U.S.S. Olympia (C-6)
USS Olympia (C-6) in Philadelphia, a national landmark (1892). She is the olgest steel-hulled warship aflaoat. She was intended to be the first in a class of ships, but she was the only one of her type built. In August 1895, it became flagship for the Asiatic Squadron. In 1898, Commodore George Dewey assumed control of the ship and squadron. During the Spanish-American War, she was ordered to intercept the Spanish naval force in the Philippines. The Spasnish forces were unprepared for the attack, expecting Dewey to wait until the morning. The attack decimated the Spanish fleet and Dewey became a national hero. In the months leading up to World War I, Olympia went on several patrols before becoming a training ship. Upon outbreak of the war, she was tasked with keeping the eastern seaboard of the US safe. She became the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet's training unit in 1921. Olympia had the honor of bringing home the remains of the Unknown Soldier from Le Havre, France for internment in Arlington National Cemetery. She was placed in reserve in 1922. In 1931, it was decided that Olympia should be preserved as a relic. She became a museum ship in 1957 and was transferred to the Independence Seaport Museum in 1996. She is the only remaining American ship from the Spanish-American War.
Olympia is presently in some danger. Steel-hulled ships must be dry-docked every 20 years for maintanence, but Olympia has been floating since 1945. Damages from this are estimated at $10 million. Olympia may be scuttled to become an artificial reef. The museum is looking for another non-profit organization to provide the necessary maintanence. A group from the Mare Island Naval Shipyard has expressed interest in displaying the ship out of water.