Newport I (Gunboat No. 12)
(PG-12: dp. 1,153; l. 204'5"; b. 36'; dr. 12'9"; s. 12.8 k.; cpl. 156; a. 1 4-, 2 3", 2 6-pdr.)
A city and county in Rhode Island, important as a naval base since the American Revolution.
The first Newport (Gunboat No. 12) was laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Me., March 1896; launched 5 December 1896; sponsored by Miss Frances La Farge; and commissioned 5 October 1897, Comdr. B. F. Tilley in command.
After fitting out in Boston, Newport sailed for duty in the Caribbean 15 October 1897. Between December 1897 and August 1898, the ship patrolled off the West Indies and Central America. During the Spanish-American War, she received credit for assisting in the capture of nine Spanish vessels. The ship returned to the United States and decommissioned 7 September 1898.
Recommissioned 1 May 1900, Newport served as training ship at the Naval Academy and at the Naval Training Station at Newport, R. I., until decommissioning at Boston 1 December 1902.
Recommissioned 18 May 1903, she operated with the Atlantic Fleet along the eastern seaboard and in the West Indies until decommissioned 17 November 1906. Newport was loaned to the Massachusetts Naval Militia 2 June 1907 and on 27 October 1907 was reassigned to the New York Public Marine School. She also served as training ship for the 3rd Naval District until June 1918, when she was returned to the Navy for wartime service. On 26 July 1918 she was reassigned to continue duty as a New York State training ship under control of Commandant, 3rd Naval District. The gunboat sailed on a training cruise from New York to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies from 9 December 1918 to 25 May 1919. On 3 June 1919, she returned to full control of New York State. She was redesignated IX-19 on 1 July 1921.
Struck from the Navy List 12 October 1931, she was turned over to the city of Aberdeen, Wash., by Act of Congress 14 May 1934, to be used as a training ship for Naval Reserves.