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Blue Bird I
(MB: t. 36 (gross); l. 72'0"; b. 12'0"; dr. 3'4½" (mean); s. 12.0 k.; cpl. 11; a. 1 1-pdr., 1 .30-cal. mg.)



Blue Bird, a twin-screw, wooden-hulled motor boat built in 1911 at Port Clinton, Ohio, by the Matthews Boat Building Co. as Houqua, for A. A. Augustus of Lakewood, Ohio, was acquired by the Navy on 25 June 1917 from E. Palmer Gavit, of Albany, N.Y., under free-lease; designated SP-465; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 17 December 1917, Chief Boatswain’s Mate William R. Wardlaw, USNRF, in command.


Blue Bird served on the 3d Naval District section patrol through the armistice. When not undergoing upkeep and repairs in the Marine Basin at Ulmer Park, Brooklyn, she provided transportation for official passengers from place to place in the district, served as a boarding boat when later attached to the district’s communication office, and operated in such areas as lower Gravesend Bay tallying the names and numbers of vessels in those waters.

Apparently decommissioned sometime very early in 1919, Blue Bird was returned to her owner on 7 February 1919. She continued to appear remained on annual yacht registers under a succession of owners, until disappearing about 1950.

Robert J. Cressman
27 January 2006

Published: Thu Jun 25 15:09:17 EDT 2015