Daily Event for December 4

December 4, 1896: The gunboat Amazonas was launched at Armstrong, Mitchell & Company, Newcastle on Tyne, England. Ordered for the Brazilian Navy she was bought by the US Navy on the ways on March 16, 1898. Two days later she was commissioned as USS New Orleans at Gravesend, England. On the 27th she set sail for New York where she was fitted out and sent to patrol the waters of the Caribbean during the Spanish-American War.

Taking part in the bombardment of the harbor at Santiago de Cuba on May 31, 1898 she was in Key West, Florida coaling when the Battle of Santiago de Cuba took place. The New Orleans returned for patrol duty between Cuba and Puerto Rico and captured the blockade runner Olinde Rodriguez on July 17, 1898.

After her service in the Spanish-American War, the New Orleans was sent to Asia where she did two tours of duty, including five years as flagship of the US Asiatic Fleet. She did two tours of patrol duty off the west coast of Mexico beginning in 1914 and was then moved to the east coast after the USA entered World War 1.

The New Orleans was used to escort ships from the US to France and Britain until January of 1918 when once again she was sent to the Asiatic Fleet. She stayed there until Dec. 1919 and was then sent to Vladivostok, Russia to support the Allied forces in Siberia. Returning once to the USA she returned to Russia and completed her service there in August 1922. The New Orleans, a ship that started out as a Brazilian ship in an English shipyard returned to Mare Island, California and was decommissioned in 1922. She remained in reserve until Feb. of 1930 when she was sold to the breakers.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock

USS New Orleans PG-34