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USS Abarenda on 2 May 1907
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Class: ABARENDA (AC-13)
Design Cargo, 1892
Displacement (tons): 3,125 gross, 6,705 full
Dimensions (feet): 325.5' oa, 314.0' pp x 42.0' x 23.5 max
Original Armament: 4-3pdr (1898)
Later armaments: none (1905);
Complement: 69 (1899)
Speed (kts.): 9
Propulsion (HP): 1,050
Machinery: Vert. 3-exp., 1 screw
||5 May 98
||11 Aug 92
||29 May 98
||21 Jan 26
||21 Jan 26
||28 Feb 26
In August 1892 the steel screw steamer ABARENDA was launched by Edwards' Shipbuilding Co., Howden-on-Tyne, England. She was built to the order of James Graham & Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne and was employed in the coal carrying trade by the Graham Steamship Co. On 12 Mar 98 the U.S. Secretary of the Navy appointed a Naval Board on Auxiliary Cruisers to select and purchase civilian vessels for Navy use in the impending war with Spain. The Board initially focused on potential auxiliary cruisers and on tugs and yachts, but in early April the Navy Department ordered it to secure additions to the Navy's fleet of colliers. Between 2 Apr 98 (SATURN) and 30 Jun 98 (NERO) the Navy acquired twenty cargo ships for use as colliers. ABARENDA was in New York at this time, and negotiations for her purchase began on 27 Apr 98. The Board announced on 4 May 98 that she had been purchased and that she was the best collier yet secured. She was also described as having an exceptional speed for a vessel of her class. Her triple expansion engines "of the latest pattern" were built by Hawthorne, Leslie & Co. of Newcastle-on-Tyne. On trials for the Navy on 6 May 98 she reached a speed of 11.5 knots with 1,468 IHP, but her speed was later listed by the Navy as 10.5 knots maximum and 9 knots cruising. Her cargo coal capacity in 1899 was 3,843 tons.
ABARENDA was fitted out as a naval collier and commissioned on 20 May 1898 at the New York Navy Yard. She supported U.S. naval forces off Cuba in June 1898 and even provided some gunfire support with one of her 3-pounder guns. She was described in 1899 as "a most useful and economical freight ship. She is rather slow but averages about 200 miles per day." She was also commended for her good condition, carrying capacity, great steaming radius, and good quarters. In April 1899 she headed to the Pacific where she acted as station ship at Samoa until May 1902. She then returned to the Atlantic and, on 21 Feb 05, was decommissioned, had her Navy crew removed, and was placed in service with a merchant crew of 42 men with a master in command. She arrived at Cavite on 20 Sep 10 and joined the Asiatic Fleet, with which she spent the rest of her career. She was placed back in commission with a Navy crew of around 88 men on 27 May 17 when her officers and crew were enrolled in the Naval Auxiliary Reserve. She was designated AC-13 when the Navy's standard hull classification scheme was implemented on 17 Jul 20. BATH (AK-4) was sent to the Asiatic Fleet in late 1921 to replace ABARENDA and on 9 Jan 22 the Navy Department informed the Asiatic Fleet that ABARENDA was to be sold. However on 14 Apr 22 the Department withdrew ABARENDA from sale and instead in May 1922 BATH was decommissioned at Cavite. On 18 Jan 24 ABARENDA became the receiving ship at Cavite and was reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG-14) on 1 Jul 24. Released from this duty in November 1924 she spent the remainder of her career carrying supplies, mail, and men from Cavite to ships operating along the coasts of China and Japan.
ABARENDA was again ordered sold on 23 Dec 25, CNO explaining on 16 Jan 26 that no relief was available because of lack of funds. The ship was sold by bids opened on 23 Feb 26 to S. R. Paterno of Manila for $32,000. She was operated by the Manila firm of Madrigal & Co. as ANTONIO until she was scrapped in the Philippines in July 1934.
||Ex merc. ABARENDA (completed Oct 92). To AC-13 17 Jul 20 and to AG-14 1 Jul 24. Merc. ANTONIO 1926, scrapped 1934.
Compiled: 11 Aug 2012
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2012