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USS Zafiro (1884)
Career (United 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)
Complement: 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 that served in the United States Navy from 1898 until 1904.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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