Hercules, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, was celebrated in Greek mythology for his great strength. He was especially famous for the 12 "Herculean" tasks or "labors" imposed on him as a result of the hatred of Hera, Zeus' jealous wife.
(YT-13: d. 198 t.; l. 101'; b. 20'6" ; dr. 9'; sp. 12 k.)
Hercules, an iron tug, was built at Camden, N.J., by J. H. Dialogue & Son in 1888. She was purchased from the Standard Oil Co. 26 April 1889 for use in the Spanish-American War.
After being employed in various capacities along the South Carolina and Florida coasts from 1898 to 1900, Hercules was ordered to the Norfolk Navy Yard for service as a yard tug. She continued this duty until 1913 when, after extensive overhaul at Portsmouth, N.H., she was employed as a cargo carrier. Departing Philadelphia 9 September 1914, Hercules reached Pearl Harbor 4 December via Norfolk, the Panama Canal, and Acapulco. From there she carried cargo to various Pacific bases including Guam and the Philippines.
Hercules returned to the East Coast in the summer of 1915, putting in at Norfolk, her new base, 4 September. She carried cargo from Norfolk to various Caribbean ports until 1923, when she became a harbor tug serving at Norfolk and Philadelphia.
Hercules decommissioned at Philadelphia 17 December 1931. Stricken from the Navy List 4 December 1936, Hercules was sold to Atlantic Construction Corp., Norfolk, Va., 25 January 1937.