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Freight boat USS Alice (1898-1916) at Norfolk in September 1900. No view of the similar USS Traffic (YX-18) has been located.
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Class: TRAFFIC (YX-18)
Design Freight boat, 1891
Displacement (tons): 203 gross, 280 or 417 displ.
Dimensions (feet): 106.0' pp x 29.3' x 9.0' mn
Original Armament: None
Later armaments: 2-1pdr (1918);
Speed (kts.): 10
Propulsion (HP): 190
Machinery: Vert. single expansion (one 22 7/16" cylinder)
||D. M. Carty
||9 May 22
||29 Jan 24
||15 Apr 24
This wooden-hulled freight boat or freight steamer, a steam-propelled lighter with a derrick mast, was added to the Navy List between 1 Jul 94 and 31 Dec 94 as a tug, a category that until 1894 had been called "Tugs, freight boats, etc." The tug category continued to contain freight boats until 1920, and four more were added after TRAFFIC: ALICE and PAWNEE (YT-21) in 1898, ROCKET (YT-22) in 1903, and TRANSFER (YX-19, later IX-47 q.v.) in 1910.
TRAFFIC was built in 1891 or 1892 by D. McCarty, an obscure shipbuilder in South Brooklyn, N.Y. She was assigned to the New York Navy Yard and spent her entire Navy career there. She was originally listed in Navy references with a displacement of 280 tons and 190 IHP, but her listing was changed in 1916 to show a displacement of 417 tons and 240 IHP. She was listed as out of commission at the New York Navy Yard in late 1919 but must have been put back into service as she was again decommissioned in 1922.
TRAFFIC was put in the "District Unclassified" category without a hull number when the Navy's standard hull classification scheme was implemented on 17 Jul 20. She was described as a "freight steamer" and was not classified YF (Freight Lighter). In 1922 the Navy Filing Manual assigned the symbol YX-18 for filing correspondence relating to TRAFFIC, but unlike IX the YX numbers never became hull numbers. The District Unclassified list included one other "freight steamer," TRANSFER (see IX-46).
TRAFFIC was stricken from the Navy List and ordered sold on 29 Jan 24. She appeared in the 1925 edition of "Merchant Vessels of the United States" as a screw steamer of 203t gross tons, 109.5' x 29.2', built in 1892 at Brooklyn, ex USS TRAFFIC, ex mercantile TRAFFIC. Her second merchant career, as her first, was brief, as she was accidentally destroyed by fire in April 1925, her four crew members escaping the blaze.
||Ex merc. TRAFFIC. Sold to Joseph F. O'Boyle for $3,925.00, merc. TRAFFIC. Burned 30 Apr 25 at City Island, N.Y.
Compiled: 13 Mar 2013
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2013