USS Cleveland, a 3200-ton Denver class protected cruiser, was built at Bath, Maine. Commissioned in November 1903 as the first of her class to be completed, she operated with the European Squadron and in U.S. and Caribbean waters during the next three and a half years. In mid-1907, Cleveland steamed to the Far East, by way of the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal, to join the Asiatic Fleet. At the end of this deployment, she crossed the Pacific to California and was laid up at the Mare Island Navy Yard between mid-1910 and mid-1912. The cruiser then began five years of service off Mexico and Central America.
With relations with Germany approaching a breakdown, Cleveland was transferred to the East Coast in March 1917 and soon began shipping protection patrols and convoy escort missions between the U.S. and the mid-Atlantic. Following the November 1918 Armistice that ended the First World War fighting, she returned to Central and South American waters, initially in the Caribbean area, and after February 1920 in the Pacific. Reclassified as a gunboat (PG-33) in July 1920 and as a light cruiser (CL-21) in August 1921, Cleveland remained active off Latin America until she was decommissioned at the beginning of November 1929. She was sold for scrapping in March 1930.
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