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After Steering Aboard the Cruiser Olympia

By Patrick McSherry
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One place aboard OLYMPIA not to be during a battle was after steering! This area, aft of the engine rooms and the aft shell handling room, was the last location for maintaining steering control of the vessel. If something happened to disable steering from the pilot house, the conning tower and the after steering station on the spar deck, steering control would revert to this location.

The large mechanism in this location is attached to the rudder directly. The mechanism consists of a yoke with two hydraulic rams, each exerting a pressure of 500 pounds per square inch. If hydraulic pressure is lost, then brute force was required to operate the mechanism manually.

The yoke and ram in after steering on Olympia

This a view of the yoke and rams, looking aft. The underside of the protective deck can be seen above the mechanism.

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