(S. P. 871: tonnage 18; 1ength 53'; beam 10'; draft 2'9"; armament 1 1-pounder, 1 machine gun)
A sea bird whose body is smaller than the gull which it resembles. It possesses a slender body, a narrow beak, and a deeply-forked tail. The tern inhabits coastal waters on both sides of the Atlantic.
The first Tern, a motorboat built in 1907 at South Boston, Mass., by Murray & Tregurtha, was acquired by the United States Navy on 28 May 1917 from E. F. Nail of Atlantic City, N.J.; and, given the identification number S. P. 871, was commissioned the same day.
Tern operated in the Fourth Naval District as a section patrol boat through the end of World War I. She was returned to her owner on 21 November 1918.