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USS SP-467 (ex Delaware) circa 1920
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Class: DELAWARE (AT-53)
Design: Fishing vessel, 1913
Displacement (tons): 242 gross, 550 displ.
Dimensions (feet): 140.0' oa, 129.3' pp x 22.5 x 11.2' dph.
Original Armament: 2-6pdr
Later armaments: none (1920)
Complement: 36 (1920)
Speed (kts.): 12
Propulsion (HP): 400
Machinery: Vert. compound, 1 screw
||5 May 17
||E. James Tull
||22 May 17
||15 Feb 34
||9 Apr 35
DELAWARE was a Menhaden fishing vessel built by E. J. Tull, Pocomoke City, Md. She was inspected on 19 Apr 17 for possible Navy use and was acquired a few weeks later from the Delaware Fish Oil Co. (W. P. Orr, Jr.) of Lewes, Del., for $125,000, a sum later judged excessive. She was commissioned at Philadelphia in May 1917 and was armed with 2-6pdrs amidships on each side of the cargo hatch between the deckhouses. She was equipped for mine sweeping and was used for a variety of functions including mine sweeping, cargo carrying, patrol, towing, training, and as a guard ship. She was described in the February 1918 Ships Data Book as a steam freight boat, was listed in the November 1918 edition as a patrol vessel, and was carried in the October 1919 edition as a tug/minesweeper. General Order No. 386 of 11 Apr 18 cancelled her name (which belonged to a battleship) and stated that she was to be known simply as SP No. 467, but many official records continued to call her DELAWARE.
At the beginning of 1919 DELAWARE was offered back to her previous owners but they declined the Navy's price and on 5 Mar 19 SecNav directed her sale. The ship was advertised for sale twice without a satisfactory bid being received, and a third try was authorized in June. However a memo to CNO from the submarine section of OPNAV dated 17 Jun 19 reported that the use of a small vessel of the general trawler or drifter type by shore based submarine divisions for handling stores and particularly for recovering torpedoes had been found to result in economy of personnel and to reduce the use of small boats to low levels. Such craft had been provided in the Atlantic but not at Pearl Harbor, San Pedro, or Coco Solo. There were several trawlers for which either no bids or very low bids had been received which could be used for this purpose, and it was recommended that three be so assigned. This recommendation was approved on 26 Jun 19. On 15 Jul 19 OPNAV assigned BREAKWATER (SP-681) to Submarine Division One at Coco Solo, MANSFIELD & SON (SP-691) to Division Six at San Pedro, and DELAWARE (SP-467) to Division Fourteen at Pearl Harbor and issued orders for them to assemble at Cape May and proceed in company toward their stations. In view of this action, on 17 Jul 19 DELAWARE and BREAKWATER were withdrawn from sale.
SP-467 was designated AT-53 when the Navy's standard hull classification scheme was implemented on 17 Jul 20 and was redesignated YT-111 effective 1 Jul 21. She continued to be named "DELAWARE SP-467" in Navy records until 1927 when the DELAWARE finally disappears. She was attached to Submarine Division Fourteen at Pearl Harbor until 1922 when she was reassigned to the Submarine Base there. On 23 May 33 Commander Submarine Squadron 4 at Pearl Harbor reported that SP-467 had been docked and yard authorities considered her unseaworthy, a finding with which COMSUBRON 4 concurred as her wooden hull had been deteriorating rapidly and the bilge pumps had to be run continuously to keep her afloat. On 6 Jun 33 he reported that KEOSANQUA (AT-38) was being recommissioned to replace SP-467 as torpedo retrieving vessel. SP-467 was inspected on 17 Aug 33 and on 14 Oct 33 SecNav placed her on the list of vessels to be disposed of by sale. On the third attempt a bid of $127.75 was received for her and, due to the need to remove her from the Navy Yard, SecNav authorized the sale on 3 Apr 35 and the letter of award was issued on 9 Apr 35.
||Ex merc. DELAWARE (SP-467). To YT-111 1 Jul 21. Sold to H. Melim, Pearl Harbor, for $127.75
Compiled: 19 Feb 2013
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2013