Originally a civilian tug, Conestoga was built at 1904 at Sparrows Point, Maryland. In September 1917, during World War I, she was purchased by the U.S. Navy and placed into commission as USS Conestoga (SP-1128) and operated along the East Coast and the areas around the Azores. Returning to the United States in September 1919, she received the hull number HT-54 in July 1920 and departed for the Pacific. In the early months of 1921, Conestoga operated off San Diego and Mare Island, California. On March 25, while commanded by Lieutenant Ernest L. Jones, the tug departed to become the station ship at Tutuila, American Samoa. Lost at sea during this journey, with the only trace of her being a lifeboat, she was discovered in 2009 in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a few miles from Southeast Farallon Island, off San Francisco, California. In March 2016, in a joint mission with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Navy, Conestoga's wreck was confirmed and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Image: NH 89794: Conestoga (American Tug, 1904). In port, prior to World War I. NHHC Photograph Collection.