U.S.S. Iowa (1896)

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U.S.S. Iowa (1896)
Hull Number: BB-4
Builder: William Cramp & Sons[1]
Ordered: 19 July, 1892[2]
Laid down: 5 Aug, 1893[3]
Launched: 28 Mar, 1896[4]
Commissioned: 16 Jun, 1897[5]
Expended: 23 Mar, 1923
Fate: as bombing target

The battleship U.S.S. Iowa was laid down by William Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia on 5 August, 1893. She was launched on 28 March, 1896, sponsored by Miss M. L. Drake, daughter of the governor of Iowa. Iowa was commissioned into the U.S. Navy on 16 June, 1897 with Captain William T. Sampson in command.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

After shakedown off the Atlantic Coast, Iowa was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and was ordered to blockade duty, 28 May 1898, off Santiago de Cuba. On 3 July 1898, she was the first to sight the Spanish ships approaching and fired the first shot in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. In a 20-minute battle with Spanish cruisers Maria Teresa (flagship) and Oquendo, her effective fire set both ships aflame and drove them on the beach. Iowa, continuing the battle in company with converted yacht Gloucester, sank the Spanish destroyer Pluton and so damaged destroyer Furor that she ran upon the rocks. Iowa then turned her attention to the Spanish cruiser Viscaya which she pursued until Viscaya ran aground. Upon the conclusion of the battle, Iowa received on board Spanish Admiral Cervera and the officers and crews of the Viscaya, Furor and Pluton.

After the Battle of Santiago, Iowa left Cuban waters for New York, arriving 20 August, 1898. On 12 October, 1898, she departed for duty in the Pacific, sailed around Cape Horn, and arrived San Francisco 7 February, 1899. The battleship then steamed to Bremerton, Wash., where she entered drydock 11 June, 1899. After refit, Iowa served in the Pacific Squadron for 2 and a half years, conducting training cruises, drills and target practice.

Iowa left the Pacific early in February, 1902 to become flagship of the South Atlantic Squadron. She sailed for New York 12 February, 1903 where she decommissioned 30 June, 1903.

Iowa recommissioned 23 December, 1903 and joined the North Atlantic Squadron. She participated in the John Paul Jones Commemoration ceremonies, 30 June, 1905. Iowa remained In the North Atlantic until she was placed in reserve 6 July, 1907. She decommissioned at Philadelphia 23 July, 1908.

Iowa recommissioned 2 May, 1910 and served as an at sea training ship and as a component of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. During the next 4 years she made a number of training cruises to Northern Europe and participated in the Naval Review at Philadelphia, 10 to 15 October, 1912. She decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 27 May, 1914. At the outbreak of the First World War, Iowa was placed in limited commission 28 April, 1917. After serving as Receiving Ship at Philadelphia for 6 months, she was sent to Hampton Roads, Va., and remained there for the duration of the war, training men for other ships of the fleet, and doing guard duty at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. She decommissioned for the final time 31 March, 1919.

On 30 April, 1919 Iowa was renamed Coast Battleship No. 4, and was the first radio controlled target ship to be used in a fleet exercise. She was sunk 23 March, 1923 in Panama Bay by a salvo of 14-inch shells.


Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also


  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 141.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 141.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 141.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 141.
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 141.
  6. NavSource.org
  7. NavSource.org
  8. List and Station, July 1898. p. 5.
  9. NavSource.org
  10. NavSource.org
  11. NavSource.org
  12. Records of Living Officers (7th ed). p. 101.
  13. Records of Living Officers (7th ed). p. 101.
  14. NavSource.org.
  15. NavSource.org.
  16. Register of Officers, 1903. p. 8.
  17. Register of Officers, 1904. p. 8.
  18. Register of Officers, 1905. p. 8.
  19. Register of Officers, 1906. p. 8.
  20. Register of Officers, 1906. p. 8.
  21. Register of Officers, 1907. p. 10.
  22. NavSource.org.
  23. Register of Officers, 1908. p. 20.
  24. NavSource.org.
  25. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 10.
  26. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 10.
  27. Register of Officers, 1912. p. 22.
  28. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 10.
  29. Register of Officers, 1912. p. 22.
  30. Register of Officers, 1912. p. 22.
  31. Register of Officers, 1914. p. 16.
  32. NavSource.org.
  33. NavSource.org.
  34. "The Navy Gazette". Army and Navy Register. 11 January, 1913. Vol. LIII, No. 1,695, p. 55.
  35. NavSource.org.
  36. Register of Officers, 1919. pp. 18-19.


Pre-dreadnought U.S.S. Iowa
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