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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Narcissus

 

A daffodil whose blossoms have a short corona and are borne separately; a beautiful youth in Greek legend who, after pining away for love of his own image, was transformed into the flower which bears his name.

 

(ScTug: t. 101; l. 81’6”; b. 18’9”; dr. 6’; dph. 8’; s. 14 k.; cpl. 19; a. I 20–pdr. p.r., 1 heavy 12–pdr.)

 

Narcissus, a screw steamer launched in July 1863 as Mary Cook at East Albany, N.Y., was purchased by the Navy at New York City 23 September 1863 from James D. Stevenson; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 2 February 1864, Acting Ens. William G. Jones in command.

 

The new tug soon got underway south; and touched at Port Royal, S.C. for fuel, 14 February, before pushing on to the Gulf of Mexico. She joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron at New Orleans late in the month and was assigned to patrol and blockade duty in Mississippi Sound. On the morning of 24 August, she captured sloop Oregon in Biloxi Bay, Mississippi Sound, and took the prize to New Orleans for adjudication.

 

Subsequently ordered to Mobile Bay, Narcissus supported clean-up operations following the great Union naval victory there 5 August. She struck a Confederate torpedo off Mobile in a heavy storm 7 December and sank within 15 minutes without loss of life.

 

Raised in the closing days of 1864, Narcissus was repaired at Pensacola early in 1865 and served in the gulf as a dispatch boat through the end of the war. She departed Pensacola on New Year’s Day 1866, was wrecked, and sank at Egmont Key, Florida 4 January with loss of all on board.

 

(WAGL–238: dr. 342; l. 122’; b. 28’; dr. 8’; s. 10.3 k.; cpl. 17)

 

Narcissus was built for the Coast Guard by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation, Duluth, Minn. in 1939. Designed as a navigational aid tender, she was assigned to Wilmington, N.C. In 1940 she transferred to Portsmouth, Va.

 

Executive Order 8929 of 1 November 1941 transferred the Coast Guard to the Navy. Through the war years Narcissus continued to serve as a large inland buoy tender, operating out of Portsmouth. When the Coast Guard returned to the Treasury Department 1 January 1946, the tender remained in an active status. Through 1970 she has continued her buoytending duties from her permanent station at Portsmouth.