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Admiral II (S. P. 541)



(S. P. 541: tonnage 35; length 73'0"; beam 16'0"; draft 8' (aft); depth of hold 7'8"; speed 8 knots; complement 12; armament 1 3 pounder, 2 .30 caliber Colt machine guns)

Admiral, a wooden-hulled motorboat built by Adams, of Boothbay, Maine, in 1913, was acquired by the Navy from the Governor of the State of Maine on 1 May 1917 for section patrol duty in the First Naval District. Assigned the identification number S.P. 541, Admiral was placed in commission on 31 May 1917.

Regarded as an "excellent seagoing design" of "very heavy construction," and "perfectly sound," Admiral performed "especially good service ... in Boothbay Harbor . . . breaking ice and keeping the harbor clear" during her winter operations. The sketchy records that are extant for this craft show very little of the character of her operations, but do indicate that she continued patrol duties until well after the armistice of November 1918.

Transferred to the Coast Guard on 21 April 1919, Admiral was taken over by that service at Boston, that June, and stationed at Portsmouth, N.H. She was renamed Leader on 16 December 1919 in Coast Guard Circular Letter No. 118, but she did not serve long under that name for, on 2 April 1920, her gasoline tank exploded, and the resultant fire totally destroyed her.

Robert J. Cressman 

Published: Fri Sep 16 00:32:09 EDT 2016