USS Isla de Cuba (1886)

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Isla de Cuba soon after completion, probably in a British port]]
Career 100x35px
Name: USS Isla de Cuba
Namesake: The island of Cuba (Spanish Navy name retained)
Builder: Sir W.G. Armstrong Mitchell & Company, Elswick, Tyne and Wear, England
Laid down: 25 February 1886
Launched: 11 December 1886
Completed: 22 September 1887
Acquired: by capture, 1 May 1898
Commissioned: 11 April 1900
Decommissioned: 9 June 1904
In service: as school ship, March 1907
Fate: Sold to Venezuela, 2 April 1912
Scrapped, 1940
General characteristics
Class and type: Isla de Luzon-class protected cruiser
Displacement: 950 long tons (965 t)
Length: 195 ft (59 m)
Beam: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Draft: 11 ft 4.75 in (3.4735 m) (mean)
Propulsion: 2-shaft horizontal triple expansion engine, 535 ihp (399 kW)
2-cylinder boilers
160 tons coal
Speed: 11.2 knots (20.7 km/h; 12.9 mph)
Complement: 137 officers and enlisted
Armament: • 4 × 4 in (102 mm)/40-caliber guns
• 4 × 6-pounder quick firing guns
• 3 × 14 in (356 mm) torpedo tubes (above water)
Armor: Deck: 1–2.5 in (25–63 mm)

USS Isla de Cuba was a former Spanish Navy second-class protected cruiser of the same name, captured by and commissioned into the U.S. Navy as a gunboat.

Service history

Spanish Navy

Isla de Cuba was built in 1886-1887 for the Spanish Navy by Sir W.G. Armstrong Mitchell & Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom as a second-class protected cruiser. She fought in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War in 1898, suffering light damage, and was scuttled after the battle. She settled in shallow water, after which a U.S. Navy boarding party from gunboat USS Petrel went aboard and set her upper works on fire.[1]

The U.S. Navy took possession of her, refloated her, and repaired her damage. The Spanish 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns were removed and replaced with 4-inch (102 mm) guns mounted on her forecastle and poop.[2]

United States Navy

For more information on her previous career, see Isla de Cuba.

Isla de Cuba was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Isla de Cuba on 11 April 1900 at Hong Kong, China, with Lieutenant J. N. Jordan in command. Following extensive repairs and shakedown out of Hong Kong, she was assigned to the Asiatic Station where she served in several capacities during the revolutionary unrest in the Philippines (see Philippine Revolution) following the Spanish-American War.

As a supply ship and patrol boat she cruised the Philippine Islands. At Ormoc, Leyte, on 17 November 1900, she sent a battalion ashore to hold the town while the U.S. Army garrison leader was away on an expedition against the Philippine insurgents, remaining there in support of the battalion until 8 December 1900. In 1901 she made a survey of Ormoc anchorage and Parasan Harbor; and in March and April 1900 as a unit of the Southern Squadron, she rendered distinguished service in cutting off the Philippine insurgents' supplies in Samar; in helping to capture Vicente Lukban, the insurgent leader in Samar; in contributing to the general defeat of the insurgents; and in maintaining the close blockade of the island of Samar — all of which contributed to the final declaration of an armistice.

Isla de Cuba ended her service with the Asiatic Station when she departed Cebu for the United States on 4 March 1904. Decommissioning 9 June 1904 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, she remained there undergoing repairs until 21 March 1907 when she was loaned to the Naval Militia of Maryland for use as a school ship. She was sold at Charleston, South Carolina, to the Republic of Venezuela on 2 April 1912. Renamed Mariscal Sucre, after Marshall Antonio José de Sucre, she served Venezuela until she was scrapped in 1940.


  1. The Spanish-American War Centennial Website: Isla de Cuba
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, p. 166
  • This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
  • Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, Eds. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905. New York, New York: Mayflower Books Inc., 1979. ISBN 0831703024.
  • Gray, Randal, Ed. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870219073.

See also

External links