Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Bennington (PG-4)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Bennington (PG-4)

The first Bennington (Gunboat No. 4) was laid down in June 1888 at Chester, Pa., by the Delaware River Tron Works; launched on 3 June 1890; sponsored by Miss Anne Ashton; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 20 June 1891, Comdr. Royal B. Bradford in command.

USS Bennington (PG-4) cruised South American waters until 19 July, when she set out from Bahia, Brazil, to visit Spanish and Italian ports during the quadricentennial celebration of Columbus' voyage to and discovery of the western hemisphere. Following participation in the 1893 naval review at Hampton Roads, she moved north for operations along the coast of New England before beginning preparations for foreign service. USS Bennington (PG-4) served In the Pacific for a little more than four years. For the most part, her duty consisted of cruising along the west coast protecting American interests in Latin America during the numerous political upheavals that occurred at that time in Central and South America. 

USS Bennington (PG-4) saw no combat during the Spanish-American War. After spending the first two months of the war in the Hawaiian Islands, she departed Honolulu on 16 June and steamed to the west coast of the United States. On 18 September, USS Bennington (PG-4) stood out of San Francisco on her way ultimately to the Philippine Islands. For a little more than two years, the gunboat served in the Philippine Islands in support of the Army's campaign to suppress Filipino resistance to America’s acquisition of the archipelago.

After a visit to Shanghai, USS Bennington (PG-4) headed back to the United States sometime in July and arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 19 August. She was deommissioned there on 5 September 1901. After 18 months of inactivity, USS Bennington (PG-4) was recommissioned on 2 March 1903. In February of 1905, she departed San Francisco for a two month cruise to the Hawaiian Islands. She returned to San Diego on 19 July. Two days after her return, USS Bennington (PG-4) was rocked by a boiler explosion and sank. The gunboat lost 1 officer and 65 men dead, and nearly every other man on board suffered some injury. Later refloated, the ship was towed to the Mare Island Navy Yard. Her condition, however, precluded repairs, and she was decommissioned on 31 October 1905. The warship remained inactive for five more years. On 10 September 1910, her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register, and she was sold on 14 November 1910 for scrapping.

For a complete history of USS Bennington (PG-4) please see its DANFS page.