USS Olympia, Oldest Steel Warship Afloat



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USS Olympia, Oldest Steel Warship Afloat

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USS Olympia, Oldest Steel Warship Afloat

Content Description: 

The Olympia (C-6) is the oldest steel warship afloat anywhere in the world and the sole surviving naval ship of the Spanish-American War. She served as flagship of Commodore George Dewey's fleet during the Spanish-American War, and is a veteran of World War I.

Dewey delivered his famous order, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," on Olympia's decks on May 1, 1898 in Manila Bay in the Philippines. The attack devastated the Spanish fleet, helping to catapult the United States into the role of superpower.

Launched in San Francisco, CA, in 1892, Olympia was a rare treasure in the U.S. naval fleet, as no sister ships were ever built. Olympia’s last official naval mission was to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from France to the United States in 1921.

In addition to being a National Historic Landmark, Olympia is also a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and part of the Save America’s Treasures program.

Olympia's future is uncertain as the enormous costs of maintaining her is too much of a burden for the Independence Seaport Museum. For the last two years, the Museum has worked to secure funding for its preservation, approaching the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Department of the U.S. Navy, the Federal government, and private funders – with no success.

Physical Description: 

Length: 344 feet
Beam: 53 feet
Displacement: 5,870 tons
Crew: 33 Officers, 396 enlisted men
Top Speed: 22 knots (25mph)
Coal Consumption at Top Speed: 633 lbs./minute

Philadelphia, PA