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Voyager (S. P. 361)

(MB: t. 35- (gross) : 1. 52'; b. 10'6"; dr. 4'; s. 9.5 k.; cpl. 9)

Voyager, a wooden-hulled motorboat built at Bay City, Mich., by the De Foe Boat and Motor Works, was acquired by the Navy from H. J. De Foe in July 1917 and given the designation S. P. 361. Although listed in the 1918 edition of Ship's Data: U.S. Naval Vessels as being delivered and commissioned on 25 July 1917, Voyager's extant logs do not begin until 1 September 1917. Nevertheless, they indicate that the first men actually reported on board for duty as early as 13 July 1917, 12 days before the delivery/commissioning date given in the Ship's Data: U.S. Naval Vessels for 1918.

Attached to the 9th, 10th, and 11th Naval District local patrol forces and based at Sault St. Marie for the duration of World War I, Voyager operated actively on the Great Lakes until winter ice stopped navigation. Her first recorded duty in September appears to have been standing off a navigable channel off Pipe Island, guarding the wreck of the U.S. Steel Corp. boat Mitchell, which was apparently blocking part of the channel.

Voyager operated out of Sault St. Marie into mid-November 1917 before she shifted to Detroit in company with the old gunboat Isla de Luzon. She was subsequently placed out of service between 18 and 21 November and was decommissioned "for the season" on the 23d. She remained inactive until 8 May 1918, when she was ordered to return to Sault St. Marie. Departing on that day, Voyager set out in company with Isla de Luzon, Avis (S. P. 382), Mikawe (S. P. 309), Dicky (S. P. 231), and Raboco (S. P. 310).

Rough weather during the first night of the voyage forced Voyager to drag anchor and run aground, but she was pulled off soon thereafter. Her motor broke down on 11 May, however, necessitating the SP boat's being towed back to her home port of Sault St. Marie. Voyager operated out of that Michigan port through the armistice of 11 November 1918 and was decommissioned on 13 May 1919. Simultaneously struck from the Navy list, Voyager was turned over to the Treasury Department for use by the United States Coast Guard at Chicago, Ill., on 15 September 1919.

Voyager operated out of Chicago until late in 1922, when she was shifted back to her former home port, Sault St. Marie. On 6 November 1923, the erstwhile patrol craft lost her name and became simply AB-18. Classified as a harbor patrol cutter, she served in that capacity into the late 1930's. After 1936, her name disappeared from Coast Guard ship registers.

Published: Wed Feb 17 11:38:44 EST 2016