Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH-60255-A: USS Maine
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USS Maine (1895-1898), originally designated as Armored Cruiser # 1

USS Maine, a 6682-ton second-class battleship, was built at the New York Navy Yard and commissioned in September 1895. Her active career was spent operating along the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean area. In January 1898, Maine was sent to Havana, Cuba, to protect U.S. interests during a time of local insurrection and civil disturbances. Three weeks later, on 15 February, the battleship was sunk by a massive explosion that killed the great majority of her crew.


While the cause of this tragedy has never been definitively resolved, it was a precipitating cause of the Spanish-American War that began in April 1898. In 1911-12, her hulk was raised from the bottom of Havana Harbor, towed several miles offshore and sunk with military honors.