— Independence Seaport Museum —
Cruiser OLYMPIA, launched in 1892, is the oldest steel warship afloat today. OLYMPIA is best known as Commodore George Dewey's flagship in the Battle of Manila Bay, Philippine Islands during the 1898 Spanish American War. After defeating the Spanish fleet, the United States was propelled into a future legacy as a world power.
Following the War, OLYMPIA was often used as a visible reminder of President Teddy Roosevelt's gunboat diplomacy, "Walk softly and carry a big stick." In 1918 she was dispatched to the Baltic Sea as part of the Russian Expeditionary Force in the earliest global attempt to defeat communism in Russia. Her final mission in 1921 was to bring back from France the body of the Unknown Soldier to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery.
OLYMPIA was decommissioned in December 1922.
OLYMPIA continues to be a proud symbol of American military and political maturity.
National Historic Landmark, 1964, Department of Interior, National Park Service.
Founding Member of the Historic Naval Ships Association of North America, 1966.
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, 1977, for the Vertical Reciprocating Engines, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
National Historic Maritime Landmark, 1983, Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers.
Official Project of Save America's Treasures, 1999, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Submarine BECUNA, a BALAO Class submarine, was launched January 30, 1944, she was commissioned to serve in the Southwest Pacific Fleet under General Douglas MacArthur. Her five combat patrols during World War II extended from August 1944 to July 1945.
Following the war, BECUNA, continued her service in the U.S. Navy through much of the Cold War, serving in the Atlantic Theater after 1949.
In 1951, BECUNA, was modified to a GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsion) 1A Class Submarine.
BECUNA was decommissioned in November 1969.
National Historic Landmark, 1986, Department of Interior, National Park Service.
Today, OLYMPIA and BECUNA are maintained by Independence Seaport Museum, and they are open to the public for visitation.
For more Information contact Independence Seaport Museum. 215-925-5439 or www.phillyseaport.org.