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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images
Ships of the Spanish-American War--
U.S. NAVY SHIPS -- Smaller Gunboats

The 1898 Navy had ten gunboats of relatively modest size, displacing between 800 and 1200 tons. Bancroft, smallest of the group, had been built as a Naval Academy training ship. Only slightly bigger, Petrel was the oldest, having been commissioned in 1889. The other eight, of three different designs, were somewhat larger. They included Machias and Castine (Gunboat #s 5 and 6); Annapolis, Vicksburg, Newport and Princeton (Gunboat #s 10 through 13); and Wheeling and Marietta (Gunboat #s 14 and 15).

Petrel served with Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay. Wheeling spent the war on patrol in the Northern Pacific. The others were all active off Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean, with Marietta reaching that area by voyaging around South America with the battleship Oregon. Nine of these ships remained in Navy service through the First World War, and in some cases, even longer. Bancroft became a Revenue Service cutter in 1906.

This page features views of these ten gunboats.

If better quality reproductions than these digital images are desired, see "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

In all cases, clicking on the small photograph will prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 56334

USS Bancroft (1893-1906)


Dressed with flags, circa 1893-98. Halftone photograph, published in Uncle Sam's Navy, 1898.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 62,766 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 56338

USS Bancroft (1893-1906)


Firing a salute in 1898.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 59,421 bytes; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 88068-KN (Color)

USS Petrel (PG-2)


Oil on canvas by Francis Muller.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
Donation of Commodore J.H. Hellweg.
Navy Art Accession #: 51-027-A.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 75,408 bytes; 740 x 615 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 44477

USS Petrel (PG-2)


Photographed during the 1890s

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 74,112 bytes; 740 x 590 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 42707

USS Petrel (PG-2)


At Hong Kong, 15 April 1898, shortly before the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Note crewmen aloft watching the rowing launches racing past in the foreground, also shipping and Chinese junks in the distance.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Admiral Montgomery M. Taylor.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77,491 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 46902

USS Machias (PG-5)


Off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 7 August 1901.

Courtesy of Howard I. Chapelle, Smithsonian Institution.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 69,192 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 66577

USS Machias (PG-5), or
USS Castine (PG-6)


Photographed during the Spanish-American War, 1898.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 70,937 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: 19-N-12-17-17

USS Annapolis (PG-10)


In wartime gray paint, 1898.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 62,947 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

Reproductions of this image are also available via the National Archives' photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NR&L(O) 4889

USS Vicksburg (PG-11)


Under sail, circa 1898.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 69,127 bytes; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 83804-KN (Color)

USS Newport (PG-12)


Oil on canvas by an unidentified artist.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
Navy Art Accession #: 66-255-A

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 71,992 bytes; 740 x 530 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 59451

USS Princeton (PG-13)


Photographed in 1898, probably when first completed.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 101,030 bytes; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 76101

USS Wheeling (PG-14)


At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa August 1897.

Photo from the William H. Topley Collection, courtesy of Charles M. Loring, Napa, CA, 1972.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 73,293 bytes; 740 x 590 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 46643

USS Marietta (PG-15)


Photographed in 1897-98.

Copied from the Journal of Naval Cadet C.R. Miller, 1898, page 67.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 49,272 bytes; 740 x 535 pixels

 

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13 March 1998