The second USS Milwaukee (C‑21) was a cruiser laid down 30 July 1902 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif., launched 10 September 1904 and commissioned 10 December 1906 with Cmdr. Charles A. Gove as the commanding officer.
After a shakedown cruise off the coast of California and Mexico, the USS Milwaukee departed San Francisco to patrol the coast of San Salvador and Costa Rica protecting American interests and engaging in target practice with the squadron in Magdalena Bay. On 26 March 1908 the cruiser sailed from San Francisco for Bremerton, Wash. where she was placed in reserve on 25 April 1908. Except for a cruise in the summer of 1908, which took her to Hawaii and Honduras, the USS Milwaukee remained in reserve status at Puget Sound Navy Yard until decommissioned 3 May 1910.
USS Milwaukee recommissioned in ordinary 17 June 1913 and was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In the next 2 years the ship made several brief cruises, one to Honolulu and several along the coast of California. On 18 March 1916, Milwaukee was detached from the Reserve Fleet and assigned duty as a tender to destroyers and submarines of the Pacific Fleet. Based at San Diego, the cruiser participated in exercises and maneuvers off the coast, patrolled Mexican waters, transported refugees, and performed survey duty.
After an overhaul at Mare Island late in 1916, the Milwaukee assisted in salvaging U.S. submarine H‑3 which had run aground in Humboldt Bay 14 December 1916. However, on 13 January, while attempting to float the submarine the cruiser was also stranded in the first line of breakers at Samoa Beach off Eureka. The crew reached shore safely, but attempts to salvage the Milwaukee were unsuccessful. Milwaukee decommissioned 6 March 1917. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 23 June 1919 and her hulk was sold 5 August 1919.
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