USS Des Moines (C-15)

John Young (#L-8219)

Registered cover from J.S. Abbott, USS DES MOINES to S.S. Pierce Co., Boston, Mass franked with two 5 cents Washington stamps to cover the registered mail rate and canceled with ship type 9v cancel 9 SEP 1909. The addressee was a Boston importer and grocer who probably supplied the ship’s officer’s mess; the envelope may have included payment and was thus sent registered. Only 10-25 known copies of this (R-2) cancel.

Note: An officer, CDR John S. Abbott commanded the destroyer USS PEARY (DD 226) on the Asiatic Fleet in July, 1923.

This 308-foot Denver class protected cruiser was commissioned on March 4, 1904 with a complement of 339 officers and enlisted men. DES MOINES was assigned with the 3rd Squadron, Atlantic Fleet and operated from Boston (1906-10) before going into reserve status for modernization in December 1911.

Re-commissioned in September 1912, the cruiser served on escort duty with transports during World War I and was the flagship of the naval forces in Northern Russia in 1919.

Originally classified a gunboat (PG 29) in July 1920, she was decommissioned in April 1921. Her designation was changed to Light Cruiser (CL 17) in August 1921, but she was sold and scrapped in March 1930.