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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 -- Miscellaneous Ships

Any complex organization contains units that just don't fit in its main categories. The Spanish-American War Navy was no exception, and it had a few ships that were distinctly non-standard. One of these, USS Vesuvius, was armed with three very large air rifles, which fired high-explosive projectiles up to a mile and a half. In June and July 1898, she bombarded Spanish forces at Santiago, Cuba. USS Katahdin was the Navy's only ram ship, a class of warship whose main weapon was herself. She served along the U.S. Atlantic Coast to defend against the possibility of a Spanish Navy raid.

USS East Boston and Governor Russell were ferryboats. The former served in that capacity in Boston harbor, while the latter was converted to a shallow-draft gunboat. Finally, the aptly-named USS Arctic was employed to transport refrigerated stores in the Philadelphia and Delaware Bay areas.

This page features views of most of these ships.

If higher resolution 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 69211

USS Vesuvius (1890-1922)


Photographed circa the early 1890s. The muzzles of her three pneumatic "dynamite" guns are visible below her foremast boom.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 71,336 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52245

USS Katahdin (1896-1909)


Halftone photograph, taken circa 1896-98.

Courtesy of Howard I. Chapelle, Smithsonian Institution.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 82,800 bytes; 740 x 635 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 94258

USS Katahdin (1896-1909)


Crewmen standing by her forward superstructure, 1898. The original photograph, taken by J.F. Jarvis, was printed on a stereographic card. Note sheet metal ladder on the ship's "turtle back" hull side.

Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(Ret), 1983..

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 62,986 bytes; 590 x 660 pixels

A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 94258-A

 
Photo #: NH 53760

USS Governor Russell (1898-99)


Photographed in 1898. This Boston ferryboat was converted into a gunboat during the Spanish-American War, but was damaged by a severe storm while steaming south off the U.S. east coast in July 1898.
Note 5"/40 gun mounted on her low forecastle deck.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 65,274 bytes; 740 x 560 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 53761

USS Governor Russell (1898-99)


Taking green water over her bow during a storm off the U.S. Atlantic Coast, circa July-September 1898.
Note canvas protective wrapping around the 5"/40 gun mounted on this converted ferryboat's low forecastle, and furled awning overhead.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 65,995 bytes; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 57632

USS Arctic (1898)


Officers and crew posed on her forecastle and upper deck, circa July-August 1898. During the Spanish-American War, this Philadelphia city iceboat served briefly in the Delaware River area as a U.S. Navy refrigerator ship.
Note her 60-pounder breech-loading rifle, converted from a Civil War vintage Parrott gun.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 87,380 bytes; 740 x 600 pixels

 

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19 April 1998