USS Olympia (C-6/CA-15/CL-15/IX-40) is a protected cruiser that saw service in the United States Navy from her commissioning in 1895 until 1922. This vessel became famous as the flagship of Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The ship was decommissioned after returning to the U.S. in 1899, but was returned to active service in 1902.
She served until World War I as a training ship for naval cadets and as a floating barracks in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1917, she was mobilized again for war service, patrolling the American coast and escorting transport ships.
After World War I, Olympia participated in the 1919 Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War and conducted cruises in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas to promote peace in the unstable Balkan countries. In 1921, the ship carried the remains of World War I's Unknown Soldier from France to Washington, D.C., where his body was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Olympia was decommissioned for the last time in December 1922 and placed in reserve.
In 1957, the U.S. Navy ceded title to the Cruiser Olympia Association, which restored the ship to her 1898 configuration. Since then, Olympia has been a museum ship in Philadelphia, where it is now part of the Independence Seaport Museum. Olympia is the oldest steel US warship still afloat. However, the Museum has been unable to fund essential maintenance for the aging vessel and attempts to secure outside funding have failed. Therefore, the current steward, under direction of the U.S. Navy, has put the ship up for availability to new stewards. It will take an estimated ten million dollars to restore Olympia to a stable condition.