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The Bounding Billow reports on Manila Bay Victory

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The Cruiser OLYMPIA published a ships newspaper that actually served the entire squadron. This page provides on the issue that covered the Battle of Manila Bay.

The Newspaper:

Below is the front page of an original copy the June 1898 issue of the OLYMPIA's ship newspaper, the Bounding Billow. The newspaper's editor, Louis Stanley Young was only an apprentice first class who worked out of an improvised press room in either the forward or aft torpedo room of the ship. He produced the newspaper, writing most of the copy and apparently doing the typsetting. His June, 1898  issue gives sparse first-hand accounts of the battle from the viewpoint of the crew, as well as an account taken from a Spanish newspaper in Manila. Additionally, the newspaper included poetry, and general squadron news. Though the conditions under which the publication was prepared was cramped and primitive for a printing standpoint, the result was quite professional. The map prepared for the publication in the Manila Bay issue was an engraving which was made with "two sail needles."

Printing the Bounding Billow on the Olympia

A view of the printer with his type case placed on top of a torpedo tube aboard OLYMPIA

The newspaper was produced in a format that resulted in an 8.25" high by 6.25" wide publication. The individual sheets were folded in the middle to result in this final size. The newspaper was printed on Spanish scrap paper. The newspaper's editor even noted:

"We were delayed by a lack of paper and only through the kindness of a few of our shipmates who brought us some which the Spaniards left on evacuating Cavite, are we enabled to print this issue. We take this as an opportunity to thank them.

Well 'tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good;' the fact of the 'Bounding Billow' being printed on captured paper will certainly enhance its value as a memorial of this occasion."

As evidence of this, some of the sheets actually have red lines from column ledger marks, and one page is actually overprinted on a form from the "Secretaria de la Comandangia General del Arsenal del Cavite." All pages are watermarked in Spanish  with "1A "surrounded by a shield, the words "F. Paya," and part of a coat-of-arms. This original copy was believed to have been mailed home by some unknown crewman to the office of Samuel W. Reeves, a prominent Philadelphia attorney.

Olympia's newspaper, the Bounding Billow, reports the Battle of Manila Bay

An original copy of the June 1898 of the Bounding Billow.  Part of the watermark of "F. Paya" can be seen where it conflicted with the printing process on the Union Jack (flag on the left). The bottom of the letters "P A Y" can be seen, running vertically.

Photo showing reused Spanish paper used to print the Bounding Billow

A portion of the newspaper, printed on paper from the Cavite Arsenal. The newspaper print is actually overprinted on the letterhead of Secretaria de la Comandangia General del Arsenal del Cavite.


Young, Louis Stanley, (Editor), Bounding Billow.

Gerrity, Liz  (thanks! - The orginal issue of the Bounding Billow shown above)

"The Sailors of Admiral Dewey's Flagship...,"The Herald. (info. on map engraving with sail needles)

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