On 1 May 1898, when US Admiral George Dewey gave this order to the Captain of his 344-foot Flagship, USS Olympia (C-6), Charles Vernon Gridley, the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War began which would result in a US victory over the Spanish fleet and establish the US as a major power in the Pacific.
Once the battle was won, Dewey dispatched the fastest ship in his fleet, US Revenue Cutter, McCulloch, to Hong Kong to announce the victory. During the battle, McCulloch had also been the first US ship to draw Spanish fire and suffered the only US fatality of the battle, Chief Engineer Frank Randall, while almost 400 Spanish sailors died.
McCulloch would then return to the US west coast to patrol that coast from the Mexican border to Cape Blanco in Oregon from her base in San Francisco, later joining the Bering Sea Patrol to enforce fur seal regulations around the Pribilof Islands.
Built in 1896 by William Cramp and Sons of Philadelphia with a composite hull - using wood planks over steel frames - McCulloch was nonetheless rated for ice. She was also composite in her propulsion, for extended range being rigged as a three-masted barkentine to complement her triple-expansion steam engine that gave her a cruising speed of 17 knots.
Unfortunately, on 13 June 1917, the 219-foot cutter was steaming in dense fog from San Pedro, California to San Francisco when she collided with the steamship Governor and sank 35 minutes later in 60 fathoms of water, four miles off Point Conception on the south California coast.