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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Corsair

 

A pirate, or a privateer, especially Turkish or Saracen. A California rockfish.

 

I

 

(PY: dp. 1,600; l. 304'; b. 33'4"; dr. 16'; s. 19 k.; a. 4 3")

 

The first Corsair (No. 159) was built in 1899 by W. & A. Fletcher Co., Hoboken, N.J.; chartered by the Navy 15 May 1917; commissioned the same day, Lieutenant Commander T. A. Kittinger in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

 

Corsair sailed from New York 14 June 1917 with the first contingent of the American Expeditionary Force to France, arriving at St. Nazaire 27 June. On 2 July she stood out to join the U.S. Patrol Squadrons operating against enemy submarines and performing escort and patrol duties off the west coast of France. She crossed the war zone many times on convoy escort, and rescued survivors of torpedoed vessels. On 17 October 1917, she. assisted the torpedoed U.S. Army Transport Antilles, picked up many of her survivors, and searched for the submarine which had attacked her. On 22 June 1918, she rescued the survivors of Californian (AK), which had struck a mine, and adding to her outstanding rescue record, between 12 and 14 September, towed the disabled Norwegian steamer Dagfin into Verdon.

 

Corsair cleared Brest 18 November 1918, for operations in British waters, calling at Rosyth, Scotland, and Queenstown, Ireland, serving from time to time as flagship for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in European Waters. She put in to Plymouth 7 May 1919 to embark Secretary of the Navy J. Daniels and his staff for transportation to Brest, sailing with them 8 May and arriving the same day. The dignitaries disembarked 9 May, and Corsair sailed the next day for New York by way of the Azores and Bermuda, arriving 28 May. Corsair was returned to her owner 9 June 1919.