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Arayat I (Gunboat)

(Gbt: dp. 243 (f.); l. 115'3" (wl.); b. 17'10"; dr. 6'6"; s. 10 k. (est.); cpl. 30; a. 1 6-pdr., 3 3-pdrs., 2 1-pdrs., 2 Colt mg.)


A town in northeastern Pampanga province, on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. The first Arayat retained her Spanish name. The second Arayat was named for the first.


The first Arayat, an iron-hulled gunboat constructed for the Spanish Navy in 1888 at Cavite by the Manila Ship Co., was sunk by the Spanish in the Pasig River, Luzon, in 1898 during the Spanish-American War; raised by the American Navy in 1899; rebuilt at Cavite Naval Station; and commissioned on 10 August 1900, Lt. William Rawle Shoemaker in command.

Arayat was taken into the Navy because of the need for shallow-draft gunboats to help suppress the Philippine insurrection which followed just after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War and Spain's cession of the islands to the United States. Her first period of commissioned service lasted exactly two years. During that time, the gunboat conducted patrols near Cebu, Luzon, and Panay and cooperated with Army troops on those islands. When not engaged in patrols and counterinsurgency duties, she also made oceanographic surveys of the islands. On 9 August 1902, the gunboat was placed out of commission at Cavite. She remained inactive there until recommissioned on 27 March 1905, Lt. Raymond D. Hasbrouck in command.

By the time of Arayat's reactivation, the Philippine insurrection had been declared officially at an end. Though Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the Philippine insurgents, had been captured and most of his army decimated, remnants of the force hung on and other roving bands of less idealistic character continued to provide the Army and the Navy with plenty of work. Arayat resumed her previous duties cooperating with Army troops, conducting patrols and making surveys of the seas, rivers, and harbors in the archipelago. Her second period of active service, with Ensign Roland R. Riggs followed by Ensign George V. Stewart in command, continued in that manner until 5 October 1907 at which time she was again placed out of commission at Cavite. She remained inactive there for 16 months before returning to full commission on 3 February 1909, Lt. Comdr. Matt H. Signer in command.

During her third and final tour of active duty, Arayat cruised the southern Philippines engaged in patrols against native pirates active in that area. That assignment lasted just over one year. On 11 April 1910, she was decommissioned at Cavite for the last time. Arayat was struck from the Navy list on 26 October 1910, and she was sold on 15 December 1910.

Published: Tue Oct 25 13:10:37 EDT 2022