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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Atlantic

 

The ocean that separates North and South America from Europe and Africa.

 

II

 

(ScStr: t. 188; 1. 115'0"; b. 26'0"; dr. 7'lVz" (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 6; a. none)

 

Ruth—a wooden-hulled ferry built in 1894 at Rockland, Maine—served initially at Southwest Harbor, Maine (1895 to 1900), and then at Mount Desert Ferry (1900 to 1907) and Castine (1908 to 1909), before she was renamed Atlantic around 1909 or 1910. Her area of operations then shifted to New York City. Ultimately, the ferry came under the ownership of the Washington (D.C.) Steel and Ordnance Co., Giesborough Point. Inspected by the Navy (possibly at Washington, D.C.) on 27 August 1918, Atlantic was acquired by the Federal Government and delivered to the Navy on 13 September 1918 at the Washington Navy Yard.

 

Placed in service soon thereafter, to be transferred to the 6th Naval District, Atlantic—assigned the identification number (Id. No.) 3268 and under the command of Boatswain E. J. Cross— departed the Washington Navy Yard on 25 September 1918, bound for Parris Island, S.C. Arriving at her destination soon thereafter, Atlantic then spent the next few months operating as a district craft, attached to the marine barracks at Parris Island, the major recruit training depot on the eastern seaboard for the Marine Corps which was then growing rapidly to accommodate the increased number of men being processed for service. She operated between Parris Island, Beaufort, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; and the Port Royal Naval Station, Charleston, S.C.

 

Records indicate that later, after she had been initially Navy-manned, her complement consisted of a civilian master and engineer, and a crew of marines. In any event, Atlantic sank at her moorings on 25 November 1920 and, though refloated four days later, was apparently judged to be of no more use to the service. Accordingly, she was sold to Harry Hitner and Sons Co., of Philadelphia on 12 September 1921.

 

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Atlantic—a single-screw, steel-hulled tug built in 1904 by Neafie and Levy and owned in 1917 by the Atlantic Refining Co., of Philadelphia—was considered by the Navy for use as a minesweeper and given the designation SP-859. Records indicate that the Navy appraised the tug and directed that she be delivered to the Commandant of the 4th Naval District at her "present location" which may have been Philadelphia, as of 2 March 1918. However, it appears that Atlantic never saw commissioned service in the Navy. Although listed in the 1 November 1918 Ship's Data, U.S. Naval Vessels which describes her as a "section mine sweeper", Atlantic (SP-859) does not show up on lists of naval vessels in commission at that time. The 1 October 1919 Ship's Data states that, in fact, Atlantic was never commissioned.