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USS Boston (1887-1946)

Please below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Boston (1887-1946)

USS Boston, a protected cruiser, was laid down late in 1883 at Chester, Pa., by John Roach & Sons; launched on 4 December 1884; and commissioned on 2 May 1887 at the New York Navy Yard, Capt. Francis M. Ramsay in command.

USS Boston was one of the ABCD ships of the so called "New Navy," ships constructed with the latest developments in steel shipbuilding and steam propulsion. She was the second cruiser completed of the first four ships in the transition from wood and sail to steel and steam. After completing her outfitting period at New York, Boston was dispatched to Livingston, Guatemala, to inquire into an alleged case of gross maltreatment of an American citizen by local military authorities. On 30 September 1889, the Squadron of Evolution was created. Boston was one of the initial four ships assigned to that organization. That squadron remained at New York until 18 November when all ships headed for Boston's namesake city. 

On the night of 30 April and 1 May, the Asiatic Squadron steamed through Boca Grande, the passage into Manila Bay between Corregidor and Caballo Islands to the north and El Fraile to the south. The warship remained at Manila for the duration of hostilities in the Spanish-American War which ended with the protocol signed on 12 August 1898 although the treaty did not come along until 10 December. On the 9th of that month, USS Boston headed back to the Philippines. She stopped at Woosung, China, between 12 and 18 December and arrived at Cavite on the 23d.

USS Boston got underway on 29 July 1899 to return to the United States. She stopped at Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands from 9 to 17 August before continuing on to the west coast. The warship arrived in San Francisco late in August and was decommissioned there on 15 September 1899. She remained inactive at San Francisco until recommissioned on 11 August 1902. USS Boston remained in Panamanian waters until 2 March 1904 at which time she sailed for Callao, Peru, in company with New York, Bennington, and Concord. By mid-November, USS Boston found herself operating along the west coast of Panama once more. That assignment occupied her time until 8 February 1905 when she headed back to San Francisco.

For the next two years, she ranged the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Mexico, with one visit to Panama in mid-October 1905. At the end of May, she moved north to Bremerton, Wash. She was decommissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 10 June 1907. The protected cruiser remained inactive at Puget Sound until 15 June 1911 when she was loaned to the Oregon Naval Militia. In September 1916, USS Boston was returned to the Navy, though she apparently was not recommissioned. On 3 May 1917, USS Boston's name was struck from the Navy list. Navy reacquired Boston in June of 1918 and refitted her as a receiving ship. She was recommissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 16 December 1918. Towed to San Francisco soon thereafter, USS Boston served as a receiving ship for the next 27 years. On 9 August 1940, she was renamed Despatch so that the name USS Boston could be assigned to CA-69. 

For a complete history of USS Boston (1887-1947) please see its DANFS page.