Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

LC-Lot-3305-34:   USS Olympia (Cruiser #6) port view.   Photographed by K. Loeffler, 1907.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress.  (2016/06/03).

USS Olympia (Cruiser #6, CA-15, CL-15, IX-40)

USS Olympia (Cruiser #6, CA-15, CL-15, IX-40)

Commissioned at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California, on February 5, 1895, USS Olympia (Cruiser #6) departed to become the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet.  Serving in the Spanish-American War, she participated in the Battle of Manila Bay, on May 1, 1898, where Commodore George Dewey stated his famous instruction, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley".   After the war, Olympia became as a training ship at the U.S. Naval Academy, then later as a reserve ship, and a barracks ship.  During the early part of World War I,  she patrolled the United States' eastern coast for U-boats.   In April 1918, she steamed to assist the Russian civil war, along with aiding other countries in region.   Reclassified as (CA-15) in July 1920, Olympia was again reclassified as (CL-15) in August 1921.   That October, she brought back the remains of the WWI Unknown Soldier for internment in Arlington National Cemetery.  Decommissioned in December 1922 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Olympia was reclassified as (IX-40) in June 1931 and now serves as a museum ship at Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.    

A model of Olympia is in the Spanish-American War section at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.   

Image:  LC-Lot-3305-34:   USS Olympia (Cruiser #6) port view.  Photographed by K. Loeffler, 1907.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress.