|USS Helvetia (SP-3096)|
Helvetia as a civilian schooner sometime between 1905 and 1918.
|Career (United States)|
|Namesake:||Previous name retained|
|Builder:||I. L. Snow & Company, Rockland, Maine|
|Acquired:||19 July 1918|
|Commissioned:||19 July 1918|
|Fate:||Sold February 1919|
|Notes:||Operated as civilian schooner Helvetia 1905-1918 and from 1919|
|Tonnage:||499 gross tons|
|Length:||157 ft 4 in (47.96 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)|
|Draft:||12 ft (3.7 m)|
Helvetia was built as a civilian three-masted schooner of the same name in 1905 by I. L. Snow & Company at Rockland, Maine. The U.S. Navy inspected her in July 1918 for possible naval service and purchased her on 19 July 1918 from R. K. Snow for use as a section patrol boat during World War I. She was commissioned the same day at Norfolk, Virginia, as USS Helvetia (SP-3096).
Assigned to the 5th Naval District, Helvetia initially was deployed as a decoy ship teamed with a U.S Navy submarine following her during antisubmarine patrols off the United States East Coast. It was hoped that her innocent appearance would lure unsuspecting German submarines to the surface to attack her with gunfire, allowing the submerged U.S. Navy submarine nearby to torpedo and sink them. However, Helvetia never encountered a German submarine.
Helvetia later served as a stores ship and mother ship for submarines at Norfolk until November 1918. She then was transferred to New London, Connecticut, for similar duties there with the submarine force of the United States Atlantic Fleet.
The Navy sold Helvetia back to R. K. Snow in February 1919.
References[edit | edit source]
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here. (entry accidentally truncated and merged with that of the first USS Henderson (AP-1))
- Haze Gray & Underway Helvetia (corrected version of Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry)
- Department of the Navy Naval History and Heritage Command Online Library of Selected Images: U.S. Navy Ships: USS Helvetia (SP-3096), 1918-1919 Originally merchant sailing schooner Helvetia
- NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive Helvetia (SP 3096)
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