Ships of the California Naval Militia
USS Wyoming
USS Wyoming in drydock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1909
The second WYOMING (Monitor No. 10) was laid down on 11 April 1898 at San Francisco, California., by the Union Iron Works, launched on 8 September 1900; sponsored by Miss Hattie Warren, daughter of Senator Francis E. Warren of Wyoming, and commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California., on 8 December 1902, Commander. V. L. Cottman in command.
After fitting out at Mare Island, WYOMING ran her trials and exercises in San Pablo and San Francisco Bays and conducted exercises and target practice off the southern California coast through the summer of 1903 before she headed south in the autumn, reaching Acapulco, Mexico, on 31 October. She subsequently shifted further south, to Colombia, where a civil war threatened American lives and interests. The monitor accordingly arrived in Panamanian waters on 13 November and sailed up the Tuira River in company with the protected cruiser Boston, with a company of marines under Lieutenant. S. A. M. Patterson, USMC, and Lieutenant. C. B. Taylor, USMC, embarked, to land at "Yariza" and observe the movements of Colombian troops.
The presence of American armed might there and elsewhere ultimately resulted in independence for the Panamanians. During that time, WYOMING anchored at the Bay of San Miguel on 15 December. The following day, a boat with 11 marines embarked left for the port of La Palma, under sail. While Boston departed the scene on the 17th, WYOMING shifted to La Palma on the following day. There, Lieutenant. Patterson, USMC, with a detachment of 25 marines, commandeered the steamer Tuira and took her upriver. While the marines were gone, a party of evacuated American nationals came out to the monitor in her gig.
Meanwhile, Patterson's marines had joined the ship's landing force at the village of Real to keep an eye on American interests there. Back at La Palma, WYOMING continued to take on board American nationals fleeing from the troubled land and kept up a steady stream of supplies to her landing party of bluejackets and marines at Real. Ultimately, when the need for them had passed, the landing party returned to the ship on Christmas Eve.
WYOMING remained in Panamanian waters into the spring of 1904 keeping a figurative eye on local conditions before she departed Panama Bay on 19 April, bound for Acapulco. After remaining at that port from 27 to 29 April, WYOMING visited Pichilinque, Mexico from 3 to 9 May. She subsequently reached San Diego on the 14th for a nine-day stay.
For the remainder of 1904, WYOMING operated off the west coast, ranging from Brighton Beach and Ventura, California., to Bellingham, Wash., and Portland, Oreg. She attended a regatta at Astoria, Oreg., from 22 to 27 August and later took part in ceremonies at the "unveiling of monuments" at Griffin Bay, San Juan Islands and Roche Harbor before she entered the Puget sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., on 22 October.
WYOMING was overhauled there into the following year. She departed the Pacific Northwest on 26 January 1905 and steamed via San Francisco to Magdalena Bay Mexico, for target practice. Later cruising to Acapulco and Panamanian waters, WYOMING also operated off San Salvador and Port Harford, California., before she returned to Mare Island on 30 July to be decommissioned on 29 August 1905. It was during this period the she served as a training vessel for the California Naval Militia
Recommissioned on 8 October 1908, Commander. John J. Knapp in command, WYOMING spent over two months at Mare Island refitting. Converted to oil fuel-the first ship to do so in the United States Navy-she underwent tests for her oil-burning installation at San Francisco Santa Barbara, and San Diego into March 1909.
During those tests, WYOMING was renamed CHEYENNE on 1 January 1909, in order to clear the name WYOMING for the projected Battleship No. 32. The ship consequently underwent more tests on her oil-burning equipment at Santa Barbara, San Pedro, and San Diego before she was placed in reserve at Mare Island on 8 June. She was decommissioned on 13 November of the same year.
Recommissioned, in reserve, on 11 July 1910, Lieutenant. Commander. C. T. Owens in command, CHEYENNE was assigned to the Washington (state) Naval Militia in 1911 and operated in an "in commission, in reserve" status into 1913. Shifting to the Puget Sound Navy Yard early in February of 1913, CHEYENNE was fitted out as a submarine tender over the ensuing months. Finally, on 20 August 1913, CHEYENNE was placed in "full commission," Lieutenant. Kenneth Heron in command.
The newly converted submarine tender operated in the Puget Sound region until 11 December, when she sailed for San Francisco. In the ensuing months, CHEYENNE tender the submarines of the 2d Submarine Division, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, at Mare Island, San Francisco, and San Pedro, into April of 1914. Later that spring, when troubled conditions in Mexico threatened American lives and property, CHEYENNE interrupted her submarine tending duties twice, once in late April and once in mid-May, to embark refugees at Ensenada and San Quentin, Mexico, transporting them both times to San Diego.
CHEYENNE then resumed her submarine tending operations on the west coast, continuing them into 1917. On 10 April of that year, four days after the United States entered World War I-she proceeded to Port Angeles, Wash., the designated point of mobilization for the Pacific Fleet, in company with the submarines H-l (Submarine No. 28) and H-2 (Submarine No. 29), arriving there on the 16th. Subsequently shifting to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, CHEYENNE remained at that port for most of a month taking on stores and provisions loading ammunition and receiving men on board to fill the vacancies in her complement. On 28 April CHEYENNE guarded N-1 (Submarine No. 35) as she ran trials off Port Townsend, Wash. On 4 May, the warship returned to Puget Sound for drydock and yard work. Completing that refit late in May, CHEYENNE shifted southward to San Pedro, California., where she established a submarine base and training camp for personnel for submarine duty.
CHEYENNE subsequently joined the Atlantic Fleet, serving as flagship and tender for Division 3, Flotilla 1, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet. On 17 December 1918, the ship was transferred to Division 1, American Patrol Detachment. While with that force, CHEYENNE lay at Tampico, Mexico, protecting American lives and property from 16 January to 9 October 1919. Proceeding north soon thereafter, the warship arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 23 October 1919, where she was decommissioned on 3 January 1920.
While inactive at Philadelphia, the ship was classified as a miscellaneous auxiliary, IX-4, in the fleetwide designation of alphanumeric hull numbers of 17 July 1920. Subsequently recommissioned at Philadelphia on 22 September of the same year, CHEYENNE was towed to Baltimore, Md., by the tug LYKENS (AT-56).
Based there, CHEYENNE was assigned to training duty with Naval Reserve Force (USNRF) personnel of subdistrict "A " 5th Naval District, and trained USNRF reservists through 1925. Basing at Baltimore, she occasionally visited Hampton Roads during her cruises. On 21 January 1926, the minesweeper OWL(AM-2) took CHEYENNE in tow and took her to Norfolk and thence to Philadelphia where she arrived on 27 January for inactivation.
Decommissioned on 1 June 1926, Cheyenne was struck from the Navy list on 25 January 1937, and her stripped-down hulk was sold for scrap on 20 April 1939.
The ARKANSAS Class, Last of the Line
The ARKANSAS class was the last group of monitors to be constructed for the U.S. Navy although the navies of Great Britain and Italy built and used monitors for shore bombardment during World War I and the former used them during World War II as well. Single turreted monitors, they mounted the most modern heavy guns in the U.S. Navy at the time they were built, 12 inch 40 calibre weapons. The ARKANSAS class did not see any combat during World War I and instead served as submarine tenders. Alexander C. Brown, writing in the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Historical transactions noted in a penetrating comment that:
"Monitors found their final employment as submarine tenders in World War I for which their low freeboard hulls made them well suited. It is significant to note, however, that in this humble capacity they were ministering to the needs of that type of craft which had logically replaced them for as initially envisaged monitors were designed to combine heavy striking power with concealment and the presentation of a negligible target area ..."
 Type  Monitor
 Class  Arkansas
 Displacement.  3,225 tons
 Length  255 feet, 1 inch
 Beam  50 feet
 Draft  12 feet, 6 inches
 Speed  12.5 knots
 Complement  220
 2 x 12 inch breech loading rifles
2 x 4 inch guns
2 x 6-pound guns
 Turret: 10 inches
Sides: 8 inches
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Updated 8 February 2016