The U.S.S. Olympia
The U.S.S. Olympia today.
Source: The Spanish-American War Centennial Web Site
Moored on the Delaware river at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadephia, Pennsylvania is the U.S.S. Olympia. Serving as Commodore Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War of 1898, it was on the Olympia that Dewey uttered his famous words "You may fire when ready, Gridley". The results of the American squadron's fire on the Spanish squadron in Manila Bay can be viewed at the Naval Historical Center's web site.
See also Aaron Hamilton's diagram of the Battle of Manila Bay with side-by-side comparisons of the two squadrons' ships.
Pictures of the Olympia's crew may be found at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Old Navy web site along with an excellent close-up of the Olympia's main forward guns.
From the Third International Conference on the Technical Aspects of the Preservation of Historic Vessels, there is a Project Update presented by Paul DeOrsay of the Crusier Olympia Association plus a detailed Preservation Plan for the Olympia.
The Spanish-American War Centennial web site's information on the Olympia is perhaps the most detailed. Of particular interest is the informative information on the Battle of Manila Bay including battle charts and first-hand accounts of the battle. See also their Virtual Visit to the Olympia which contains extensive pictures of the ship's interior and exterior.
Additional photos of the Olympia can be found at the Cruiser Photo Archive and the Naval Historical Center.
Learn how you can help preserve the Olympia.
A real treat for modeling enthusiasts is the wonderful model of the U.S.S. Olympia at the Smithsonian Museum. The Warship - The Ship Modeling Site provides some excellent close-up photographs of this highly detailed model.
Also, there is a new book out on the Olympia:
- USS Olympia: Herald of Empire
- by Benjamin Franklin Cooling
- Published by United States Naval Institute Press, 2000
- ISBN 1-55750-148-3
- Visit Amazon.com for ordering USS Olympia securely over the Internet
If your interests include other early steel U.S. Navy vessels, be sure to also see the above web site's display of the Smithsonian's model of the U.S.S. Atlanta. One of the original ABCD ships of the "New Navy" of the late 1880s, (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, & Dolphin), the Atlanta is now long gone but this is a very interesting and detailed model. Additional photos and information on the Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago can be found at the NavSource Photo Arcives.
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Pre-Dreadnought Preservation - The U.S.S. Olympia
Created & maintained by Mark Howells.
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Updated September 3, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Howells