USS St. Louis (1905)

St. Louis off Boston, c.1917. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

The USS St. Louis (C-20) was the lead ship of a class of protected cruisers. Laid down in 1902, she commissioned on 18 August, 1906, and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. She spent most of her time there cruising off Central and South American countries, and was placed in reserve in November, 1909, and decommissioned in December, 1910. She was recommissioned a year later, but remained in reserve, serving as a receiving ship until July, 1911. She spent the next five years cycling between the reserve fleet and acting as a receiving ship, until dispatched to Pearl Harbor in July, 1916, acting as a tender for Submarine Division 3. St. Louis' crew seized the German sloop Geier in February, 1917, to prevent the Germans scuttling their ship. Upon American entry into World War I, St. Lois was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic, and departed the Pacific in late April. She conducted seven convoy runs by Wars end, and carried a US delegation to a conference in Europe in October, 1917. As soon as the Armistice was signed, St. Louis began making transport runs to bring American soldiers back home. In seven trips, she carried back 8,437 soldiers. Re-designated CA-18 in July, 1920, she was assigned to the European Squadron, and soon was participating in the Allied Intervention in Russia, evacuating refugees, and providing humanitarian relief through the Turkish Revolution. She began her homeward trek in September, 1921, and was decommissioned on 3 March, 1922. St. Louis remained in reserve for eight years, before she was sold for scrap in August, 1930, in accordance with the London Naval Treaty.