A special thank you to the Naval History & Heritage Command (www.history.navy.mil/), the US Navy's official source of historical information.
#1 USS Milwaukee (1864-Monitor) – Commissioned 1864
On March 28, 1865, she and her sister ship Winnebago steamed up the Blakely River to attack a Confederate transport and forced it to retreat. While returning downriver, Milwaukee struck a mine in an area previously swept. She remained afloat forward, which permitted her crew to escape without loss.
Milwaukee's hulk was raised in 1868 and her material was used in the construction of the bridge across the Mississippi which bears the name of her builder, James B. Eads.
#2 USS Milwaukee (C 21) – Commissioned 1906
Milwaukee recommissioned in June 1913 and was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In March 1916, Milwaukee was assigned duty as 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, and transported refugees.
While assisting in the salvaging of a U.S. submarine which had run aground in Humboldt Bay (California), the cruiser became stranded near Samoa Beach. The crew reached shore safely, but attempts to salvage the ship were unsuccessful. Milwaukee decommissioned in March 1917 and a storm in November 1918 broke the ship in two.
#3 USS Milwaukee (CL 5) – Commissioned 1923
Milwaukee was in New York Navy Yard when Japan struck Pearl Harbor. Departing New Year’s Eve 1941, the ship escorted eight troop transports to the Society Islands and stopped in Brazil where she joined the South Atlantic Patrol Force to search out German commerce raiders and blockade runners. In November 1942, she intercepted one of the latter, but it scuttled itself and the Milwaukee took aboard 62 prisoners.
Milwaukee continued her South Atlantic patrols until February 1944 when she served as an escort for a convoy which reached Belfast, Northern Ireland. That April, the ship was transferred on loan to the Soviet Union. She commissioned in the Russian Navy as Murmansk and performed convoy and patrol duty along the Atlantic sea lanes throughout the remainder of the war.
The ship was returned by the Soviets in 1949 and sold for scrap in December.
#4 USS Milwaukee (AOR 2) – Commissioned 1969
In September 1976, returning from a routine deployment, the Milwaukee along with the USS Sylvania had the honor of transporting the world famous King Tut exhibit to New York City.
In March 1980, the Malaysian oil tanker Santo Prestige lost power and collided with the Milwaukee which was moored in Norfolk, Virginia, resulting in a 40- by 15-foot gash in the hull.
In January 1994, the Milwaukee was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 2009.