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Katahdin II (Harbor-Defense Ram)

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Caption: USS Katahdin, a Steel Armored Ram from 1896 to 1909.

(IrcRam: t. 2,155; l. 250'9"; b. 43'5"; dr. 15'1"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 97; 4 6-pdr. r.)

A mountain peak in Maine.


The second Katahdin was launched by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, 4 February 1893; sponsored by Miss Una Soley, daughter of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 20 February 1896, Comdr. Richard P. Leary in command.

The experimental, harbor-defense ram was a new departure in ship design, built to ride extremely low in the water with her bow awash while under way. Her hull embodied several new features later used in early submarines.

Katahdin departed New York Harbor 4 March 1897, the day of President McKinley's first inauguration, and sailed to Norfolk before decommissioning at Philadelphia Navy Yard 17 April. A year later, with the Navy preparing for an impending war with Spain, she recommissioned there 10 March 1898. She was attached to the North Atlantic Squadron and operated along the Atlantic Coast from New England to Norfolk protecting the Nation's seaboard cities from possible attack. After decisive American naval victories at Manila Bay and Santiago Harbor eliminated this threat, the ram decommissioned for the last time at Philadelphia Navy Yard 8 October.

However, Katahdin advanced knowledge of naval weaponry to her end. She was struck from the Navy List 9 July 1909; and designated "Ballistic Experimental Target 'A'". Katahdin was sunk by gunfire at Rappahannock Spit, Va., in September.

Katahdin (AT-28) was renamed Sunnadin (q.v.) 17 February 1919.

Published: Tue Jul 28 09:26:35 EDT 2015