(Yacht: t. 159.92 (gross); l. 116'; b. 20'; dr. 9'3½" (mean); cpl. 31; a. 2 6-pdrs., 4 2-pdrs., 1 1-pdr.)
Buccaneer--a schooner-rigged, single-screw, steam yacht constructed in 1888 at Boston, Mass., by Richard Keogh--was acquired by the Navy in the spring of 1898 from William Randolph Hearst, the prominent New York publisher, and placed in commission on 13 June 1898, Lt. H. K. Hines in command. Ten days later, Lt. A. M. Mayer relieved Lt. Hines in command.
Probably taken over and commissioned at New York, Buccaneer may have been fitted out there or at Tampa, Fla. Hard evidence supporting either location is utterly lacking. All that is recorded is that she was at Tampa on 5 August 1898. She departed Tampa that same day and arrived in Key West the following day. Again, the duties she performed there are unrecorded. Buccaneer departed Key West on 18 August and arrived in Norfolk, Va., on 22 August. Almost two weeks later on 4 September, she got underway for New York. The yacht arrived in New York the following day. Buccaneer was decommissioned on 12 September 1898 and subsequently returned to her owner.
Raymond A. Mann
25 November 2005