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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Bonita I (Submarine No. 15)

In Spanish, the feminine diminuitive for bueno (good). Also a misspelling of bonito, the name given to various medium-sized tunas intermediate between the smaller mackerels and the larger tunas. Bonito (q.v.), a schooner acquired by the Navy for the Mexican War, has often been referred to erroneously as Bonita. Undoubtedly, the repeated misrepresentattion of the name of the Mexican War schooner played a part in the subsequent assignment of Bonita to the two submarines that bore the name, Submarine No. 15 and SS-165.

Bonito (q.v.), one of three schooners under construction for the Mexican Navy at New York City at the outbreak of the Mexican War but acquired by the United States Navy instead, has often been incorrectly called Bonita.

San Jacinto captured a brig engaged in the African slave trade on 10 October 1860 that has been identified both as Bonita and Bonito. In spite of the fact that her Navy prize crew kept a log covering the period 10 October 1860 to 5 January 1861 that reposes in Record Group 24, National Archives, under the name Bonito, the former slaver was never part of the Navy.


The first Bonita (Submarine No. 15) was renamed C-4 (q.v.) on 17 November 1911, some two years after her commissioning on 23 November 1909. She served the bulk of her career as C-4.


6 January 2006 

Published: Fri Jun 26 08:39:54 EDT 2015