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The United States Steam Sloop Wyoming

Since prior to the Civil War, the United States Navy has had ships named the USS Wyoming. The first, depicted above, however, was not named after the State but, instead, after a valley and battle in Pennsylvania. Additionally, there have been several civilian ships named Wyoming.

USS Wyoming, SSBN-742.

The present USS Wyoming is the fourth ship (the present USS Wyoming is properly referred to as a boat, not a "ship", ships are on top of the water, submarines are boats) in the U.S. Navy named the Wyoming. The first, depicted at top of page, a wooden-hulled steam sloop named after the Wyoming Valley in eastern Pennsylvania, was launched in 1859. In 1862, under the command of Comdr. David Stockton McDougal (1809-1882), the Wyoming joined the hunt for the elusive CSS Alabama in the western Pacific. Although, the Wyoming never caught up with the Alabama, in 1863 in a confrontation with the Empire of Japan in the Straits of Shimonoseki, the Wyoming protected American treaty rights in the western Pacific, sinking two Japanese ships, disabling a third, and destroying a shore battery

United States Steam Sloop Wyoming in the battle of Shimonoseki Straits, 1863.

The battle of Shimonoseki Straits, 1863.

In 1873, under the command of William B. Cushing, the Wyoming was dispatched with another ship to Sandiego de Cuba as a result of the capture of the American flag sidewheel steamer Virginius by the Spanish cruiser Tornado off Jamaica and the execution of its captain, Joseph Fry and 53 of the crew and passengers, eight of whom were Amerian citizens.

Left, David S. McDougal, Right, William B. Cushing

The appearance of the Wyoming resulted in the release of the remaining 51 sailors and the return of the Virginius to its owners. The Virginius Affair resulted in realization of the necessity of upgrading the Navy and distrust of the Spanish in Cuba which, in turn, had an impact 25 years later on public perception of blame for the sinking the the Maine. It was later discovered that, in fact, the Virginius was owned by Cubans and was not entitled to American flag status. On 30 October 1882 the Wyoming was decommissioned. On 9 May 1892 she was sold.

The United States Monitor Wyoming

The second USS Wyoming was the United States Monitor Wyoming, authorized in 1898 and launched in 1900 at the Union Iron Works in San Francisco. Her sponsor was Miss Hattie Warren, daughter of Wyoming U.S. Senator Francis E. Warren. In 1908 she became the first U.S. ship to be converted from coal to oil. The front turret was added approximately the same year. Her name was changed to the USS Cheyenne on 1 January 1909, in order to permit a third vessel to be named the USS Wyoming. In 1913, she was refitted as a submarine tender. The Cheyenne was decommissioned in 1920, recommissioned and decommissioned for the final time on 1 June 1926, struck from the Navy list on 25 Jan 1937 and sold for scrap on 20 April 1939.

USS Cheyenne, formerly, the Wyoming in drydock.

Note front turret which was added about 1908.

Music this Page:

(The Hymn of the United State Navy
The Royal Navy and other Navies of the Commonwealth)

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the water heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry turmult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Next page: The United States Superdreadnaught Wyoming .