Storm at Apia Samoa
In March 1889, three American warships had been sent to Apia, Samoa, to represent the United States and her interests. a civil war on the strategically located island. The upheaval had gained the interest of the German and British governments as well, and warships representing each nation stood cautiously in the harbor. ... Beginning March 15, 1889, a violent storm struck the islands, destroying or disabling six of the seven warships in Apia Harbor. ... Screw steamer USS Trenton, screw sloop USS Vandalia, and gunboat USS Nipsic were all wrecked, resulting in the deaths of 51 sailors.