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USS Leonidas as a surveying ship on 22 April 1914
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        LEONIDAS (AD-7)
Design        Cargo, 1898
Displacement (tons):        2,000 light, 4,023 normal
Dimensions (feet):        273.9' oa, 263.25' pp x 39.2' wl x 17.6' mn
Original Armament:        2-3pdr (1898)
Later armaments:        1-6pdr (1900);
none (1910);
4-3"/50 (1917);
1-6"/40 2-3"/50 (1918);
2-3"/50 (1921)
Speed (kts.):        8.5
Propulsion (HP):        1,100
Machinery:        Vertical triple expansion, 1 screw

AD Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
7 LEONIDAS 16 Apr 98 S. P. Austin -- 23 Mar 98 21 May 98

AD Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
7 LEONIDAS 28 Nov 21 -- 6 Jun 22 Sold --

Class Notes:
In 1897 the London firm of Francis Stanley Holland, whose predecessor had described itself as "Export and Coal Factors and Merchants," added "Steamship Owners" to its activities by ordering three steamers, JOSEPH HOLLAND, ELIZABETH HOLLAND, and FRANCES HOLLAND. The three ships were of about the same size but were built to different designs by three different British shipbuilders. FRANCES HOLLAND was a single-decked cargo steamer designed to carry 3,600 tons deadweight on an extremely light draft, and the others may have been similarly designed. Just as the first two of these ships were being launched the U.S. Navy on 12 Mar 98 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 it also began purchasing colliers. Between 2 Apr 98 (SATURN) and 30 Jun 98 (NERO) the Navy acquired twenty cargo ships for use as colliers. The Holland firm and its predecessor, Green, Holland, and Sons, had owned only one ship since the early 1880s and were primarily "merchants," and when offered a good price by the U.S. for the new JOSEPH HOLLAND and ELIZABETH HOLLAND they were willing to sell. The two ships, purchased on 16 Apr 98 and renamed HANNIBAL (see AG-1) and LEONIDAS respectively, were among the smallest of the colliers taken over in 1898. Holland's firm sold the slightly larger FRANCES HOLLAND to another British firm in 1900, at which time Holland ordered three replacement ships.

LEONIDAS served as a collier from 1898 until being placed out of commission on 3 May 12 to fit out for duty as a survey ship. She was needed to join HANNIBAL on the east coast of Central America where urgent survey work was being carried out in view of the early opening of the Panama Canal. Recommissioned on 1 Apr 14 she performed survey duty in the Caribbean until April 1917. On the outbreak of war she became a unit of the Caribbean Detachment, Patrol Force, Atlantic fleet, and searched for possible enemy submarine bases in Central America until sailing for home in early September 1917. On 27 Oct 17 LEONIDAS and her sister HANNIBAL were ordered converted into tenders for submarine chasers, and during these conversions they received batteries of 1-6"/40 gun and 2-3"/50 guns. LEONIDAS sailed for the Mediterranean in March 1918 and acted as base ship for a large force of submarine chasers at Corfu through the end of the war. After escorting submarine chasers back to the U.S. she was reassigned on 24 Jul 19 to duty as tender for destroyers in reserve. LEONIDAS was designated AD-7 when the Navy's standard hull classification scheme was implemented on 17 Jul 20. She was stationed at Newport, Rhode Island, in mid-1921.

On 2 Nov 21 CNO instructed the Commandant, 5th Naval District, to have the just-acquired DENEBOLA (AD-12, ex S.S. EDGEWOOD) relieve LEONIDAS. LEONIDAS was brought alongside DENEBOLA at the Norfolk Navy Yard during November 1921, the crew of the old ship and many of its stores and equipment were transferred to the new ship, and the old and new ship were then simultaneously decommissioned and commissioned. LEONIDAS was placed on the sale list on 21 Nov 21. An OPNAV letter of 22 Mar 22 noted that she would be considered as being stricken from the Navy Register as of the date she was actually disposed of by sale. Bids were opened around 1 Jun 22 and on 6 Jun 22 SecNav authorized the acceptance of the bid of Ammunition Products Corp., Washington, D.C.

Ship Notes:
AD Name Notes
7 LEONIDAS Ex merc. ELIZABETH HOLLAND (completed Apr 98). Sold to Ammunition Products Corp., Washington, D.C. Delivered to buyer 11 Aug 22 and scrapped.

Page Notes:
AD        1898
Compiled:        06 Oct 2012
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2012