The most popular of the Subic Bay dive sites, the USS New York is perhaps the most famous and sought-after wreck dive in the Philippines. It was built in 1891 as the second in a line of armored cruisers, with the original designation of ‘ACR-2′ (Armored Cruiser no.2). Her sister ship, ACR-1, was later converted to a battleship and renamed the USS Maine. The sinking of Maine instigated the Spanish-American War, in which the USS New York also fought. The New York was upgraded (including the turreted 8-inch guns) and became the flagship of the US Asiatic Fleet and Pacific Squadron. She subsequently participated in the First World War and other conflicts. Between 1911 and 1917 she was renamed ‘USS Saratoga’ and later, the ‘USS Rochester’. In 1933 she was finally laid up at the Subic Bay to be cannibalized for spares. She was eventually scuttled by the US Navy, in 1941, during their preparations to withdraw from Subic, to prevent her four 8 inch guns falling into enemy hands.
Resting on her port side at a depth of 30m, she is still mostly intact, except for explosive damage caused by salvage operations in her mid-section. Fortunately for divers, her 4 massive turreted deck guns and enormous propeller are still intact. The wreck is 110m long, making it one of the largest wrecks in the Bay. Diving the USS New York is an atmospheric experience for divers and the scale of the wreck can really be appreciated as you swim alongside her main guns or around her propeller.