|Builder:||J & G Thomson, Clydebank, Scotland|
|Status:||Purchased by the US Navy, 24 March 1898|
|Acquired:||24 March 1898|
|Commissioned:||24 March 1898|
|Decommissioned:||1 November 1904|
|Recommissioned:||25 July 1905|
|Decommissioned:||22 March 1929|
|Fate:||Sold to private ownership, 19 October 1931|
|Acquired:||by purchase, 31 July 1942|
|Fate:||Transferred to the Coast Guard, 6 September 1943|
|Commissioned:||19 October 1943|
|Decommissioned:||1 July 1946|
|Fate:||Sold, 8 January 1947|
|Displacement:||2,690 long tons (2,730 t)|
|Length:||275 ft (84 m) w.l.|
|Beam:||36 ft (11 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft 2.5 in (5.245 m)|
|Installed power:||4,700 ihp (3,500 kW)|
|Speed:||16.8 kn (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph)|
|Armament:||6 × 6-pounder guns|
USS Mayflower (PY-1) (later as USCGC Mayflower (WPG-183)) was the second ship in the United States Navy to have that name. Mayflower—a luxurious steam yacht built in 1896 by J. and G. Thompson, Clydebank, Scotland for millionaire Ogden Goelet who died on board the Mayflower in August 1897.Her sister ship, said to be almost identical and built at the same time and in the same yard for brother, Robert Goelet, later became USS Nahma (SP-771).
With the Spanish–American War requiring that the Navy expand rapidly, she was purchased by the Navy from Goelet's estate and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard as the USS Mayflower on 24 March 1898 with Commander M. R. S. McKensie in command.
The Mayflower joined Admiral William T. Sampson's squadron at Key West, Florida on 20 April. Two days later, the squadron sailed to blockade Havana, Cuba. En route, Mayflower captured the Spanish schooner Santiago Apostol. She also took a number of fishing boats and coastal trading vessels. On 11 May, she boarded a large British merchant steamer, which also carried the name Mayflower, and sent the blockade runner to the United States under a prize crew. On the 14th, Alfonso led two Spanish gunboats out of the harbor hoping to break through the American blockade. Mayflower's guns engaged the Spanish warships and drove them back to shelter under the guns of Morro Castle. For the rest of the war, Mayflower guarded the ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos.
Early in 1899, the yacht steamed to New York where she decommissioned on 2 February to be fitted out for special service in Puerto Rican waters. She recommissioned on 15 June 1900, with Commodore Duncan Kennedy in command. At San Juan, she served as headquarters for the government of the island being formed by the first American Governor Charles H. Allen.
In 1902, Mayflower twice served as Admiral George Dewey's flagship. In November 1903, Rear Admiral Joseph Coghlan flew his flag when off Panama during the revolution which established Panamanian independence and pointed toward the construction of the Panama Canal. She sailed to Europe in the summer of 1904, and in the fall carried Secretary of War William Howard Taft on an inspection tour of the West Indies. Mayflower was decommissioned at New York on 1 November 1904 for conversion to a presidential yacht.
Recommissioned on 25 July 1905, with Commander Cameron Winslow in command, she immediately sailed for Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, to prepare for the peace conference which ended the Russo-Japanese War. President Theodore Roosevelt introduced the Russian and Japanese delegations on board Mayflower on 5 August. The ship continued to play a prominent role in support of the negotiations which won President Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize.
After duty as a dispatch boat protecting American interests in Santo Domingo in 1906, Mayflower served as presidential yacht until 1929. On 22 July 1908, she collided with the American 211-gross register ton schooner Menawa in Long Island Sound; Menawa was lost, but all six people aboard Menawa survived.
Mayflower was the scene of many diplomatic and social events during her years as the presidential yacht. Many members of the world's royal families visited the yacht and numerous persons of great prominence signed her guestbook. President Woodrow Wilson selected Mayflower as the setting for much of his courtship of Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt.
One of Herbert Hoover's early acts as president was to dispense with Mayflower as an economy measure, saving upkeep costs of $300,000 per year. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 March 1929, and her Filipino stewards and much of her furniture were transferred to the presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp.Placed up for auction, there were no bidders, and the ship was recommissioned for military use. During this overhaul at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, an intense fire broke out on 24 January 1931. So much water was pumped into her, that she sank and had to be raised.
The yacht was sold on 19 October 1931 to Leo P. Coe, agent for Frank P. Parish, a wealthy financier known as "The boy wizard of LaSalle Street" (Chicago's Wall Street). The following year while he was having the ship restored to her original luxurious splendor, by Henry J. Gielow Inc., of New York City, Parish's fortunes turned forcing him to sell the yacht shortly before he fled from the country to escape from prosecution and elude irate investors. During the depression years, a number of successive owners tried to promote a wide variety of projects for the ship, including use in the South America coastal trade, restoration as a historic relic, use as a floating dance salon, and even sale to the Japanese Government to be scrapped as Japan sought still to strengthen her war machine. However, a complex web of legal difficulties, a shortage of money, and marginal business conditions frustrated these enterprises while the ship idled in Atlantic ports from New York to Jacksonville, Florida, awaiting an opportunity for future service.
After America entered World War II, the War Shipping Administration purchased Mayflower from Broadfoot Iron Works Inc., Wilmington, North Carolina, on 31 July 1942 and renamed her USS Butte. Transferred to the Coast Guard on 6 September 1943, the ship was recommissioned as USCGC Mayflower (WPE-183) on 19 October 1943. She patrolled the Atlantic coast guarding against German U-boats and escorted coastal shipping besides serving as a radar training ship at Norfolk and Boston.
Decommissioned on 1 July 1946, Mayflower was sold at Baltimore to Frank M. Shaw on 8 January 1947 for use in the Arctic as a sealer. However, while sailing for sealing waters between Greenland and Labrador, early in March, Mayflower was damaged by fire off Point Lookout and forced to return to Baltimore. Collins Distributors Inc., purchased the ship early in 1948, installed new boilers in her at New York, and documented her as SSMalla under the Panamanian flag. She was subsequently fitted out at Genoa, Italy, ostensibly for coastwise trade in the Mediterranean. One of her last voyages in 1948, she was contracted to sail Jewish refugees to the port of Haifa. After sailing secretly from Marseilles, she arrived at Haifa in Israel on 3 September. Most of the Jewish refugees onboard were former passengers of the ill-fated Exodus which had been turned back from Palestine the previous summer.
Mayflower was purchased by Israel in 1950 and renamed INS Maoz (K 24). In the Israeli Navy she served as a patrol craft and training ship.
INS Maoz was decommissioned from the Israeli Navy and broken up in 1955. In memory of her service to the country, one of her Italian made 76mm guns was placed is in the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Haifa, Israel
The Mayflower had one of the most diverse and interesting "lives" of any ship in history. She served as a private yacht, merchant ship and as the presidential yacht for five United States presidents (T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding and Coolidge). She also served as a warship, and was possibly the only US Navy ship (certainly one of the very few) to have been in active commissioned service in the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II. She was also one of the few ships to have served in both the United States and Israeli navies.
USS Dolphin (PG-24) was a gunboat/dispatch vessel; the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the dolphin. Dolphin's keel was laid down by John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania. She was launched on 12 April 1884, with Captain George Dewey in command, and commissioned on 8 December 1885 with Captain R. W. Meade in command. Dolphin was the first Navy ship to fly the Flag of the President of the United States during President Chester A. Arthur's administration, and the second Navy ship to serve as a presidential yacht.
The fourth USS Franklin was a United States Navy screw frigate. The ship was launched in 1864, partially constructed from parts of the previous Franklin (1815). Commissioned in 1867, Franklin served as the flagship of the European Squadron in 1867–1871. The vessel was decommissioned that year. Re-activated in 1873, the vessel joined the North Atlantic Squadron and served until 1877 when the vessel was decommissioned again and used as a receiving ship at Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel remained in this capacity until 1915 when she was stricken and sold.
USS Ellis (DD–154) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was reclassified AG-115 on 30 June 1945. She was named for Chief Yeoman George Henry Ellis.
USS Tacony (1863) was a double-ended, side-wheel steamboat acquired by the Union Navy during the third year of the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a heavy gunboat with powerful guns and used in the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.
The first USS Lancaster was a screw sloop-of-war in the United States Navy during the American Civil War through the Spanish–American War.
The first USS Iroquois was a sloop of war in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.
USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255/AVD–9/APD-35) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Osmond Ingram.
The first USS Ossipee was a wooden, screw sloop of war in the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was named for the Ossipee River of New Hampshire and Maine.
USS Nahma (SP-771), an armed yacht, was built by the Clydebank Engine and SB Co., Glasgow, Scotland in 1897 for Robert Goelet; acquired by the United States Navy on free lease from his son, Robert Walton Goelet on 21 June 1917 for use as a section patrol vessel and commissioned on 27 August 1917, Lt. Comdr. E. Friedrick in command. Nahma was the sister ship to USS Mayflower that was built at the same time on the Clyde for Ogden Goelet, brother of Robert Sr.
USS Gloucester was a gunboat in the United States Navy. She was built in 1891 as the yacht Corsair II for J. P. Morgan by Neafie & Levy of Philadelphia, to a design by John Beavor-Webb. The yacht was acquired by the Navy on 23 April 1898 and commissioned Gloucester on 16 May 1898 with Lieutenant Commander Richard Wainwright in command.
USS Hawk (PY-2/IX-14) was the converted British-built civilian yacht Hermione of 1891, acquired for service as a patrol yacht in the Spanish–American War. She later served in the Ohio and New York naval militias and on the Great Lakes until decommissioned in 1940.
USS Curlew (AM-8) was a Lapwing-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.
USS Caesar (AC-16) was a collier built in 1896 by Ropner and Sons, Stockton-on-Tees, England, as Kingtor; purchased by the United States Navy on 21 April 1898; fitted out by New York Navy Yard; and commissioned on 13 May 1898, Lieutenant Commander A. B. Speyers in command.
USS Hannibal (AG-1), a converted steamer, was built as Joseph Holland by J. Blumer & Company at Sunderland, England, in 1898. She was purchased by the United States Navy on 16 April 1898 and renamed Hannibal. She was one of the very few ships to serve in the U.S. Navy in the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II. She was commissioned on 7 June 1898 with Commander Harrison Gray Otis Colby in command.
USS Quest (AM-281) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was decommissioned in 1947 after wartime service and transferred to the Philippine Navy in 1948 where she served as presidential yacht RPS Pag-asa (APO-21). In 1955, she was renamed Santa Maria and, later, Mount Samat (TK-21), serving as a patrol corvette of the Miguel Malvar class. She was decommissioned from the Philippine Navy in 1970; beyond that, her fate is not reported in secondary sources.
USS Guard (1857) was a large steamship with powerful 8-inch rifled guns, acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.
USS Mayflower (1866) was a screw tugboat acquired by the United States Navy at the end of the American Civil War. She performed a variety of duties, including survey work, along the New England and mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States. On completion of her official duties, she was recommissioned and issued to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, for use as a training ship for midshipmen.
The second USS Suwannee and third USS Mayflower was a United States Lighthouse Board, and later United States Lighthouse Service, lighthouse tender transferred to the United States Navy in 1898 for service as an auxiliary cruiser during the Spanish–American War and from 1917 to 1919 for service as a patrol vessel during World War I. She also served the Lighthouse Board and in the Lighthouse Service as USLHT Mayflower from 1897 to 1898, from 1898 to 1917, and from 1919 to 1939, and in the United States Coast Guard as the first USCGC Mayflower (WAGL-236) in 1939 and from 1940 to 1943 and as USCGC Hydrangea (WAGL-236) from 1943 to 1945.
USS Timbalier (AVP-54) was a Barnegat-class seaplane tender of the United States Navy. She was commissioned shortly after the end of World War II, and served between 1946 and her decommissioning in 1954. She later saw commercial service as the Greek cruise ship MV Rodos.
USS Elfrida, later USS Elfrida (SP-988), was a United States Navy patrol vessel in commission from 1898 to 1918. She served in the Spanish–American War and World War I.
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