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Aphrodite

 

The goddess of love and fertility in Greek mythology.

 

(Yacht: dp. 1,500; 1. 302'; b. 35.6'; dr. 17' (aft) (approx.); s. 15 k.; cpl. 68; a. 4 3", 2 mg.)

 

Aphrodite (SP-135)—a yacht constructed in 1899 at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works—was acquired by the Navy from Col. 0. H. Payne, of New York City, on 11 May 1917; and she was commissioned at New York on 5 June 1917, Lt. Comdr. Ralph P. Craft in command.

 

Nine days after her commissioning, the converted yacht set out for Europe in the escort of the first convoy carrying the American Expeditionary Force to the battlefields in France. She arrived at St. Nazaire on 27 June and began patrols of the Bay of Biscay. Her duty consisted of escorting coastwise convoys and meeting in-bound convoys from America and seeing them safely into Brest, Verdon, or St. Nazaire. On 16 February 1918, she was reassigned to the base located at Rochefort, whence she served as an offshore escort until March. On 28 March 1918, she was assigned to Division 7, Squadron 3, Patrol Force, based at Verdon. She served as a convoy escort on the French coast for the remainder of the war.

 

After the armistice of 11 November 1918 ended hostilities, she served as a station ship at the British ports of Harwich and Portland and, later, at Hamburg, Germany. Aphrodite returned to the United States at New York on 29 June 1919. She was placed out of commission at the Fleet Supply Base, Brooklyn, N.Y., on 12 July and returned to her owner that same day

 

 

Aphrodite (SP-135), as seen from another converted yacht, steams astern while escorting a convoy, circa 1917-1918. Note depth charges lashed to the gunwale of the ship in the foreground. (NH 57627)