Any of several ducks with broad, flat bills. The first Broadbill retained the name she bore when acquired by the Navy; the second bore the name of the waterfowl.
(MB: l. 66'; b. 13'6"; dr. 3'7" (aft); s. 16 k., cpl. 7; a. 1 1-pdr., 2 mg.)
The first Broadbill--a wooden hulled motorboat built during 1916 and 1917 by Fellows and Stewart of Long Beach, Calif., for Hugh R. Johnstone of Pasadena--was purchased by the Navy in June 1918; assigned to section patrol and designated SP-823; and commissioned on 27 June 1918, Lt. Ivan M. Graham in command.
Broadbill was assigned to Division 2, Pacific Fleet, and was utilized in making short, urgent cruises in the vicinity of San Diego Bay. On one occasion, in March 1919, she proceeded as far south as Enseñada, Mexico, to embark Consul General Eberhart for passage back to San Diego. She performed such tasks into the spring of 1919. Broadbill was decommissioned on 24 May 1919 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif.; and her name was struck from the Navy list on 7 August 1919. Though placed on the “sale” list, the boat was withdrawn from consideration for disposal in that fashion on 18 October, and she was turned over to the Coast Guard at San Francisco on 3 December 1919. Renamed Swift and stationed at San Francisco, she served as a patrol cutter through 1935.
Robert J. Cressman
1 December 2005