EXTERIOR VIEWS TOPSIDE VIEWS GUNDECK VIEWS BERTHDECK, COALING AND ASH CHUTES
Olympia served as Commodore Dewey's flagship at the battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War. It from the ship's open bridge that he gave the order, “You may fire when ready, Gridley,” and started the battle.
Transported the body of the first Unknown Soldier back to the United States after World War I.
It is the oldest floating all-steel warship in the world.
First photo is a cross-section at frame #22, the plaque is mounted on the main deck and the third is of a rather special ship moored across the river.
WHAT A SHIP! Beautiful craftsmanship can be seen all over Olympia, but she is as far behind Battleship Texas in technology as Texas is the fast battleships of WWII. The fact that much of the equipment on board is original to the ship when she was commissioned in 1895 is a tribute to those with foresight and perseverance. The public areas of the ship are in beautiful condition. The management and volunteers have done excellent work with their restoration and maintenance efforts. It is too bad that so many ports and hatches have been welded shut on the outer hull. While I am sure that it improves weather resistance and reduces maintenance, it hurts the overall appearance of the ship. I am most concerned about is the use of concrete on the ship's exterior decks. This was done on Battleship Texas many years ago and led to severe corrosion of the steel on which it was poured. While it was corrected in 1988, many of the effects of the leaks and corrosion on Texas are still being dealt with. Comments have been made by others stating that the Olympia's lower hull is in extremely poor condition and is leaking badly. If this is the case, it is possible that the ship could be lost. What a tragedy, considering its uniqueness and historic value.
Of particular interest to me were the 5" guns in the photos that are in very good condition and well restored. Use the GUNDECK VIEWS link to see the photos. They are 5"-50's of WWI vintage, which makes them very closely related to those on Texas. More importantly, much of the original sighting equipment is in place and helps make more sense of some of the design of Texas' guns.
My only regret is that I was not able to plan ahead so that I could gain access to some of the most fascinating parts of the ship.
Some of my photos show good detail, but go to the two following links for sites that are best that I found. Both were created by the same person, Patrick McSherry:
Virtual Tour of the USFS OLYMPIA (excellent photo tour)
http://www.spanamwar.com/olympia.htm (very good ship's history and associated links)