The USS Olympia is the oldest steel-hulled American warship afloat. The ship served as Commodore George Dewey's flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. The United States Navy defeated Spanish naval forces in the Phillipines, securing those islands for the U.S. This victory insured America's prominence as a world power.
The ship was built as part of a program in the 1880's and 1890's to improve the previously neglected American Navy. This gave rise to steel shipbuilding as a major industry. Olympia is the last remaining ship built during that program and the sole surviving naval combatant of the Spanish-American War.
Olympia returned home in triumph from the Spanish-American War in 1899. The cruiser then served as a training vessel for the U.S. Naval Academy until 1909.
Reactivated for World War I, Olympia patrolled off New York and participated in the allied landings in Murmansk in 1918. Olympia's last major mission was the return of the Unknown Soldier from World War I for reburial in Arlington National Cemetery. Olympia was decommissioned in 1922.,
Length: 344 feet
Beam: 53 feet
Displacement: 5,870 tons
Crew: 33 officers
396 enlisted men
Top speed 22: knots (25 mph)
The ship is maintained by the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing. It us open for self guided tours during museum hours, 10am- 5pm daily.
Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Philadelphia PA
Open Daily 10am-5pm (215)925-5439
Lewis Publishing Company
Copyright 2005 - 2007