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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Wars & Conflicts
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DANFS - USS Xarifa
(Yacht: tonnage 378; Length 192' 0"; beam 26' 8"; depth of hold 15' 5"; draft 15' 0"; speed 11 knots; complement 71; armament 2 3-pounders, 2 machine guns)


Xarifa - a wooden-hulled, seagoing, sailing yacht equipped with an auxiliary steam engine - was built in 1896 at Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, by John S. White & Co., Ltd. Apparently completed as Xarifa, she served for a time as Orphelie before she was purchased by C.N. Nelson in, or sometime before, 1911. She then resumed the name Xarifa and operated out of Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y.

After the outbreak of World War I, the Navy acquired the graceful yacht on 9 August 1917 for service in European waters and designated her Motor Patrol Boat SP-581. However, while the ship was being fitted out, she was found to be unsuitable for "distant service" and was prepared for duty on section patrol.

Assigned to the 3d Naval District, Xarifa was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 23 February 1918, Lt. (jg.) F.J. Littlefield, United States Naval Reserve Force, in command; and patrolled the approaches to New York harbor through the armistice. She was decommissioned on 31 March 1919 and returned to her owner on 4 May 1919.

30 September 2002