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USS Hornet (1898-1910)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hornet (1898-1910)

USS Hornet (1898-1910), the former yacht Alicia, was built by Harlan and Hollingsworth, Wilmington, Del., in 1890; purchased from H. M. Flagler 6 April 1898; and commissioned at New York 12 April 1898, Lt. J. M. Helm in command.

Six days after she commissioned, USS Hornet (1898-1910) sailed to join the American fleet blockading Spanish Cuba. Beaching Havana 24 April, she cruised in Cuban waters with several short trips to Key West. On 30 June 1898 USS Hornet (1898-1910) was sent to reconnoiter cays and shoals off the Spanish fort at Manzanillo in company with USS Hist and USS Wompatuck. At 0815 the American ships spotted a Spanish gunboat anchored under the blockhouses of the Army, but closed for action anyway. Although under heavy and continuous fire from shore batteries and a small arms fusillade from Spanish troops, the American ships fired on and sank the gunboat, withdrawing with no casualties. That same day the three ships entered Manzanillo harbor and were soon deep in battle, with shells splashing in the water all around. USS Hornet (1898-1910)'s main steam pipe was cut by a Spanish shell and the ship filled with steam.

Although disabled, USS Hornet (1898-1910) continued to fire on the enemy, her crew passing ammunition through the scalding steam as they drifted close in under the shore batteries. On 11 July 1898 USS Hornet (1898-1910) was back on station, joining USS Hist and USS Wompatuck to cut the cable near Santa Cruz del Sur, destroying telegraphic communication between Havana and Manzanillo. A week later she returned to Manzanillo as the American fleet entered the harbor. In an hour and forty minutes of sharp action, USS Hornet (1898-1910) and her sister ships sank nine Spanish ships as well as four armed pontoons, while under heavy fire from shore batteries and enemy troops lining the harbor.

Departing Key West 10 August, USS Hornet (1898-1910) reached Norfolk 2 weeks later and decommissioned 18 October 1898. Loaned to the North Carolina Naval Militia, she served with them until 1902 and then reported to Norfolk as tender to the receiving ship USS Franklin. USS Hornet (1898-1910)'s name was struck 18 March 1910. She was sold 12 July 1910 to N. S. Sterns of New Orleans.

For a complete history of USS Hornet (1898-1910) please see its DANFS page.