USS Helena (Gunboat #9, later PG-9)
The Wilmington-class gunboat, USS Helena (Gunboat #9), was laid down in October 1894 at Newport News, Shipbuilding Company, Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned on July 8, 1897, at the New York Navy Yard, New York, she remained in the Atlantic. During the Spanish-American War, she patrolled Cuban waters and engaged the Spanish. Following the war, Helena steamed to the Pacific and took part in the Philippine Insurrection in 1899. Remaining in the Far East, she served off China and the Philippines until April 1905 when she was decommissioned at Cavite, Philippines, for overhaul. Recommissioned in July 1906, Helena remained in the Pacific and served the rest of her career in the Far East with the Asiatic Station, South China Patrol, and the Yangtze River Patrol. Decommissioned in 1932, she was sold for scrap two years later. Note, in July 1920, she was designated as PG-9.
A model of Helena is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76, Bay 17, Left Side.
Image: NH 53500: USS Helena (PG-9), photographed in Far Eastern waters sometime after 1899 while dressed with flags for a holiday. NHHC Photograph Collection.