The USS Maine ( http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/img/maine1.jpg )
, a second-class armored battleship
, was launched on Nov. 18, 1889.
The explosion on Feb. 15, 1898 (shortly after 21:40) which shattered the entire forward portion of the ship resulted in 252 dead or missing. Of the 354 men and officers, only 4 officers were not onboard, as no liberty had been given to the men while in port. 8 men died later of wounds, in Havana.
On Mar. 28, the US Naval Court of Inquiry finds that a mine blew up the USS Maine.
On Apr. 21, the US declared war on Spain, starting the Spanish-American War.
On Aug. 5, 1910, Congress authorized the raising of Maine. Army engineers supervised, and a second board of inquiry reported that the cause of the sinking was an external explosion which set off the forward magazine, destroying the ship.
Experts at the time disputed those findings, and believed that spontaneous combustion of coal in the bunker adjacent to the reserve six-inch magazine was the most likely cause of the explosion.
Some historians have disputed these findings, maintaining that failure to detect spontaneous combustion in the coal bunker was highly unlikely.
I can find no references to any evidence that the US sunk the USS Maine.