Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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Class A (Fast) Patrol Boat

In summer 1915, Under Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt started “the power squadrons” program when his superior was on vacation. Roosevelt called for the establishment of a special naval militia of civilian volunteers attached to the naval districts to man power boats. The next summer he Navy created the militia. That November, the Secretary of the Navy ordered the construction of 4 and 66-foot patrol boat prototypes. A. Loring Swasey designed the smaller version. Before America’s entry to World War I, George Lawley and Son of Neponset, Massachusetts, completed the 45-foot boat called C-253. Early experience proved that she was too small for naval duty.

 

Length: 45'
Beam 9'
Draft 2'
Displacement     8 tons
Speed 21 knots
Complement 4 officers and men
Armament One 1-pounder
Scale 1" to 1'

 

Courtesy of Naval Sea Systems Command. 

This model is on display in the Great White Fleet exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76.