Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval History and Heritage Command homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060


In Spanish, the feminine diminuitive for bueno (good). Also a misspelling of bonito, the name given to various medium-sized tunas intermediate between the smaller mackerels and the larger tunas. Bonito (q.v.), a schooner acquired by the Navy for the Mexican War, has often been referred to erroneously as Bonita. Undoubtedly, the repeated misrepresentattion of the name of the Mexican War schooner played a part in the subsequent assignment of Bonita to the two submarines that bore the name, Submarine No. 15 and SS-165.

Bonito (q.v.), one of three schooners under construction for the Mexican Navy at New York City at the outbreak of the Mexican War but acquired by the United States Navy instead, has often been incorrectly called Bonita.

San Jacinto captured a brig engaged in the African slave trade on 10 October 1860 that has been identified both as Bonita and Bonito. In spite of the fact that her Navy prize crew kept a log covering the period 10 October 1860 to 5 January 1861 that reposes in Record Group 24, National Archives, under the name Bonito, the former slaver was never part of the Navy.


(MB: l. 46'; b. 10'; dr. 3'6" (forward); s. 12 mph.; cpl. 4; a. 1 1-pdr., 1 mg.)

The second Bonita--a wooden-hulled motor boat built by the Holmes Motor Co., of Mystic, Conn.--was acquired by the Navy for use as a section patrol craft and delivered to the Navy by her owner, Mr. Robert Windsor of Boston, on 17 May 1917.

While no deck logs for this boat seem to exist, other records indicate that she received the classification SP 540 and operated in Boston harbor as a patrol craft through the end of World War I. Not long after the war's end, on the night of 25 and 26 November, Bonita sank as the result of a collision with the fishing schooner Russell. Repeated efforts to locate Bonita's wreck proved unsuccessful, and her name was struck from the Navy List on 18 December 1918.


Bonita--a motorboat acquired by the Navy on 16 June 1917--was renamed Patrol No. 6 (SP-54) (q.v.) before she was commissioned on 29 June 1917.

6 January 2006