USS Oregon (Battleship #3)
USS Oregon (Battleship #3, later BB-3 and IX-22), 1896-1919
The Indiana-class battleship, USS Oregon (Battleship #3), was commissioned on July 15, 1896, at San Francisco, California, and served with the Pacific Station. Following the explosion of the battleship USS Maine on February 15, 1898, and growing tensions with Spain, she was ordered to the Atlantic to support the fleet. Oregon made a dramatic voyage during the Spanish-American War, weathering storms, while encountering harsh gales while passing through the Straits of Magellan, arriving 66 days after she departed. This journey gave evidence for buidling the Panama Canal as it would be prudent for the United States not to wait again for this transit if emergencies arose. Oregon participated at the Battle of Santiago on July 3, 1898 and departed to support the Boxer Rebellion in June 1900. During her transit, she was grounded and was repaired at Kure, Japan. Following her repairs, she served in the area until decommissioned in April 1906 at Bremerton, Washington. Recommissioned in August 1911, Oregon was relatively inactive until World War I, where she guarded the Pacific coast and escorted a troop convoy to Siberia. Decommissioned in 1919, she was loaned in 1925 to the State of Oregon as a museum ship. In February 1941, she was redesignated IX-22. Upon America's entry into World War II, her hull was to be scrapped for steel needs, but she was retained as an ammunition barge and towed to Guam in 1944. Oregon was finally sold for scrapping in 1956.
A model of Oregon can be found in the Steel Navy section of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.
Image: NH 62591: USS Oregon (Battleship #3), off San Francisco, California, March 18, 1898, the day she departed for her 66 day voyage to the Atlantic. NHHC Photograph Collection.