Friday, January 11, 2013

The Battleship Oregon 1901

March, Alden.  The History and Conquest of the Philippines and Our Other Island Possessions.  World Bible House, 1901.
The Oregon was designed primarily as a coast defense battleship.  Nevertheless, in 1898 when war between the U.S. and Spain appeared imminent, she was ordered to sail on March 19th from San Francisco to the Magellan Straits and up the eastern seaboard of South America.  During the voyage south, the battleship pitched dangerously at times, and her propellers often came clear of the water.  She arrived at Rio de Janeiro on April 30th, five days after war was officially declared.  On the final leg of her famous "dash", she arrived off of Bridgetown, Barbados on May 18th.  She was able to join in the Battle of Santiago in which all four Spanish cruisers were destroyed.
After being decommissioned in 1919, she ended up as a floating monument and museum in Portland, Oregon.  With the outbreak of hostilities in World War II, her scrap value was deemed higher than her historical value and her hulk ended up as an ammunition barge at the Battle of Guam.  According to her Wikipedia entry:

"During a typhoon in November 1948, she broke loose and drifted out to sea. She was located 500 miles southeast of Guam and towed back. She was sold on 15 March 1956 and scrapped in Japan."

1 comment:

Graham Clayton said...

Is there a reason why the Oregon's hull was painted white?