USS Winslow, US Torpedo Boat, TB-5, Spanish American War
USS Winslow (TB-5)
USS Winslow (TB-5) was a United States Navy torpedo boat noted for its involvement in the Battle of Cardenas during the Spanish-American War. She was named for Rear Admiral John Ancrum Winslow.
The first Winslow (Torpedo Boat No. 5) was laid down on 8 May 1896 at Baltimore, Md., by the Columbian Iron Works; launched on 8 May 1897; sponsored by Miss E. H. Hazel; and commissioned on 29 December 1897 at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Lt. John B. Bernadou in command.
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Torpedo Boat No. 5
On 6 January 1897, Winslow departed Norfolk and proceeded via New York to Newport, R.I., where she loaded torpedoes and drilled her crew in torpedo firing before returning to Hampton Roads on the 30th.
During Winslow's seven-week sojourn at Norfolk, the battleship USS Maine (ACR-1) sank in Havana Harbor; and the United States began drifting steadily closer to war with Spain. On 11 March 1897, Winslow steamed out of Norfolk and headed south to Key West, Florida., a base much nearer the probable theater of operations in the approaching conflict. The warship operated from that port through the remainder of March and the first three weeks in April. On Monday, the 25th, President William McKinley reluctantly ratified a joint resolution of Congress which proclaimed that a state of war had existed between the United States and Spain since the previous Thursday.
Torpedo Tube on USS Winslow
USS Winslow in Dry Dock
Spanish American War
The USS WINSLOW was a very new ship at the outbreak of the Spanish American War, being commissioned only five months before. She was a sister ship of the USS FOOTE (TB 3) and USS CUSHING (TB 4).
After commissioning, USS WINSLOW reported to Newport, Rhode Island for torpedo loading and drilling She remained there until January 30, 1898 when she departed for Norfolk, Virginia. She was in Norfolk when word arrived about the loss of the USS MAINE. With the heightening of tensions in March, she was dispatched to Key West, Florida to be closer at hand should hostilities break out.
After War was declared, the USS WINSLOW patrolled off of the Cuban coast in the vicinity of Havana, Cardenas and Matanzas. She left her patrol area on May 11 to meet the USS WILMINGTON (Gunboat #8) for recoaling. While there, she aided the USS WILMINGTON, and the USS HUDSON in an effort to locate Spanish vessels in Cardenas Harbor. The action against the town and the Spanish armored tug ANTONIO LOPEZ resulted in the near loss of the USS WINSLOW, and the death of six of her crew, including Ensign Worth Bagley, the only U.S. naval officer killed during the war. Three of her men, Chief Gunner's Mate George P. Brady, Chief Gunner's Mate Hans Johnsen, and Chief Machinist T. C. Cooney were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.