(Steam Yacht: t. 72; 1. 117'6"; b. 14'6"; dr. 4'8" (mean); s. 12 k.; cpl. 15; a. none)
The grey wolf in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book who led his pack through his strength and cunning.
The wooden-hulled, twin-screw, steam yacht Akela, built in 1899 at Morris Heights, N.Y., by the Gas Engine and 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. Redesignated SP-1793, Akela was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 16 April 1918, Chief Boatswain's Mate John J. Stegin, USNRF, in charge.
Assigned to the Armed Guard Inspection Board of the 3d 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, Akela was still there, undergoing repairs, when the armistice was signed on the llth. She remained there, inactive and "awaiting orders," into the spring of 1919. The last formal entry in the ship's log, dated 15 April, 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.