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ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT


A special note must be made of the engineering department. Much of the Oregon's fame is due to the hard work of engineering department. One must remember that the engineering plant of the USS Oregon was coal fed as opposed to oil fed. The work in the engine and fire rooms was extremely dangerous, hot, and dirty. Men toiled in shifts day in and day out feeding the furnaces propelling the Oregon to her destiny. 

When the Oregon made her trial run speed of 16.791 knots, the engineering force, which was provided by Union Iron Works numbered 161 men. The engineering force (all navy personnel) on the journey from San Francisco, California to Jupiter Inlet, Florida numbered just 94. Upon arrival at Jupiter Inlet, an additional 27 personnel were added to engineering department.

Above:  A contemporary drawing of a battleship fireroom. Conditions in the fireroom were dangerous, extremely hot, and dirty.  Note the cramp conditions and the crew member in the left foreground trying to cool off by the water bucket.


The journey of the USS Oregon was made in eight stages:

1. Puget Sound Naval Station to San Francisco; Mar 06-09, 1898

2. San Francisco to Callao, Peru; Mar 19-Apr 04, 1898

3. Callao, Peru to Port Tamar in the Straits of Magellan; Apr 07-16 1898

4. Port Tamar to Punta Arenas; Apr 17, 1898 (0800-1700 Hours)

5. Punta Arenas to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Apr 21-30, 1898

6. Rio de Janeiro to Bahia (Salvador), Brazil; May 05-08, 1898

7. Bahia to Barbados; May 10-17, 1898

8. Barbados to Jupiter Inlet, Florida; May 19-24, 1898

Below are the engineering specifics concerning each stage of the voyage:

 Date

Hours at Sea

Speed

Knots/day

 Months out of Dock

Boilers in use

Coal Quality

Total Knots logged

 1

72

11.48

275.57

2/3

3

Good

826.7

 2

 375

10.96

263.74

1

3

Good

4,112.1

3

213.6

11.93

286.45

1 2/3

3/4

Good

2,549.4

4

9

14.6

350.4

2

4

Good

131.4

5

221.25

10.15

243.78

2

4

Good

2,247.7

6

74.25

10.09

242.16

2 2/3

4

Fair

749.7

7

193.25

11.54

276.77

2 2/3

4

Fair

2,228.0

8

141.5

11.77

282.55

3

4

Fair

1,665.9

Total knots of the above performance------14,510.9 nautical miles (knots)

Total hours of the above performance------1,299.85 hours

Total coal used-----------------------------4,009.38 tons

Knots per hour (all runs)----------------------11.16 knots

Greatest displacement (April 07)-----------11,857 tons

Least Displacement (March 09)------------10,417 tons

 

Special thanks to Mr. Steve Hubbard for providing this information.

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