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The second USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4), also referred to "Armored Cruiser No. 4", and later renamed Pittsburgh and numbered CA-4, was a United States Navy armored cruiser, the lead ship of her class.

She was laid down on 7 August 1901 by William Cramp and Sonsmarker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker, launched on 22 August 1903, sponsored by Miss Coral Quay (daughter of Senator Matthew S. Quay of Pennsylvaniamarker), and commissioned on 9 March 1905, Captain Thomas C. McLean in command.

Pre-World War I

First fixed-wing aircraft landing on a warship: Ely landing his plane onboard Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay on 18 January 1911

Pennsylvania operated on the East Coast and in the Caribbeanmarker until 8 September 1906, when she cleared Newport for the Asiatic Station, returning to San Franciscomarker on 27 September 1907 for west coast duty. She visited Chilemarker and Perumarker in 1910. On 18 January 1911, a plane flown by Eugene Ely landed on a platform constructed on her afterdeck, opening the era of naval aviation and aircraft carriers.

While in reserve at Puget Soundmarker frombetween 1 July 1911-30 May 1913, the cruiser trained naval militia. She was renamed Pittsburgh on 27 August 1912 to free the name "Pennsylvania" for a new battleship.

World War I

Recommissioning, Pittsburgh patrolled the west coast of Mexicomarker during the troubled times of insurrection which led to American involvement with the Veracruzmarker landing in April 1914. Later, as a symbol of American might and concern, she served as flagship for Admiral William B. Caperton, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, during South American patrols and visits during World War I. Cooperating with the Britishmarker, she scouted Germanmarker raiders and acted as a powerful deterrent against their penetration of the eastern Pacific.

Future Rear Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias served as a line officer aboard the Pittsburgh during World War I.

Inter-war period

Returning to the east coast, Pittsburgh prepared for duty as flagship for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in the eastern Mediterranean, for which she sailed from Portsmouth, New Hampshiremarker on 19 June 1919. Cruising the Adriaticmarker, Aegeanmarker, and Black Seasmarker, she joined in the massive relief operations and other humanitarian concerns with which the Navy carried out its quasi-diplomatic functions in this troubled area. In June 1920, she sailed north to visit Frenchmarker and British ports and cruise the Baltic Seamarker on further relief assignments before returning to decommission at Philadelphia on 15 October 1921.

Recommissioned on 2 October 1922, Pittsburgh returned to European and Mediterranean waters as flagship of Naval Forces in Europe, then arrived at New York on 17 July 1926 to prepare for flagship duty with the Asiatic Fleet. She sailed 16 October for Chefoo, arriving 23 December. Early in January 1927, she landed sailors and Marines to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai from the turmoil and fighting of the Chinese power struggle. When Chiang Kai-shek's Cantonese Army won control of Shanghai in March, Pittsburgh resumed operations on patrol and exercises with the Asiatic Fleet. Closing her long career of service, she carried the Governor General of the Philippines, Dwight F. Davis on a courtesy cruise to such ports as Saigonmarker, Bangkokmarker, Singaporemarker, Belawanmarker, Bataviamarker (Jakarta), Surabayamarker, Balimarker, Makassarmarker, and Sandakanmarker, returning to Manilamarker on 15 April 1931. Six days later, she steamed for Suezmarker en route to Hampton Roadsmarker, arriving on 26 June. Decommissioning on 10 July, she was sold for scrapping under the terms of the London Naval Treaty to Union Shipbuilding, Baltimore, Marylandmarker on 21 December.

The bow ornament of Pittsburgh was presented to the Carnegie Institute of Technologymarker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker, where it was installed overlooking Junction Hollow at the western edge of the school's campus. Today, the ornament is on display at Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorialmarker; a replica of it is still in place at the modern Carnegie Mellon University. ([29522])


  • Alden, John D. American Steel Navy: A Photographic History of the U.S. Navy from the Introduction of the Steel Hull in 1883 to the Cruise of the Great White Fleet. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989. ISBN 0870212486
  • Friedman, Norman. U.S. Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1984. ISBN 0870217186
  • Musicant, Ivan. U.S. Armored Cruisers: A Design and Operational History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870217143

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