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Wasaka III (S.P. 342)


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

(S.P. 342: tonnage 15 (gross); length 53'0"(overall); beam 10'10"; draft 3'9"(mean); speed 9.0 knots; complement 6; armament 1 1-pounder, 1 Colt machine gun)

Wasaka III, a wooden-hulled, single screw, motorboat, was built in 1912 at Lynn, Mass., by Britt Brothers, boat builders. Acquired by the Navy from Mr. John J. Martin of Boston, Mass., under a free-lease agreement, and delivered on 17 April 1917, Wasaka III was apparently manned on 22 April 1917, five days later, as her deck log indicates that the first men, the most senior rating being MM2c Class A. Rowbottom, USNRF, reported on board on that day. There is no record of a commissioning ceremony, although Ship’s Data, U.S. Naval Vessels (1 November 1918 edition) lists 23 April 1917 as the date on which she was placed in commission, and the deck log does not start until 1 June 1917.

Initially, Wasaka III, given the identification number S.P. 342, operated from Boston’s Commonwealth Pier. On 26 September 1917, she shifted to the Bumkin Island section base, whence she operated for the duration of the Great War and into 1919. Her log ends on 31 March 1919, and she was returned to her owner on 18 April of the same year.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

31 March 2021

Published: Mon Apr 05 14:28:55 EDT 2021