USS Gloucester (1891)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Gloucester.
USS Gloucester.jpg
USS Gloucester
Career (United States)
Name: Gloucester
Namesake: Gloucester, Massachusetts
Builder: Neafie & Levy
Launched: 1891
Acquired: 23 April 1898
Commissioned: 16 May 1898
Struck: 12 August 1919
Fate: Sold
General characteristics
Type: Gunboat
Displacement: 786 long tons (799 t)
Length: 240 ft 8 in (73.36 m)
Beam: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Speed: 17 kn (20 mph; 31 km/h)
Armament: 4 × 6-pounder (57 mm (2.24 in)) guns

USS Gloucester was a gunboat in the United States Navy. Formerly J. P. Morgan's yacht Corsair II, Gloucester was built in 1891 by Neafie & Levy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and acquired by the Navy on 23 April 1898. Gloucester was commissioned on 16 May 1898, with Lieutenant Commander Richard Wainwright in command.

Service history[edit]

Gloucester served in Cuban waters in 1898 with the North Atlantic Fleet, Blockading Station. She participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July against Cervera's fleet. The victory came with no casualties, which was attributed to "The accuracy and rapidity of her fire, making the proper service of the guns on the Spanish ships impossible."

On 25 July, she entered the harbor before the fleet at Guánica, Puerto Rico, and captured the place for the U.S. Army in what is known as the Puerto Rican Campaign. The handling and fighting of Gloucester merited the commendation of the Navy Department. As the Army was anxious to transfer the place of disembarkation to the harbor of Ponce, the Fleet was directed to proceed to Ponce to reconnoiter; capture all lighters found there; and occupy such positions necessary for holding the port until the arrival of the Army. On 1 August, with assistance from Wasp, Gloucester took possession of Arroyo, and hoisting the U.S. flag, Wainwright held it until arrival of the Army, a day later.

Corsair as it appeared about 1893.

Subsequently Gloucester cruised along the Eastern seaboard from New York to Provincetown in the fall of 1898, and from 1899-1902 served as a schoolship at Annapolis, Maryland. Recommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia on 15 November 1902, she served as tender to the Commander in Chief, South Atlantic Squadron, and cruised to ports in the West Indies and along the east coast of South America.

Decommissioned on 8 February 1905, at Pensacola, Florida, the ship was on duty with the Massachusetts and New York Naval Militias at New York City until recommissioned on 7 April 1917 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Gloucester conducted harbor patrols at New York City until her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 August 1919, and she was sold on 21 November.