Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials
General Alava
(AG-5: dp. 1,390; lbp. 212'6"; b. 28'3"; dr. 13'; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 76; a. 1 6-pdr., 2 3-pdrs.)

A former name retained.

General Alava was built in 1895 by A. McMillan & Sons, Dumbarton, Scotland; captured during the Spanish-American War; transferred from the War Department to the Navy 21 February 1900; commissioned at Cavite, P.I., 9 March 1900, Lt, Comdr. C. E. Fox in command.

General Alava served in the Philippines as a transport and lighthouse tender. She transported Marines between various garrisons in the Philippines, making a voyage to Guam November 1900 to return survivors of Yosemite, lost at sea during a typhoon, to Cavite. Following a tour of the Archipelago with the Army Board for selection of a leper colony site, she carried a Naval Observatory party to Pendang, Sumatra, to observe a partial eclipse of the sun 16 May 1901. During 3-26 September 1901, she cruised with Read Admiral C. C. Remey on inspection of the southern islands. She carried Governor William Howard Taft from Manila to Singapore and back, 5-22 August 1902. The transport again sailed from Manila 29 October, transporting a Forestry Commission to the southern islands, Northern Luzon, Formosa and Nagasaki, Japan. She returned to Subic Bay 30 December and decommissioned at Cavite 24 January 1903.

General Alava recommissioned 11 June 1904 for transport service between the islands until May 1905 when she departed for the coast of China. She returned to Cavite from Shanghai 21 November 1905 and decommissioned 26 February 1906.

General Alava recommissioned 18 December 1906. She was largely used to carry passengers between Cavite and Olongapo until February 1925. This service was interrupted (May-November 1919) by a cruise to Batavia, Saigon, and Celebes to show the flag. With the assignment of hull classification and numbers to ships in 1920, she was designated a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG-5). The transport departed Manila 18 February 1925 once again to show the flag at Batavia and Saigon and to proceed via Hong Kong to Shanghai, arriving 24 April.

For the next 2 years General Alava carried passengers between Chinese ports, twice returning to the Philippines for brief visits. In several inspection cruises from Shanghai, she carried the Asiatic Fleet Commander to such ports as Dairen, Chefoo, Tsingtao, Tientsin, and Chinwangtao. On 24 August 1927 she became receiving ship at Shanghai for transient officers of the Yangtze Patrol and from time to time made inspection trips along the river. She returned from her last cruise on the river to Nanking 3 June 1929 and decommissioned at Shanghai 28 June 1929. Her hulk was used as a target during gunnery practice off the Asiatic coast and sunk 17 July 1929.

Published: Fri Jul 10 08:46:12 EDT 2015