USS Zafiro (1884)

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USNC Zafiro.jpg
USNC Zafiro
Flag of the United States.svgUnited States
Name: USS Zafiro
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Hall, Russell & Company, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Completed: 1884
Acquired: 9 April 1898
Commissioned: 10 April 1898 (officially, but see article text)
Decommissioned: 10 June 1904
Struck: 16 January 1906
Fate: Sold 21 October 1910
Notes: Operated as commercial collier 1884–1898
General characteristics
Type: Collier
Tonnage: 1,062 long tons (1,079 t) gross
Length: 213 ft 8.5 in (65.138 m)
Beam: 31 ft 9.5 in (9.690 m)
Draft: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Speed: 10.5  kn (12.1 mph; 19.4 km/h)
  • 1898: 1 when commissioned (officially; see article text)
  • 1900: 45
Armament: 1900: 2 × 37 mm (1.5 in) revolving cannons

USS Zafiro was a collier, a bulk cargo ship, that served in the United States Navy from 1898 until 1904.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.


Zafiro was constructed in 1884 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by Hall, Russell & Company at Aberdeen, Scotland. Admiral George Dewey purchased her for the U.S. Navy at Hong Kong, China on 9 April 1898 just before his Asiatic Squadron sailed for the Philippine Islands at the beginning of the Spanish–American War.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Historical sovereign state from 1801 to 1927

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.

Hall, Russell & Company, Limited was a shipbuilder based in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Aberdeen City and council area in Scotland

Aberdeen is a city in northeast Scotland. It is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 37th most populous built-up area, with an official population estimate of 196,670 for the city of Aberdeen and 228,800 for the local council area.

Though the Secretary of the Navy's Report for 1900 indicates that Zafiro was placed in commission on 10 April 1898, her role as a commissioned ship must have been unique indeed for her complement showed only one U.S. Navy man, her commanding officer, aboard. Her status in the Navy from 1898–1900 is further complicated by the fact that there are no deck logs extant for her during the period; her first log begins on 20 September 1900. Finally, after her service in the Spanish–American War, which ended in August 1898, she had no naval complement on board until Ensign L. A. Gotten reported on board to assume command on 10 May 1900. Thus, the date upon which she was placed in commission cannot be established with any precision.

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries old naval tradition.

Commanding officer officer in command of a military unit

The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer, commanding general (CG), is the officer in command of a military unit. The commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as they see fit, within the bounds of military law. In this respect, commanding officers have significant responsibilities, duties, and powers.


A logbook is a record of important events in the management, operation, and navigation of a ship. It is essential to traditional navigation, and must be filled in at least daily.

In any event, Zafiro departed Hong Kong with Dewey's squadron in April 1898 and served with it as a collier and supply ship during the Battle of Manila Bay and the ensuing Philippines campaign. The lack of documents covering her activities in 1898 and the first half of 1899 precludes any detailed narrative for that period. Presumably, she plied the waters of the Philippine Islands carrying troops, supplies, and dispatches between points in the archipelago. Based at Cavite on Luzon, she is known to have performed such missions during the period from July 1899 – June 1904. Those movements—in support of the United States Army's suppression of the Philippine insurrection and campaigns against the Moslem Moro tribesmen—took her to a host of exotic places, and the length and breadth of the islands.

Battle of Manila Bay 1898 battle during the Spanish–American War

The Battle of Manila Bay, also known as the Battle of Cavite, took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish–American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Contraalmirante Patricio Montojo. The battle took place in Manila Bay in the Philippines, and was the first major engagement of the Spanish–American War. The battle was one of the most decisive naval battles in history and marked the end of the Spanish colonial period in Philippine history.

Archipelago A group of islands

An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands.

Cavite Province in Calabarzon, Philippines

Cavite is a province in the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the Calabarzon region on Luzon island. Situated 21 kilometres (13 mi) southwest of Metro Manila, it is one of the most industrialized and fastest growing provinces in the Philippines. Its population of 3,678,301 (2015) makes it one of the most populated provinces in the country.

On 10 June 1904, Zafiro was placed out of commission at Cavite. Her name was struck from the Navy List on 15 January 1906, and on 21 October 1910 she was sold to Mr. J. W. Zeeve of Seattle, Washington.

A Navy List or Naval Register is an official list of naval officers, their ranks and seniority, the ships which they command or to which they are appointed, etc., that is published by the government or naval authorities of a country.

Later service

Soon afterwards, on 20 Oct 1910, Zeeve sold her to the Government of Mexico. In 1917, the vessel reappeared as the French-owned sailing vessel Bowler in a British Columbia shipyard, and refitted with wood planking. As such, this change made it hard for the owner to getting a marine rating from Bureau Veritas or Lloyd's of London, and - in 1918 - it was suggested that she be re-rigged into a coastal vessel.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Bureau Veritas international certification agency

Bureau Veritas S. A. is an international certification agency. In addition to certifications, they provide HSE expertise. Today the headquarters are in Neuilly-sur-Seine, nearby La Défense. The company went public on the Paris Bourse in October 2007.

Lloyds of London insurance market located in the City of London

Lloyd's of London, generally known simply as Lloyd's, is an insurance and reinsurance market located in London, United Kingdom. Unlike most of its competitors in the industry, it is not an insurance company; rather, Lloyd's is a corporate body governed by the Lloyd's Act 1871 and subsequent Acts of Parliament and operates as a partially-mutualised marketplace within which multiple financial backers, grouped in syndicates, come together to pool and spread risk. These underwriters, or "members", are a collection of both corporations and private individuals, the latter being traditionally known as "Names".

On 20 August 1919, it was re-registered in Panama, as the Belen Quezada, as the first international "flag of convenience" vessel, to run alcohol between Canada and the United States during Prohibition.

The vessel was deleted from the Panamanian ship registry in 1931.

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