Virginia, a 98-foot motor boat, was built in 1910 at Bayonne, New Jersey, for use as a pleasure craft. She was also named Paula during the years prior to World War I. The boat was purchased by the Navy in May 1917, and placed in commission as USS Virginia (SP-274) in August of that year. Early in 1918 her name was changed to SP-274 to avoid confusion with the battleship Virginia. The craft apparently operated on the Great Lakes for her entire Navy career, probably based at Detroit, Michigan. Stricken from the Navy list in August 1919, SP-274 was awaiting sale when she was reported in March 1920 to have sunk at Detroit Dock. She was sold at the beginning of April 1920.
This page features our only view of the motor boat Virginia, which was USS Virginia (SP-274) and USS SP-274 in 1917-1920.
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Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 102357
Virginia (American Motor Boat, 1910)
Underway, prior to World War I.
This pleasure craft, formerly named Paula, was purchased by the Navy on 5 May 1917 and commissioned as USS Virginia (SP-274). Renamed SP-274 in early 1918, she was stricken on 12 August 1919. She was reported sunk at Detroit Dock on 18 March 1920 and was sold in sunken condition on 1 April 1920.
The original print is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 53KB; 740 x 420 pixels
Note: The Ships' Histories Branch of the Naval Historical
Center holds another pre-World War I view of the motor boat Virginia.
This view is identical to that presented above and, though it
is a halftone reproduction, is of generally superior quality.
Page made 25 January 2004