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Akela (S.P. 1793)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time of her acquisition.

(S.P. 1793: tonnage 72; length 117'6"; beam 14'6"; draft 4'8" (mean); speed 12 knots; complement 15; armament none)

The wooden-hulled twin-screw steam yacht Akela, built in 1899 at Morris Heights, N.Y., by the Gas Engine & Power Co. and the Charles L. Seabury Co., was acquired by the Navy from Bridgeport, Conn., businessman Henry Alfred Bishop and delivered on 24 December 1917, the day before Christmas. Designated S.P. 1793, Akela was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., on 16 April 1918, CBM John J. Stegin, USNRF, in charge.

Assigned to the Armed Guard Inspection Board of the Third Naval District, Akela took inspection parties to various merchant ships with embarked armed guard detachments over the next several months. Entering the Seabury yard at Morris Heights on 6 November 1918, Akela still lay there, undergoing repairs, when the Armistice was signed on the 11th.

She remained there, inactive and "awaiting orders," into the spring of 1919. The last formal entry in the ship's log, dated 15 April 1919, does not report a formal decommissioning. In any case, the ship was returned to her owner on that day and stricken from the Navy List exactly one month later, 15 May 1919.

Robert J. Cressman

5 January 2022

Published: Wed Jan 05 15:57:25 EST 2022