USS Baltimore (C-3)


USS Baltimore (C-3)

The fourth USS "Baltimore" (C-3) (later CM-1) was a United States Navy cruiser, the second protected cruiser to be built by an American yard. Like the previous one, the USS "Charleston", the design was commissioned from the British company of W. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company of Newcastle.

She was launched on 6 October 1888 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sponsored by Mrs. Theodore D. Wilson, wife of Chief Constructor Theodore D. Wilson; and commissioned on 7 January 1890, with Captain W. S. Schley in command.

"Baltimore" became the flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron on 24 May 1890, and from 15 through 23 August conveyed the remains of the late Captain John Ericsson from New York City to Stockholm, Sweden. After cruising in European and Mediterranean waters, she arrived at Valparaíso, Chile, on 7 April 1891 to join the South Pacific Station. She protected American citizens during the Chilean revolution, landing men at Valparaíso on 28 August. (The events around this became known as the Baltimore Crisis.) Arriving at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 January 1892, she cruised on the west coast of the United States until 7 October and then returned to the Atlantic. She took part in the naval rendezvous and review in Hampton Roads during March and April 1893. Proceeding via the Suez Canal, she cruised as flagship of the Asiatic Station, 22 December 1893 through 3 December 1895, protecting American interests. Returning to Mare Island on 21 January 1896, she went out of commission on 17 February 1896.

Recommissioned on 12 October 1897, "Baltimore" sailed on 20 October for the Hawaiian Islands and remained there from 7 November 1897 through 25 March 1898. She then joined Commodore George Dewey's squadron at Hong Kong, on 22 April 1898. The squadron sailed from Mirs Bay, China, on 27 April for the Philippines, and on the morning of 1 May entered Manila Bay and destroyed the Spanish fleet stationed there. "Baltimore" was second in line behind USS "Olympia". (For more information, see the Wikipedia article Battle of Manila Bay (1898).) "Baltimore" remained on the Asiatic Station convoying transports and protecting American interests until 23 May 1900, when she sailed for the United States, via the Suez Canal, arriving at New York on 8 September 1900.

Between 27 September 1900 and 6 May 1903 "Baltimore" was out of commission at New York Navy Yard. From 5 August to 23 December 1903 she served with the Caribbean Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet, taking part in summer maneuvers off the coast of Maine, in the Presidential Review at Oyster Bay, New York (15-17 August), and in Santo Domingo waters. Between 28 May and 26 August 1904 she was attached to the European Squadron and cruised in the Mediterranean. On 26 September she sailed from Genoa, Italy, for the Asiatic Station and spent the next two years cruising in Asiatic, Philippine, and Australian waters.

"Baltimore" returned to New York on 24 April 1907 and went out of commission at New York Navy Yard on 15 May 1907. On 20 January 1911 she was placed in commission in reserve and served as a receiving ship at Charleston Navy Yard (30 January 1911 through 20 September 1912). From 1913 through 1914 she was converted to a minelayer at the Charleston Navy Yard and recommissioned on 8 March 1915. Between 1915 and 1918 she carried out mining experiments and operations in Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast.

At American entry into World War I, "Baltimore" was training personnel. Early in March 1918 she was detailed to assist in laying a deep mine field off the north coast of Ireland in the North Channel. She arrived at the Clyde on 8 March, and between 13 April and 2 May laid approximately 900 mines in the North Channel. On 2 June she joined Mine Squadron 1 at Inverness, Scotland, and for four months participated in laying the Northern Mine Barrage between the Orkneys and Iceland.

On 28 September 1918 "Baltimore" sailed from Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, for the United States. She carried out mining experiments in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands until the end of the year.

In September 1919 she joined the Pacific Fleet receiving the designation CM-1 and remained on the west coast until January 1921. She then proceeded to Pearl Harbor, where she was subsequently placed out of commission on 15 September 1922. She then served as a receiving ship at Pearl Harbor, and was present during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She was sold 16 February 1942 and scrapped.

References

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