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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Lebanon

 

The first Lebanon retained her former name; the second was named after a county in southeastern Pennsylvania.

 

I

 

(AG-2: dp. 3,285; l. 259'6"; b. 37'5"; dr. 17'3"; s. 8.5 k.; cpl. 157; a. 4 6-pdr.; cl. Lebanon)

 

The first Lebanon (AG-2) was launched by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1894; acquired by the Navy 6 April 1898 from Philadelphia and Reading RR. Co.; and commissioned at Boston, Mass., 16 April 1898, Lt. Comdr. C. T. Forse in command.

 

After brief shakedown, Lebanon departed Boston 17 May 1898 with coal for ships fighting in the Spanish-American War. Arriving Cardenas, Cuba, 4 June, the collier operated in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic coast for the next 10 months. Lebanon decommissioned at Norfolk 15 April 1899.

 

Lebanon recommissioned at Portsmouth, N.H., 11 August 1905, Capt. George McDonald in command. From 1905 until 1909 she operated as a collier along the east coast sailing as far south as Nicaragua servicing fueling stations and the fleet in the Atlantic and Caribbean. She decommissioned at Norfolk 2 October 1909.

 

On 1 July 1911 Lebanon again recommissioned and was assigned to duty as a range ship. Operating along the east coast during the rest of the year, she transported stores and ammunition to eastern ports before joining the fleet in the Caribbean for the 1912 winter maneuvers. For the next 4 years Lebanon operated as a target towing ship during fleet exercises along the coast and in the Caribbean.

 

After America’s entry into World War I, her activities increased as she assisted the fighting ships to prepare for action in the war-ravaged waters. Lebanon continued target repair and towing operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean for the rest of her naval service. She decommissioned at New York 6 February 1922 and was sold 2 June 1922.

 

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Lebanon, a USSB owned cargo ship, was renamed Vega (AK-17) (q.v.) prior to commissioning 21 December 1921.