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USS Chester (CS-1/CL-1)

Please see below for item level image and donated collections containing photographs of USS Chester (CS-1/CL-1)

USS Chester (CL-1) was launched 26 June 1907 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, sponsored by Miss D. W. Sproul; and commissioned 25 April 1908, Commander H. B. Wilson in command.

In the period prior to World War I, USS Chester (CL-1)'s operations included training activities off the east coast and in the Caribbean, participation in the Fleet Reviews of February 1909, October 1912, and May 1915, and many duties of a diplomatic nature. After a period in reserve from 15 December 1911 to 5 November 1913, USS Chester (CL-1) returned to duty in the Gulf of Mexico guarding American citizens and property during the revolution in Mexico.

Late 1915 and early 1916 found USS Chester (CL-1) in the Mediterranean to aid in relief work in the Middle East, and off the Liberian coast to protect American interests and show American support for the government there, threatened by insurrection. USS Chester (CL-1) returned for duty as receiving ship at Boston, where she was out of commission in reserve from 10 May 1916 to 24 March 1917. 

When recommissioned, USS Chester (CL-1) operated on protective patrol off the east coast until 23 August 1917, when she sailed for Gibraltar, and duty escorting convoys on their passage between Gibraltar and Plymouth, England. On 5 September 1918, the cruiser sighted an enemy submarine on her starboard bow. In attempting to ram the enemy, USS Chester (CL-1) passed directly over the U-boat as it dove, damaging her own port paravane. Depth charges were hurled at the submarine's presumed position, but no further contact was made.

At war's end, USS Chester (CL-1) carried several Allied armistice commissions on inspection tours of German ports, then carried troops to the Army units operating in northern Russia. On her homeward bound voyage, on which she cleared Brest, France 26 April 1919, she carried Army veterans to New York, which she reached 7 May. Eleven days later she arrived at Boston Navy Yard for overhaul, and was decommissioned there 10 June 1921.

For a complete history of USS Chester (CL-1) please see its DANFS page.