USS Denver, name ship of a class of six 3200-ton protected cruisers, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was commissioned in May 1904 and operated in the Atlantic during the next three years. Among her activities during this time were a Midshipmen's training cruise to Maderia and the Azores and naval presence missions in the Caribbean area. In mid-1907, Denver steamed to the Philippines, via the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, to join the Asiatic Fleet. She left the Far East at the beginning of 1910 and crossed the Pacific Ocean to the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, where she was laid up. The cruiser returned to active service in July 1912 as a unit of the Pacific Fleet. Until the United States entered World War I, Denver served along the west coast of North and Central America.
In April 1917 Denver transited the Panama Canal to begin wartime patrol and convoy duty in the Atlantic. Following the restoration of peace, she operated along the South American east coast until mid-1919 and then spent two years cruising in the eastern Pacific, western Atlantic and Caribbean. Denver was reclassified as a gunboat (PG-28) in July 1920, but returned to the cruiser category in August 1921 as CL-16. She transported the President of Liberia back to his country in mid-1922 and was thereafter active off Central America and the western side of South America. USS Denver was decommissioned in February 1931 and sold for scrapping in September 1933.
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