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Battle of Manila Bay

Spanish-American War - All

The Battle of Manila Bay was fought on May 1, 1898 when Commodore George Dewey’s flagship Olympia sailed into Manila Bay.  In a matter of hours with only nine wounded sailors they captured control.  U. S. Navy Captain Charles Gridley of the Olympia walks into history with the order from Commodore Dewey, You may fire when you are ready Gridley—“  to engage the enemy.  Dewey had intended to relieve the ailing 52 year old since the surgeon had ruled Gridley unfit for duty because of his rapidly failing health.  Appealing to his old friend to let him keep command, Gridley assured Dewey that he was best suited to execute the battle plan.  Dewey relented and Captain Gridley bravely led his men.  However, the heat, poor ventilation, and stress of the battle proved too much for the ailing Captain.  At the battle’s conclusion, he was carried from the conning tower to a sickbed from which he never rose.  He died just 30 days later, but immortalized in history by Commodore Dewey’s words.