The USS Alabama disaster was an incident in during the naval campaigns of the Alaskan War in January of 1887 in which the American frigate Alabama is believed to have collided with an iceberg and sunk, resulting in the deaths of everyone onboard. The true fate of the Alabama was a mystery for almost a hundred years, until a 1981 Alaskan expedition to the bottom of the Alaskan Gulf discovered the hull of the ship with damage consistent with an iceberg hitting the ship's side.
The Alabama was commanded by Captain George S. Rose, a descendant of the noteworthy Admiral Henry James Rose of the Canadian War. Bodies of some of the victims were discovered floating, frozen to death, on January 10, 1887 by the USS Dakota in the Gulf of Alaska, and initially the theory was that an Alaskan ship had ambushed the Alabama and sunk it. However, there were no reported Alaskan vessels in the area, and no Alaskan captain or crew ever claimed such an impressive victory during the war - in fact, not a single American ship was sunk by the Alaskans in 1887, making such a theoretical victory more impressive and thus more likely to have been reported by any Alaskan captain to the military's high command.