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USS Herreshoff No. 306, sister to USS Herreshoff No. 308, circa early 1918
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        HERRESHOFF No. 308 (YX-13)
Design        Steam yacht, 1917
Displacement (tons):        60 gross
Dimensions (feet):        112.4' oa x 15.1' x 4.0' mn, 4.5' aft
Original Armament:        1-6pdr (1918)
Later armaments:        --
Complement        --
Speed (kts.):        21.7
Propulsion (HP):        1,200
Machinery:        Vert. triple expansion, 2 screws

Construction:
YX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
17 HERRESHOFF No. 308 21 Feb 18 Herreshoff Mfg 1917 1917 23 Feb 18

Disposition:
YX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
17 HERRESHOFF No. 308 ca Aug 19 12 Sep 23 27 May 24 Sold --

Class Notes:
This vessel was one of four sisters whose construction originated in correspondence in the early stages of the war between Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt and Messrs. Alfred I. DuPont, R. E. Tod, Payne Whitney, and Nichols as agent for J. P. Morgan on what these wealthy men could do for the war effort. At that time the Navy was developing a plan for building several hundred submarine chasers, and Mr. Roosevelt suggested that ten of these chasers be built of steel with different types of engines to determine which would be the best. The Navy's material bureaus were too busy to pursue the idea of experimental engines, and the four men were eventually asked to build boats of a type similar to the submarine chasers and install any engine considered to be of a good type. Accordingly each ordered one 112-foot steel-hulled steam-propelled vessel from the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. of Bristol, Conn., a well-known yacht builder. They became Herreshoff hulls Nos. 306 (DuPont, SP-1841), 308 (Tod, SP-2232), 321 (Whitney, SP-2235), and 323 (Nichols/Morgan, SP-2840). Tod eventually received $94,254 from the Navy for his boat.

On 26 Dec 17 the Herreshoff firm wrote to CNO stating that they had four steel patrol boats in their yard, one complete and ready for delivery, the second just through preliminary trials, the third afloat and likely to be ready for delivery in late January, and the fourth in frame and scheduled for delivery around 1 April. Owing to the very crowded condition of their yard they were anxious to turn these boats over as soon as possible, either to the Navy or their owners, but the latter were awaiting Government action. Roosevelt wrote a memo stating that the Navy was morally bound to accept these boats if the price was fair, and on 15 Jan 18 SecNav Josephus Daniels authorized CNO to acquire them. On 17 Feb 18 the Commandant, 2nd Naval District reported to CNO that Herreshoff had agreed to bring the second boat, HERRESHOFF No. 308, to Newport, R.I., on 18 Feb 18 for her trial run, upon the satisfactory completion of which Com-2 would take her over. On 8 Mar 18 CNO informed Com-2 that it was the intention of the Department to assign all four boats to the 15th Naval District for the defense of the Panama Canal and directed that they be sent to New London to be fitted with the latest approved type of underwater listening device. The boats were not to be designated as submarine chasers (S.C.) but were to be known by their identification (S.P.) numbers. On 1 May 18 CNO ordered Com-2 to direct the first three boats (the fourth not yet being ready) to proceed in company to Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, and report to Com-15 for duty. They arrived in the Canal Zone near the end of May 1918.

A ship's characteristics card for HERRESHOFF No. 306, probably prepared in Panama in mid-1918, stated that "these Herreshoff scout patrol boats are of very frail construction; machinery is very light and expensive to keep running." The boilers seem to have been particularly troublesome. The boats probably remained active until 27 Aug 19, when the common log book for all three vessels came to an end. On 3 May 20 CNO directed that the three boats be inspected for sale and put on the sale list, and on 26 Jun 20 they were ordered sold. On 3 Sep 20 SecNav withdrew HERRESHOFF No. 306 from the sale list and authorized Com-15 to transfer her to the War Department (Air Service). The transfer took place on 2 Oct 20, but upon receipt of the vessel at France Field, Panama, the Army Air Service found that repairs to the vessel would cost $40,000 instead of the estimated $10,000 and SecNav on 19 Mar 21 approved her return to the Navy. In the meantime HERRESHOFF No. 308 was withdrawn from sale and loaned to the War Department on 25 Sep 20. She was transferred on 14 Oct 20 to the Governor of the Panama Canal who, as her temporary custodian, named her GOLD STAR. Returned to the Navy, she was ordered sold and stricken from the Navy List on 12 Sep 23.

HERRESHOFF No. 308 was put in the "District Unclassified" category without a hull number in the 1920 Ships Data Book, which contained the Navy's standard hull classification scheme of 17 Jul 20 updated through 1 Oct 20. She was described as a steam yacht on loan. In 1922 the Navy Filing Manual assigned the symbol YX-13 for filing correspondence relating to HERRESHOFF No. 308, but unlike IX the YX numbers never became hull numbers.

Ship Notes:
YX Name Notes
17 HERRESHOFF No. 308 Ex merc. HERRESHOFF No. 308 (SP-2232). Sold to J. A. Kenny, New York, for $1,000.

Page Notes:
YX        1918
Compiled:        13 Mar 2013
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2013