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A History and Roster of the


by Patrick McSherry

Gunboat U.S.S. Annapolis

The Patrol Gunboat U.S.S. ANNAPOLIS

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 History of the ANNAPOLIS ||| Technotes on ANNAPOLIS ||| Crew Roster of the ANNAPOLIS


The ANNAPOLIS was a gunboat that served in the North Atlantic squadron, seeing service in Cuba and on the U.S. east coast during the Spanish American War.


The ANNAPOLIS was launched on December 23, 1896 by the company of Lewis Nixon and was commissioned PG-10 (Patrol Gunboat 10) on July 20, 1897 under the command of Commander John J. Hunker.

When the Battleship MAINE exploded in Havana harbor, ANNAPOLIS was located in Venezuela. Shortly before the Spanish American War began, the ANNAPOLIS was assigned to the Navy's North Atlantic Squadron in March of 1898. When war broke out, she was on the Florida coast. As part of the North Atlantic Squadron, ANNAPOLIS took part in numerous actions during the war, including a skirmish with Spanish gunboats off Havana on May 15, an attack on Siboney on June 22, an attack on Baracoa on July 15.  At Baracoa, the vessel communicated with Cuban insurgents and got into a firefight with shore battery. In the action ANNAPOLIS silenced the guns and set fire to the Spanish barracks. ANNAPOLIS took several hits but reported no damage or injuries. On July 18, acting in conjunction with the WASP and LEYDEN, ANNAPOLIS entered the Bay of Nipe and sunk the Spanish gunboat DON JORGE JUAN.

With the destruction of Admiral Cervera's squadron on the surrender of Spanish forces around Santiago, Cuba, the action now centered on the invasion of Puerto Rico. ANNAPOLIS took part in the defense of the landing forces at Ponce. Hostilities ended with the armistice that was agreed to on August 12, 1898. No longer needed at the front, ANNAPOLIS became a training vessel beginning on October 21, a role she served until being decommissioned on September 5, 1899.

The vessel was recommissioned in 1900, serving in the Asiatic Squadron until her next decommissioning in 1904.From 1907 to 1911, ANNAPOLIS served as the station ship at Tutuila, Samoa. From 1912 to 1919, the vessel cruised off of Mexico and Central America. In 1920 ANNAPOLIS was recommissioned and refitted and then loaned to the Commissioners of Navigation in Philadelphia, serving as a training vessel. Later she served as the Pennsylvania State Nautical Schoolship. In 1940, the ship was converted to a merchant vessel and was renamed KEYSTONE STATE. The ship was scrapped in 1950.


The vessel carried a full barkentine sail rig, meaning that she was not designed to be fully part of the modern steam navy. To man the sails, she likely had to carry additional cew for that purpose. Her design also provide for relatively small coal bunkers and her listed coal endurance seems to take into account the use of sails in addition to the engine. She had one screw rather than two, making her less maneuverable than vessels with multiple screws. The vessel was unarmored. However, she carried a decent battery for a ship of her size and proved herself in action during the war. Lastly, the vessel was a composite warship, or ship with a steel or iron frame, with wooden hull. This type of ship was outdated in a steel ship navy.


Profile of the U.S.S. Annapolis
The Profile of the ANNAPOLIS

Patrol Gunboat PG-10 (Composite Gunboat)
Keel Laid:
April 1896
December 23, 1896
July 20, 1897
Six 4-inch rapid-fire guns

Four 6-pounder rapid fire guns

Two 1-pounder rapid-fire guns

One Colt machine gun
Lewis Nixon, Elizabethport, NJ
168 feet
36 feet
Mean draft:
12 feet
Max. draft fully loaded:
13 feet 9 inches
1,000 tons
11 Officers and 124 enlisted men
Engine type:
Vertical triple expansion engines, generating 1,227 hp.; Single screw
Boiler type:
Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers
13.17 knots
Coal bunker capacity:
225 tons
Endurance @ 10 knots: 
5,328 nautical miles

The Roster:

Officers (partial roster):

HUNKER, John J., Commander (Commanding)
MENTZ, George W., Lieutenant
KLINE, George W., Lieutenant Junior Grade
ZIEGEMEIER, Henry J., Ensign
TOMPKINS, John T., Ensign
POOR, Charles L., Ensign
PALMER, Samuel B., Assistant Surgeon
FYFFE, Joseph, Assistant Paymaster
ROMMEL, Charles E., Passed Assistant Engineer
MAJOR, S.I.M., Naval Cadet
TAUSSIG, J.W., Naval Cadet
MATTHEWS, J.E., Naval Cadet
SAYLES JR., W.R., Naval Cadet
MILLER, N.S., Naval Cadet
LEWIS, J.E., Naval Cadet
WATTS, W.C., Naval Cadet

Enlisted Men:

ANDERSEN, Reginald, Quartermaster Third Class
ANDERSON, John, Landsman
BAIRD, Adrian, Apprentice Second Class
BARRETT, George M., Gunner’s Mate Third Class
BARRY, Joseph, Fireman First Class
BARWICK, William S., Ordinary Seaman
BJORNSTAD, Julius, Fireman First Class
BLADES, Frank S., Apprentice Second Class
BLAKE, James, Landsman
BROWN, Milton, Ship’s Cook First Class
CASSIDY, Edward, Seaman
CHAMBERS, Homer A., Apprentice Second Class
CLARK, Frank, Coal Passer
COOK, Philip, Apprentice Second Class
CURRY, Charles Wilens, Ordinary Seaman
DAHLBURG, Sigfried, Chief Steward
DOWD, Thomas James, Chief Yeoman
DOWNEY, Martin, Apprentice Second Class
DYSON, William H., Mess Attendant
ECKHOFF, Ernest, Carpenter’s Mate Second Class
EDWARDS, John, Coal Passer
EGAN, Harry, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
ELLIOTT, Arthur R., Gunner’s Mate Third Class
FEULOK, Adolph, Coxswain
FITZPATRICK, John, Apprentice Second Class
FLYNN, Charles, Master at Arms Third Class
GANTRE, Phillip, Apprentice Second Class
GARDNER, Charles T., Apprentice Second Class
GARDNER, Henry Arthur, Ordinary Seaman
GILROY, John Joseph, Seaman
GRILLS, William, Blacksmith
GUSTAFSON, Kaarl, Coxswain
HANSON, Hjalmar, Seaman
HARRIS, William D., Apprentice Second Class
HARVEY, Walter, Landsman
HASHI, Kaner, Wardroom Steward
HASOMOTO, Mess Attendant
HAWKINS, James A., Apprentice Second Class
HAYDEN, James R., Landsman
HENDRIKSEN, Andrew, Coxswain
HENSITIS, Charles W., Gunner’s Mate Second Class
HICKEY, Maurice, Apprentice Second Class
JEFFRIES, Thomas, Chief Boatswain’s Mate
JOHNSON, Milton W., Apprentice Second Class
KARLSSON, John F., Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
KELLEY, Oscar S., Yeoman Second Class
KIERNAN, John, Fireman Second Class
KIMURA, Cikizo, Mess Attendant
KISAKOW, Gewata, Mess Attendant
LAGACH, William J., Landsman
LANE, Francis P., Machinist First Class
LEONARD, Harry, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
LUNDY, Frederic K., Ordinary Seaman
MACE, Elliott, Landsman
MARCEY, Charles J., Boilermaker
McDERMOTT, James E., Fireman Second Class
McENTES, Thomas E., Plumbers and Fitters
McKENNA, John F., Apprentice Second Class
MENZIES, John J., Hospital Apprentice
MOHAN, Anthony, Apprentice Second Class
MOORE, Clyde W., Apprentice Second Class
MOORE, Sherwood T., Machinist Second Class
MORAN, Henry, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
MORROW, Charles L., Landsman
MULKERN, James E., Fireman Second Class
MUNSIE, Walter G., Boatswain’s Mate First Class
MURRAY, Hugh, Oiler
MURPHY, Philip E., Apprentice Second Class
NITSCHKE, Albert, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
NOLD, Joseph C., Apprentice Second Class
OBERLEY, Joseph, Apprentice Second Class
OLIVER, Clifford W., Mess Attendant
OLSEN, Johan, Seaman
O’NEIL, Joseph G., Apprentice Third Class
O’NEILL, Martin, Fireman Second Class
OTA, Rikizo, Wardroom Cook
PETERSON, Pricey F., Apprentice Second Class
PHINNEY, Elijah H., Chief Yeoman
PROESCHER, William, Gunner’s Mate First Class
QUILL, James, Chief Machinist
RICKETTS, John C., Chief Quartermaster
ROACH, Edward, Coal Passer
ROCHE, John David, Landsman
RODES, Alfred A., Coxswain
ROGERS, Thomas J., Coal Passer
SANDERS, Harry Leon, Landsman
SANDERS, William, Landsman
SCHIEB, Peter, Painter
SCHREIBER, Martin M., Chief Machinist
SEBURG, Clarence, Fireman First Class
SHEA, Daniel, Chief Carpenter’s Mate
SIMONSSON, Axel, Seaman
SIOGUERO, Birges, Coxswain
SMITH, David, Shipwright
SMITH, Ray C., Apprentice Second Class
SPEARS, Lewis, Hospital Apprentice
STERNO, Joseph Nelson, Landsman
SUMMER, William P., Ordinary Seaman
THOMSEN, Freeman, Fireman Second Class
TOMPKINS, Edward S., Apprentice Second Class
TRAVERS, Dennie C., Apprentice Second Class
TRAVERS, Joseph, Apprentice Second Class
TYRRELL, Thomas E., Apprentice Second Class
VAN HORN, Philip H., Apprentice Second Class
WELDON, John P., Oiler
WELSH, James L., Apprentice Second Class
WHIPP, Robert A., Chief Gunner’s Mate
WIEGURA, Owen G., Apprentice Second Class
WILLIAMS, Henry F., Apprentice Second Class
WILSON, Christian, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
WRIGHT, Harry F., Apprentice Second Class

Marine Guard:

DALY, Michael, Private
FLANDERS, Frank J., Corporal
GORRELL, Charles P., Private
HOWLETT, George L., Private
MANN, Nicholas, Private
McGONIGLE, Edward, Private
McINTIRE, Bert R., Private
MILLER, Gustave P., Private
MITSCHALL, Louis E., First Sergeant
RYAN, Thomas F., Corporal
WILLIAMS, Francis, Private
WILSON, Angus, Private



Alden, John D., The American Steel Navy. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1972) 378.

Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899). Vol. 2 1192-1195, 1248-1249; Vol. 4, 252, 266.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Vol.1  (Washington: Naval Department, 1959) 47.

Johnston, Edgar, Lt., The Great Spanish American War Scenes. (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company).

Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1898) 13

Weaver, Barry,  Col Albert F. Gleim and Danny J. Farak, The West Indies Naval Campaign Medal of 1898 - The Sampson Medal, the Ships and Men. (Arlington, VA: Planchet Press, 1986) (data contributed by Douglas Davis).

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