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Boxing On The Oregon, 1897

Written by: George Chittenden : 07 Mar 2020

This photo was taken on board the USS Oregon in 1897. The battleship was built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco with the support of Theodore Roosevelt, who at the time was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Work began in November 1891 and she was completed on October 26th, 1893. On July 15th, 1896, the U.S.S. Oregon was commissioned as an official battleship for the U.S. Navy. She was a steel-armoured and carried forty-two-guns.

The USS Oregon was involved in the Spanish–American War 1898, a year after this photo was taken, and also saw action in the Philippine–American War, the Boxer Rebellion and even WWII, escorting transport ships. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor she was scrapped, and the hull was used as ammunition storage in the battle of Guam. Eventually in 1956 the hull was sold to the Iwai Sanggo Company and it was towed to Japan, disappearing from the history books. Interestingly a monument to all who fought and died in the Spanish-American War is made out of all that remains of the U.S.S. Oregon. Her mast, which had been removed years earlier in 1942 can be found in Portland’s Waterfront Park.

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