An American Cruiser, C-18, which personified the emerging might and caretaker role of the U.S. Navy in the 20TH Century, the U.S.S. TACOMA served the nation's interests and citizens for a quarter of a century. Laid down in 1900 at Mare Island, San Francisco by Union Iron Works, she was completed in 1903 and received her commission in January of 1904. Her civic sponsor was Miss Julia M. Harris and her first commander was R.F. Nicholson. Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy would serve on her as a midshipman, while Rear Admiral William Dugald Macdougall would be her commander during World War I for five Atlantic round trip crossings protecting troop and supply convoys.
Her builders' model shows extreme technical detail, with seven lettered layers progressing from the keel to the deck. Sections of 1¾ inch armor plating are exactly measured and drawn, while seven horizontally slotted gun ports would accommodate the swivel actions of the turret-type mounts. She carried an array of 10 5" "rifles", 3 six-pounders and 2 three-pounders initially, although her armament changed over time. Measuring 308'6" L x 44'B x 15'9" D, she displaced 3,800 tons. The model's scale is 1 inch = 4 feet, and it possesses crisp black ink measures and notes written directly on the hull.
The storied service record of the ship, and her ports of call from Hawaii to the Mediterranean, are well recorded. From escorting the remains of John Paul Jones back to America from France, transporting Japanese ambassadors to President Theodore Roosevelt's Oyster Bay, New York Home, and her multitude of cruises to protect American civilians and property throughout the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Central and South America, she proved her worth and diversity.
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