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Wyoming (Monitor No. 10)


The first Wyoming was named for the valley in Luzerne County, eastern Pennsylvania, that runs along the Susquehanna River; the second and third commemorate the state of Wyoming, the 44th to join the Union.


(Monitor No. 10: displacement 3,225; length 255'1"; beam 50'0"; draft 12'6" (mean); armament 2 12-inch breech-loading rifles, 4 4-inch, 2 6-pounders; class Arkansas)

The second Wyoming (Monitor No. 10) was laid down on 11 April 1898 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Union Iron Works; launched on 8 September 1900; sponsored by Miss Hattie Warren, daughter of Senator Francis E. Warren of Wyoming; and commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., on 8 December 1902, Cmdr. Vincendon L. Cottman in command.

After fitting out at Mare Island, Wyoming ran her trials and exercises in San Pablo and San Francisco Bays and conducted exercises and target practice off the southern California coast through the summer of 1903 before she headed south in the autumn, reaching Acapulco, Mexico, on 31 October. She subsequently shifted further south, to Colombia, where a civil war threatened American lives and interests. The monitor accordingly arrived in Panamanian waters on 13 November and sailed up the Tuira River in company with the protected cruiser Boston, with a company of marines under Lt. S. A. M. Patterson, USMC, and Lt. C. B. Taylor, USMC, embarked, to land at "Yariza" and observe the movements of Colombian troops.

The presence of U.S. armed might there and elsewhere ultimately resulted in independence for the Panamanians. During that time, Wyoming anchored at the Bay of San Miguel on 15 December 1903. The following day, a boat with 11 marines embarked left for the port of La Palma, under sail. While Boston departed the scene on the 17th, Wyoming shifted to La Palma on the following day. There, Lt. Patterson, USMC, with a detachment of 25 marines, commandeered the steamer Tuira and took her upriver. While the marines were gone, a party of evacuated U.S. nationals came out to the monitor in her gig.

Meanwhile, Patterson's marines had joined the ship's landing force at the village of Real to keep an eye on American interests there. Back at La Palma, Wyoming continued to take on board American nationals fleeing from the troubled land and kept up a steady stream of supplies to her landing party of bluejackets and marines at Real. Ultimately, when the need for them had passed, the landing party returned to the ship on Christmas Eve.

Wyoming remained in Panamanian waters into the spring of 1904 keeping a figurative eye on local conditions before she departed Panama Bay on 19 April, bound for Acapulco. After remaining at that port from 27 to 29 April, Wyoming visited Pichilinque, Mexico, from 3 to 9 May. She subsequently reached San Diego on the 14th for a nine-day stay.

For the remainder of 1904, Wyoming operated off the west coast, ranging from Brighton Beach and Ventura, Calif., to Bellingham, Wash., and Portland, Oregon. She attended a regatta at Astoria, Oregon., from 22 to 27 August and later took part in ceremonies at the "unveiling of monuments" at Griffin Bay, San Juan Islands, and Roche Harbor before she entered the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., on 22 October.

Wyoming was overhauled there into the following year. She departed the Pacific Northwest on 26 January 1905 and steamed via San Francisco to Magdalena Bay, Mexico, for target practice. Later cruising to Acapulco and Panamanian waters, Wyoming also operated off San Salvador and Port Harford, Calif., before she returned to Mare Island on 30 July to be decommissioned on 29 August 1905.

Recommissioned on 8 October 1908, Cmdr. John J. Knapp in command, Wyoming spent over two months at Mare Island refitting. Converted to oil fuel, the first ship to do so in the U.S. Navy, she underwent tests for her oil-burning installation at San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and San Diego into March 1909.

During those tests, Wyoming was renamed Cheyenne on 1 January 1909, in order to clear the name Wyoming for the projected Battleship No. 32. The ship consequently underwent more tests on her oil-burning equipment at Santa Barbara, San Pedro, and San Diego before she was placed in reserve at Mare Island on 8 June. She was decommissioned on 13 November of the same year.

Recommissioned, in reserve, on 11 July 1910, Lt. Cmdr. C. T. Owens in command, Cheyenne was assigned to the Washington (state) Naval Militia in 1911 and operated in an "in commission, in reserve" status into 1913. Shifting to the Puget Sound Navy Yard early in February of 1913, Cheyenne was fitted out as a submarine tender over the ensuing months. Finally, on 20 August 1913, Cheyenne was placed in "full commission," Lt. Kenneth Heron in command.

The newly converted submarine tender operated in the Puget Sound region until 11 December, when she sailed for San Francisco. In the ensuing months, Cheyenne tender the submarines of the Second Submarine Division, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, at Mare Island, San Francisco, and San Pedro, into April of 1914. Later that spring, when troubled conditions in. Mexico threatened U.S. lives and property, Cheyenne interrupted her submarine tending duties twice, once in late April and once in mid-May, to embark refugees at Ensenada and San Quentin, Mexico, transporting them both times to San Diego.

Cheyenne then resumed her submarine tending operations on the west coast, continuing them into 1917. On 10 April of that year, four days after the United States entered the Great War [World War I], she proceeded to Port Angeles, Wash., the designated point of mobilization for the Pacific Fleet, in company with the submarines H-l (Submarine No. 28) and H-2 (Submarine No. 29), arriving there on the 16th. Subsequently shifting to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Cheyenne remained at that port for most of a month, taking on stores and provisions, loading ammunition, and receiving men on board to fill the vacancies in her complement. On 28 April, Cheyenne guarded N-l (Submarine No. 35) as she ran trials off Port Townsend, Wash. On 4 May, the warship returned to Puget Sound for dry dock and yard work. Completing that refit late in May, Cheyenne shifted southward to San Pedro, Calif., where she established a submarine base and training camp for personnel for submarine duty.

Cheyenne subsequently joined the Atlantic Fleet, serving as flagship and tender for Division 3, Flotilla 1, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet. On 17 December 1918, the ship was transferred to Division 1, American Patrol Detachment. While with that force, Cheyenne lay at Tampico, Mexico, protecting U.S.  lives and property from 15 January to 9 October 1919. Proceeding north soon thereafter, the warship arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 23 October 1919, where she was decommissioned on 3 January 1920.

While inactive at Philadelphia, the ship was classified as a miscellaneous auxiliary, IX-4, in the fleet-wide designation of alphanumeric identification numbers of 17 July 1920. Subsequently recommissioned at Philadelphia on 22 September of the same year, Cheyenne was towed to Baltimore, Md., by the tug Lykens (AT-56).

Based there, Cheyenne was assigned to training duty with Naval Reserve Force (USNRF) personnel of sub-district "A," Fifth Naval District, and trained USNRF reservists through 1925. Basing at Baltimore, she occasionally visited Hampton Roads during her cruises. On 21 January 1926, the minesweeper Owl (AM-2) took Cheyenne in tow and took her to Norfolk and thence to Philadelphia where she arrived on 27 January for inactivation.

Decommissioned on 1 June 1926, Cheyenne was stricken from the Navy list on 25 January 1937, and her stripped-down hulk was sold for scrap on 20 April 1939.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

17 November 2021

Published: Wed Nov 17 11:29:50 EST 2021