20 February 1917
  • Commissioned in ordinary at Puget Sound 16 January 1918 for use as a training ship at Seattle, WA from 9 May 1918 to 25 April 1919 when she decommissioned
  • Struck from the Navy List 23 June 1919
    1920 Ships' Data, U.S. Naval Vessels shows stricken date as 22 July 1919
  • Sold 13 November 1919 to Farrell, Kane and Stratton of Seattle
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 1,103 t.
    1914 - 1,010 t.
  • Length 168'
  • Beam 36'
  • Draft 12' 9"
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 147
    1914 - 160
  • Armament: Six 4" gun mounts and two 1-pounders
    1905 - Six 4" rapid fire mounts, four 6-pounder rapid fire mounts, two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts and one .30 cal. Colt machine gun
    1911 - Six 4"/40 rapid fire mounts, four 6-pounder rapid fire mounts and two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts
  • Propulsion: Two single ended cylinderical scotch boilers, one 835ihp vertical triple expansion steam engine and sail, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Princeton (Gunboat No. 13)
    Princeton 154k c. 1898
    J. H. Dialogue Ship Yard, Camden, NJ
    Princeton Sketch Print from an 1898 Harper's Weekly Magazine
    Tommy Trampp
    USS Princeton (Gunboat No. 13)
    Princeton 116k Photographed in 1898, probably when first completed
    U.S. Navy photo NH 59451
    Naval Historical Center
    Princeton 178k Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Princeton 90k c. 1898
    Photo from the New York Tribune Illustrated Supplement
    Mike Mohl
    Princeton 129k 13 February 1899
    In harbor, Port Suez, Egypt
    Dressed with flags and Turkish flag at mainmast
    Camden People Website
    Princeton 97k c. 1900
    Shanghai, China
    Courtesy U.S. Warships of World War I
    Mike Green
    Princeton 119k c. 1903
    Manila, Philippines
    Camden People Website
    Vicksburg 91k Mare Island Navy Yard, California. An early U.S. Navy submarine (probably Grampus or Pike) underway off the yard, circa early 1905. Gunboats Petrel and Princeton are in the center background. At left are the decommissioned gunboats Annapolis and Vicksburg
    Courtesy of Ted Stone, 1986
    U.S. Navy photo NH 100915
    Naval Historical Center
    Princeton 548k c. 1905/1906
    Mare Island, CA
    Darryl Baker
    Princeton 572k
    Princeton 537k
    Princeton 531k
    Princeton 267k Aground at Tutuila, Samoa, after striking a submerged rock, 11 July 1914
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 60297
    Mike Green
    Princeton 266k Princeton, pictured on the cover of the Seattle Naval Training Camp “Cruise Book.” The Seattle Naval Training Camp existed on the campus of the University of Washington from the summer of 1917 until early 1919. Princeton was the station training ship Lee Corbin
    Princeton 106k c. 1918
    Sailors training at Naval Training Camp, Seattle. During World War I, the University of Washington had a U.S. Navy training station on the shores of Lake Union. Before the camp closed in 1919, over 5,000 men had been trained there for both naval and naval aviation units. In this image, taken on the deck of a moored ship, four sailors use an unidentified training apparatus. They may be learning how to sight and position deck guns
    Photo from the Webster & Stevens collection at the University of Washington, Museum of History and Industry website
    Photo added 26 June 2021
    Princeton 159k 23 December 1923
    The ex-Princeton moored at an unknown location
    Library of Congress photo LC-B2-2108-4
    Mike Green

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Clifford Hardy West, USN27 May 1898 - 7 August 1899
    02CDR Harry Knox, USN7 August 1899 - 31 May 1901
    03CDR James Russell Selfridge, USN31 May 1901 - 12 June 1903
    04CDR Frank H. Sherman, USN5 May 1904
    05CDR Arthur Dodd Wright, USN24 May 1905 - 3 July 1907
    06CDR Charles Harold Hayes, USN5 November 1909
    07CDR William Michael Crose, USN4 April 1910 - 14 March 1913
    08LT Nathan Woodworth Post, USN14 March 1913 - 14 July 1913
    09CDR Clark Daniel Sterns, USN14 July 1913 - 2 October 1914
    10CDR Charles Armijo Woodruff, USN16 December 1914 - 15 January 1915
    11LCDR Lloyd Stowell Shapley, USN15 January 1915 - 31 January 1916
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The third Princeton, a composite gunboat, was laid down in May 1896 by J. H. Dialogue and Son, Camden, N.J., launched 3 June 1897; sponsored by Miss Margeretta Updike and commissioned 27 May 1898 at Philadelphia, Comdr. C. H. West in command.

    After acceptance trials 7-25 July 1898 off Delaware Bay, Princeton got underway for Key West where she joined the North Atlantic Fleet 27 July at the beginning of the Spanish American War. She was Immediately sent (2 August) to patrol the area from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula to Livingston, Guatemala. After completing this mission 13 August, she returned to Key West and the Dry Tortugas and remained on this station until departing 11 January 1899 for New York.

    Princeton sailed for the Pacific in early 1898. She passed through the Straits of Gibraltar 2 February and transited the Suez Canal 13-17 February, joining the Asiatic Fleet 16 April at Cavite, Philippines. Princeton cruised throughout the Philippines 4-15 May with Petrel, distributing the proclamation of peace with Spain. Later she carried Sen. A. J. Beveridge on a tour of the newly acquired
    Philippine Territory.

    In late May Princeton commenced blockading the Lingayen Gulf ports of St. Vincent and Musa and extended the blockade to the entire Gulf 18-26 June. During the various local disturbances on Luzon, she landed troops at San Fabian 2-7 November, transported cavalrymen from Vigan to Lingayen, conveyed dispatches, received surrendered arms and carried stores to the Marines at Subic Bay. Princeton took formal possession of the Babuyan and the Battan Islands 10-13 January 1900 and continued to patrol off Luzon 10 February. Princeton was later station ship at Iloilo and Cebu 5 March 21 June.

    At the time of the Boxer Rebellion Princeton cruised in Chinese waters (26 June-29 November) between Hong Kong and Woosung where she received a draft of men from Buffalo 9 August. She returned 4 December to operations in the Philippines, principally in the Sulu Archipelago, and remained on duty there until 20 July 1902. Princeton was stationed at Cavite beginning 23 July and called at Uraga, Japan (9 October-18 December). While at Cavite she participated in large-scale maneuvers off the Philippines (29 December-3 February 1903). Afterwards Princeton acted as a survey ship. (13 February-5 April) at Malabug Bay, Zamboanga and Dumanquilas Bay until she departed 13 April for California. Princeton decommissioned 12 June 1903 at Mare Island Navy Yard.

    Princeton recommissioned 12 May 1905 at Mare Island Navy Yard and was attached to the Pacific Squadron. She left 4 June for duty as station ship at Panama City, where she remained until 24 October. On 2 December 1905 Princeton returned to Mare Island Navy Yard and began cruising off the Pacific coast from San Diego to Esquimalt, British Columbia. She escorted Rear Admiral C. J. Train's remains from Vancouver to Seattle (22-24 August), assisted Boston (6-9 December) which was aground off Bellingham, Wash., and accompanied California 10-22 September on her sea trials off Washington. Princeton remained on station off the West coast until directed to rejoin the Pacific Squadron 3 January 1907 at Magdalena Bay, Mexico.

    Princeton proceeded to Corinto, Nicaragua, arriving 17 March for the purpose of protecting American interests there. She transported troops from Ampala, Honduras to La Union, (12 April) and brought General Bonilla back to Salina Cruz, Mexico (13 April). She returned to San Diego 30 May and decommissioned 3 July 1907 at Bremerton, Wash.

    Princeton recommissioned 5 November 1909 at Bremerton and sailed 28 November for Central America for duty with the Nicaraguan Expeditionary Squadron. From 20 December until 21 March 1911 she showed the flag in this area, operating between San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and La Union, El Salvador. She returned to Puget Sound Navy Yard 20 June 1911 for repairs and alterations. From late 1911 until 1915 she was used as a station ship at Tutuila, American Samoa.

    Returning to San Francisco 18 September 1915, Princeton decommissioned and was laid up until 20 February 1917 when she proceeded to Puget Sound for repairs. She commissioned in ordinary there 16 January 1918 for use as a training ship at Seattle from 9 May 1918 to 25 April 1919 when she decommissioned.

    Princeton was struck from the Navy List 23 June 1919 and sold to Farrell, Kane and Stratton, Seattle, Wash. 13 November 1919.

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