USS Yosemite - History

USS Yosemite - History

Yosemite
(Auxiliary cruiser: dp. 6,179; l. 389'2"; b. 48'0"; dr.20'1'; (mean); s. 16 k.; cpl. 285; a. 2 5", 6 6-pdrs.,

At the beginning of the Spanish-American War, El Sud merchant steamer built in 1892 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.—was acquired by the Navy from the Southern Pacific Co. on 6 April 1898. The ship was renamed Yosemite and placed in commission on 13 April 1898, Comdr. William H Emory in command.

After fitting out as an auxiliary cruiser at League Island, Pa., and at Newport News, VA., Yosemite departed Hampton Roads on 30 May for duty with the Eastern Squadron off the coast of Cuba. She stopped at Key West, Fla., for five days and then headed for Havana on 7 June, arriving there the same day. Yosemite, however, kept on the move. She left Havana the next day, visited Santiago and Guantanamo Bay on the 10th; and then, after a brief return to Santiago, headed for Kingston, Jamaica, on the 12th. The auxiliary cruiser spent the night of 16 and 17 June at Kingston and returned to Cuban waters on the 19th. On 23 June, she cleared the Guantanamo Bay area for San Juan, Puerto Rico. She arrived off San Juan on the 25th to participate in the blockade of that port.

Soon after her arrival, Yosemite intercepted the Spanish steamer SS Antonio Lopez when the latter tried to run into San Juan. In spite of heavy covering fire from enemy shore batteries and gunboats Alfonso III and Isabella 1I, Yosemite attacked the blockade runner and succeeded in pounding her almost to pieces. At the conclusion of that encounter, the auxiliary cruiser pulled back out of range of the gunboats and their protecting shore batteries to resume her blockade station. She concluded that assignment on 15 July and after a three-day visit to St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands), headed back toward the Virginia capes on the 18th.

Yosemite arrived at Hampton Roads on 22 July and remained there until 15 August two days after hostilities ceased. For almost a month she operated along the Atlantic coast. Then, between 8 and 19 September, the auxiliary made a voyage to Haiti and then resumed east coast operations briefly before putting in at League Island on 23 September—apparently for repairs because she remained until late in December. Yosemite departed League Island on 29 December and arrived in Norfolk on the 30th. The ship remained there until 8 April 1899 at which time she got underway for New York. Following a month-long stay, the auxiliary cruiser departed New York on 10 May for duty in the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Indian Ocean. She arrived in the Mariana Islands—at San Luis d'Apra on Guam—on 7 August.

She spent the next eight months at Guam surveying the harbor and serving as station ship. On 17 April 1900, Yosemite departed Guam for a voyage to Japan where she underwent repairs at Yokohama and Uraga. Following a brief visit to Nagasaki on 7 and 8 June, the ship headed for the Philippines on the 9th. She arrived in Cavite on the 14th and began additional repairs. On 30 June, Yosemite completed repairs and set a course for Guam. She reached the harbor at San Luis d'Apra on 6 July and resumed duty as station ship. Between 2 and 29 August, she made a round-trip voyage back to Cavite to pick up stores for Guam. Upon her return to Guam, Yosemite resumed stationship duties.

On 13 November 1900, the former auxiliary cruiser was blown from her anchorage by a particularly violent hurricane—first ashore and then out to sea from Apra harbor. For two days, her crew fought heroically to save their ship, but she shipped water badly and, due to a damaged screw, made only two knots headway even after the storm passed. Finally, after the weather abated completely, her crew was taken off by the Navy collier Justin, and Yosemite was scuttled.


Spanish–American War, 1898 Edit

After fitting out at League Island, Philadelphia, and at Newport News, Virginia, Yosemite departed Hampton Roads on 30 May for duty with the Eastern Squadron off the coast of Cuba. She stopped at Key West, Florida, for five days and then headed for Havana on 7 June, arriving there the same day. Yosemite, however, kept on the move. She left Havana the next day visited Santiago and Guantanamo Bay on the 10th and then, after a brief return to Santiago, headed for Kingston, Jamaica, on the 12th. The auxiliary cruiser spent the night of 16 and 17 June at Kingston and returned to Cuban waters on the 19th. On 23 June, she cleared the Guantanamo Bay area for San Juan, Puerto Rico. She arrived off San Juan on the 25th to participate in the blockade of that port.

Soon after her arrival, Yosemite intercepted the Spanish steamer SS Antonio Lopez at 5:20 AM on 28 June when the latter tried to run into San Juan, beginning the Third Battle of San Juan. In spite of heavy covering fire from enemy shore batteries and gunboats Ponce de Leon, Isabella II, and Concha, Yosemite attacked the blockade runner and succeeded in pounding her almost to pieces. She expended 251 5-inch (127-mm) shells in the encounter. [2] At the conclusion of that encounter, the auxiliary cruiser pulled back out of range of the gunboats and their protecting shore batteries to resume her blockade station. She concluded that assignment on 15 July and, after a three-day visit to St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands), headed back toward the Virginia Capes on the 18th.

1898–1900 Edit

Yosemite arrived at Hampton Roads on 22 July and remained there until 15 August, two days after hostilities ceased. For almost a month, she operated along the Atlantic coast. Then, between 8 and 19 September, the auxiliary made a voyage to Haiti and then resumed east coast operations briefly before putting in at League Island on 23 September—apparently for repairs because she remained until late in December. Yosemite departed League Island on 29 December and arrived in Norfolk on the 30th. The ship remained there until 8 April 1899 at which time she got underway for New York. Following a month-long stay, the auxiliary cruiser departed New York on 10 May for duty in the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Indian Ocean. She arrived in the Mariana Islands, at San Luis d'Apra on Guam, on 7 August.

She spent the next eight months at Guam surveying the harbor and serving as station ship. On 17 April 1900, Yosemite departed Guam for a voyage to Japan where she underwent repairs at Yokohama and Uraga. Following a brief visit to Nagasaki on 7 and 8 June, the ship headed for the Philippines on the 9th. She arrived in Cavite on the 14th and began additional repairs. On 30 June, Yosemite completed repairs and set a course for Guam. She reached the harbor at San Luis d'Apra on 6 July and resumed duty as station ship. Between 2 and 29 August, she made a round-trip voyage back to Cavite to pick up stores for Guam. Upon her return to Guam, Yosemite resumed station-ship duties.


USS Yosemite AD-19 Info

This is a beautiful ship display commemorating the USS Yosemite AD-19 and all those who served aboard. The artwork depicts the USS Yosemite in all her glory.
This wonderful product is available in the ship's store.

PLEASE VIEW OUR OTHER GREAT USS Yosemite AD-19 INFORMATION:

(AD-19: dp. 14,037 (tl.) l. 530'6" b. 73'4" dr. 25'6" (lim.) s. 19.6 k. (tl.) cpl. 1,076 a. 4 5", 8 40mm., 23 20mm. cl. Dixie) The third Yosemite (AD-19) was laid down on 19 January 1942 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc., at Tampa, Fla. launched on 16 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Melville W. Powers and commissioned on 25 March 1944, Capt. George C. Towner in command. Between late March and mid-June, the destroyer tender was fitted out at Tampa. On 21 June, she got underway for the Virginia capes, steamed via Key West, and arrived at Hampton Roads on the 26th. For the next 10 days, the destroyer tender conducted shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay and then put into Norfolk for additional outfitting and some modifications to her below-deck spaces. Early in August, she made a voyage to Fort Pond Bay, N.Y., to load torpedoes. On the 6th, she headed south to Guantanamo Bay and thence proceeded to the Canal Zone, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Balboa on the 13th. From there, the ship continued her voyage west to Hawaii and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 29 August. As soon as she moored, Yosemite went to work. For the next six months, the ship's company made repairs on over 200 ships. She remained at Oahu until February of 1945. On the 15th, she exited the harbor and set a course for Eniwetok Atoll in the Caroline Islands. She arrived there on the 22d but remained for only five days before moving farther westward to the forward base at Ulithi Atoll. She entered the Ulithi anchorage on 3 March, and her crew set again to work repairing the veteran ships of the war in the Pacific. On 25 May, Yosemite departed Ulithi in a convoy bound for Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. She arrived in San Pedro Bay on the 28th and resumed her work supporting the Fleet in its march toward Japan. She remained at Leyte through the end of the war but, soon thereafter, got underway for Japan. The destroyer tender arrived in Sasebo on 22 September and began tending ships assigned to the occupation forces in the Far East. That assignment lasted until March 1946. On the 15th, she stood out of Yokosuka on her way home. Yosemite transited the Panama Canal in mid-April and arrived in New York on the 22d. Soon after her arrival back in the United States, Yosemite became the flagship for the Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet. Except for several brief interruptions for shipyard overhauls, she served in that capacity from 17 June 1946 until the suring of 1962. During that 16-year period, she spent most of her time in port at Newport, R.I., though on occasion she did make voyages to the West Indies. In addition, near the end of that stretch of time, the destroyer tender made two overseas deployments. In June 1958, she voyaged to northern Europe for the purpose of tending ships engaged in an exercise in the North Atlantic. Later, on 17 March 1959, she again departed Newport for a brief tour of duty tending the ships of the 6th Fleet. She concluded that assignment when she returned to Newport on 24 July and resumed duty as tender to the Atlantic Fleet destroyers and as flagship for their type commander. On 1 April 1962, Yosemite's role changed somewhat when the Atlantic Fleet cruisers and destroyers were brought together into a single type command. At that time, she became flagship for the new command, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Late that fall, during the Cuban missile crisis and the American quarantine of the island, Yosemite departed Newport for a time and headed south via Norfolk to Kingston, Jamaica, where she tended the ships engaged in that operation. In December, she returned to Newport and resumed her normal schedule. Over the next six years, the destroyer tender remained at Newport except for occasional overhauls and for short voyages to the West Indies early each year to tend Atlantic Fleet ships participating in the annual "Springboard" exercise. In 1969, the complexion of her operations changed somewhat. In April, she resumed overseas deployments after a hiatus of 10 years. She departed Newport on 7 April and arrived in Naples on the 19th. During that tour of duty in the Mediterranean, she served as flagship for the Commander, Service Force, 6th Fleet. Grand Canyon (AR-28) relieved her of tender duties on 14 August, the Service Force commander shifted his flag to Mississinewa (AO-144), and Yosemite sailed for the United States on the 15th. On the voyage home, she took on board a badly burned West German seaman from SS Sinclair Venezuela and transported him to the naval hospital at Newport. On 24 October, Yosemite's home port was changed from Newport, R.I., to Mayport, Fla. and the destroyer tender got underway for that city three days later. The ship arrived at Mayport on the 30th and began tending ships. Since that time, Yosemite has been based at Mayport. She has served as flagship for various units of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet—notably Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 2 and Cruiser Destroyer Group 12. She has also made two additional deployments to the Mediterranean, one from July to December 1974 and the second from September 1977 to March 1978. She resumed tender duties at Mayport on 12 March 1978 and, as of October 1978, was engaged in those duties.

**Special thanks to the United States Navy for making this information and photos available to us!**


Yosemite National Park established

On October 1, 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park, home of such natural wonders as Half Dome and the giant sequoia trees. Environmental trailblazer John Muir (1838-1914) and his colleagues campaigned for the congressional action, which was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison and paved the way for generations of hikers, campers and nature lovers, along with countless 𠇍on’t Feed the Bears” signs.

Native Americans were the main residents of the Yosemite Valley, located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, until the 1849 gold rush brought thousands of non-Indian miners and settlers to the region. Tourists and damage to Yosemite Valley’s ecosystem followed. In 1864, to ward off further commercial exploitation, conservationists convinced President Abraham Lincoln to declare Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias a public trust of California. This marked the first time the U.S. government protected land for public enjoyment and it laid the foundation for the establishment of the national and state park systems. Yellowstone became America’s first national park in 1872.

In 1889, John Muir discovered that the vast meadows surrounding Yosemite Valley, which lacked government protection, were being overrun and destroyed by domestic sheep grazing. Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson, a fellow environmentalist and influential magazine editor, lobbied for national park status for the large wilderness area around Yosemite Valley. On October 1 of the following year, Congress set aside over 1,500 square miles of land (about the size of Rhode Island) for what would become Yosemite National Park, America’s third national park. In 1906, the state-controlled Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove came under federal jurisdiction with the rest of the park.


The Birth of The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite was born from necessity. Stephen T. Mather, an American conservationist and the first director of the National Park Service was trying to find ways to increase support and funding for the young National Park Service.

Yosemite was Mather’s favorite park. His vision for Yosemite included upgrading the Park’s concession operations and accommodations. The solution was to build a first-class hotel that would be open year-round to attract individuals of wealth and influence to support the National Parks.

A first-class hotel in a first-class National Park needed a first-class architect, and Gilbert Stanley Underwood fit the bill. Harvard educated and with the design of the Union Pacific Railroad on his resume, Underwood was familiar with building in the Parks he was the architect for the lodges in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

The Ahwahnee hotel’s facade is composed of granite and concrete stained to look like wood to help reduce the risk of fire. All of the materials were delivered into the park by trucks. (Photo by Kenny Karst)

Underwood’s design should sound familiar to anyone who has seen The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. It consisted of a main tower with three wings off of it. The north wing would house an entry lobby, the south wing would be the site of a Grand Lounge and the west wing would hold an enormous dining room. To help reduce the risk of fire, the building was made mostly of steel, granite and concrete that was stained to look like it was made from wood.

A hurdle that had to be cleared was where to get the building materials. Since the hotel was being built in a national park, nothing within the confines could be used in the construction since it is all protected under federal law. Thousands of tons of building materials, furnishings and equipment had to brought to the site by trucks over primitive dirt roads. An amazing task to be undertaken in 1926!

Designers chose to decorate the hotel in a Native American theme to honor the people that called Yosemite home for thousands of years before the likes of John Muir ever experienced it for himself. Ahwahnee, which means “land of the gaping mouth,” was the name the first residents gave to Yosemite Valley. These first people, in turn, called themselves the Ahwaneechee (the people of Ahwahnee).


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

The third Yosemite (AD-19) was laid down on 19 January 1942 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc., at Tampa, Fla. launched on 16 May 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Melville W. Powers and commissioned on 26 March 1944, Capt. George C. Towner in command.

Between late March and mid-June, the destroyer tender was fitted out at Tampa. On 21 June, she got underway for the Virginia capes, steamed via Key West, and arrived at Hampton Roads on the 26th. For the next 10 days, the destroyer tender conducted shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay and then put into Norfolk for additional outfitting and some modifications to her below-deck spaces. Early in August, she made a voyage to Fort Pond Bay, N.Y., to load torpedoes. On the 6th, she headed south to Guantanamo Bay and thence proceeded to the Canal Zone, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Balboa on the 13th. From there, the ship continued her voyage west to Hawaii and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 29 August.

As soon as she moored, Yosemite went to work. For the next six months, the ship's company made repairs on over 200 ships. She remained at Oahu until February of 1945. On the 15th, she exited the harbor and set a course for Eniwetok Atoll in the Caroline Islands. She arrived there on the 22d but remained for only five days before moving farther westward to the forward base at Ulithi Atoll. She entered the Ulithi anchorage on 3 March, and her crew set again to work repairing the veteran ships of the war in the Pacific. On 25 May Yosemite departed Ulithi in a convoy bound for Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. She arrived in San Pedro Bay on the 28th and resumed her work supporting the Fleet in its march toward Japan. She remained at Leyte through the end of the war but, soon thereafter, got underway for Japan.

The destroyer tender arrived in Sasebo on 22 September and began tending ships assigned to the occupation forces in the Far East. That assignment lasted until March 1946. On the 15th, she stood out of Yokosuka on her way home. Yosemite transited the Panama Canal in mid-April and arrived in New York on the 22d.

Soon after her arrival back in the United States, Yosemite became the flagship for the Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet. Except for several brief interruptions for shipyard overhauls, she served in that capacity from 17 June 1946 until the spring of 1962. During that 16-year period, she spent most of her time in port at Newport, R.I., though on occasion she did make voyages to the West Indies. In addition, near the end of that stretch of time, the destroyer tender made two overseas deployments. In June 1958, she voyaged to northern Europe for the purpose of tending ships engaged in an exercise in the North Atlantic. Later, on 17 March 1959, she again departed Newport for a brief tour of duty tending the ships of the 6th Fleet. She concluded that assignment when she returned to Newport on 24 July and resumed duty as tender to the Atlantic Fleet destroyers and as flagship for their type commander.

On 1 April 1962, Yosemite's role changed somewhat when the Atlantic Fleet cruisers and destroyers were brought together into a single type command. At that time, she became flagship for the new command, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Late that fall during the Cuban missile crisis and the American quarantine of the island, Yosemite departed Newport for a time and headed south via Norfolk to Kingston, Jamaica, where she tended the ships engaged in that operation. In December, she returned to Newport and resumed her normal schedule. Over the next six years, the destroyer tender remained at Newport except for occasional overhauls and for short voyages to the West Indies early each year to tend Atlantic Fleet ships participating in the annual "Springboard" exercise.


People

Kitty Tatch and Katherine Hazelston, waitresses at Yosemite National Park hotels, dance on Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point in 1900. These pictures were later made into postcards, autographed and sold for years.

The history of people in Yosemite goes back thousands of years. American Indians traveled and used this area since Ice Age glaciers receded providing an environment for plants, animals, and people to survive. Their descendents remain a part of Yosemite’s history to the present day.

In 1849, the discovery of gold in California meant new groups of people arriving in California. Competition for land and resources brought many of these groups into conflict, and, often, into violent confrontations. The first non-native group to enter Yosemite was the Mariposa Battalion, a Euro-American militia formed to drive the native Ahwahneechee people onto reservations. After the Mariposa Indian War came to a close, Yosemite was now open to settlement and speculation.

Through the work of illustrators, authors, painters, and photographers, word spread of the magnificent valley in the heart of the Sierra Nevada and giant trees. Many pioneers became tourist operators, building hotels and inns and starting stagecoach companies to bring the interested early tourists on the long journey to Yosemite. By 1864, the value of Yosemite was recognized by the federal government when Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, placing Yosemite under the protection of the state of California.

The growth of the national park and the surrounding areas has seen a large cast of characters. Some are famous worldwide, like John Muir and Ansel Adams, while others are significant at a smaller scale.

Individual and group contributions to Yosemite abound and help shape how we learn about and experience the park today.


Postwar service

Soon after her arrival back in the United States, Yosemite became the flagship for the Commander, Destroyers, United States Atlantic Fleet. Except for several brief interruptions for shipyard overhauls, she served in that capacity from 17 June 1946 until the spring of 1962. During that 16-year period, she spent most of her time in port at Newport, Rhode Island, though on occasion she did make voyages to the West Indies.

In addition, near the end of that stretch of time, the destroyer tender made two overseas deployments. In June 1958, she voyaged to northern Europe for the purpose of tending ships engaged in an exercise in the North Atlantic. Later, on 17 March 1959, she again departed Newport for a brief tour of duty tending the ships of the United States Sixth Fleet. She concluded that assignment when she returned to Newport on 24 July and resumed duty as tender to the Atlantic Fleet destroyers and as flagship for their type commander.

Cuban Missile Crisis

On 1 April 1962, Yosemite ' s role changed somewhat when the Atlantic Fleet cruisers and destroyers were brought together into a single type command. At that time, she became flagship for the new command, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Late that fall, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the American quarantine of the island, Yosemite departed Newport for a time and headed south via Norfolk to Kingston, Jamaica, where she tended the ships engaged in that operation. In December, she returned to Newport and resumed her normal schedule.

Over the next six years, the destroyer tender remained at Newport except for occasional overhauls and for short voyages to the West Indies early each year to tend Atlantic Fleet ships participating in the annual "Springboard" exercise.

Resumption of overseas deployments

In 1969, the complexion of her operations changed somewhat. In April, she resumed overseas deployments after a hiatus of 10 years. She departed Newport on 7 April and arrived in Naples, Italy on the 19th. During that tour of duty in the Mediterranean, she served as flagship for the Commander, Service Force, 6th Fleet. The repair ship USS Grand Canyon (AR-28) relieved her of tender duties on 14 August, the Service Force commander shifted his flag to the oiler USS Mississinewa (AO-144), and Yosemite sailed for the United States on the 15th.

On the voyage home, she took on board a badly burned West German seaman from SS Sinclair Venezuela and transported him to the naval hospital at Newport. On 24 October, Yosemite's home port was changed from Newport, Rhode Island, to Naval Station Mayport, Florida and the destroyer tender got underway for that city three days later. The ship arrived at Mayport on the 30th and began tending ships.

Yosemite was then based at Mayport, serving as flagship for various units of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet—notably Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 2 and Cruiser Destroyer Group 12. She made two additional deployments to the Mediterranean, one from July to December 1974 and the second from September 1977 to March 1978. She resumed tender duties at Mayport on 12 March 1978, continuing to engage in those duties through the 1980s. Her final deployment was to the Persian Gulf as part of the ongoing Operation Desert Shield campaign, departing Mayport in October, 1991, with stops in Bahrain and the U.A.E., returning in March, 1992. She was decommissioned in 1994.


If you go

Pilgrimages typically take place in July. For updates about future outings, check the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California website, chssc.org, or send an email to [email protected]

Park ranger Yenyen Chan has been developing an exhibit on Chinese history in Yosemite that’s due to open at the historic Chinese Laundry Building at Wawona this fall.

A variety of lodging is available around Yosemite. The author stayed at Tenaya Lodge. Rates vary but start at about $199. 559-683-6555 tenayalodge.com.

AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.


Watch the video: USS Yosemite 1892