Naval History and Heritage Command

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Concord III (Id. No. 773)

1917-1934 

The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time she was acquired.

(Id. No. 773: length 140'; beam 26'; draft 11'; speed 12 knots; complement 36; armament 1 3-inch)

The third Concord – built in 1898 by Charles Hillman, Philadelphia, Pa. – was purchased by the Navy on 22 September 1917, over five months after the U.S. declaration of war against Germany. Outfitted at the Boston [Mass.] Navy Yard, and given the identification number (Id. No. 773), Concord, classified as a minesweeper, was commissioned on 20 November 1917, Lt. (j.g.) E. M. Gracie, USNRF, in command.

Concord cleared Boston on 25 November 1917 for Philadelphia, arriving there two days later. On 15 December 1917, having been assigned to special duty as a harbor tug at Brest, France, she sailed for Bermuda on the first leg of her voyage to European waters, arriving there on the 20th. There she joined the converted yacht Galatia (S. P. 714) and the tug Gypsum Queen (Id. No. 430) to tow three French submarine chasers to Ponta Delgada, Azores. Setting out for Brest on 7 January 1918, she arrived at her new duty station on 22 February 1918.

During her time at Brest, Concord participated in saving the freighter Westward Ho, that had been torpedoed 350 miles off the French coast on 8 August 1918 by the German submarine U-62 (Kapitänleutnant Ernst Hashagen, commanding).  The French sloop Cassiopée, came to her rescue, as did the converted yachts Noma (S. P. 131) and May (S. P. 164). The latter attempted towing the crippled merchantman, but could not make much headway with their unwieldy charge.  A volunteer crew from May and Noma under Lt. Thomas Blau, USNRF, however, boarded Westward Ho and Lt. (j.g.) William R. Knight, USNRF, Noma’s engineer officer, managed to raise steam and start her main engines, and pump her out. Under her own steam, assisted by British tugs Woonda and Epic, and finally Concord, Westward Ho limped into Brest, having been towed stern-first a distance of 315 miles.

Serving at Brest as a harbor tug for almost a year after the Armistice [11 November 1918] ended the World War, Concord departed that port on 25 October 1919 for Hampton Roads. Steaming via the Azores (30-31 October) and Bermuda (13-24 November), the tug stood in to Norfolk on 28 November. Assigned next to the Washington [D.C.] Navy Yard, Concord was placed “in service.”

She carried out various assignments over the ensuing years, including towing barges between the Washington Navy Yard and Indian Head, Piney Point, Md., as well as Portsmouth, Va., Hampton Roads and Newport News, as well as Quantico and Dahlgren, Va. While her routine remained constant, her name did not, being renamed Mendota and classified as a district tug (YT-33) on 20 November 1920, then, subsequently, on 30 January 1932, being renamed Muscotah.

Placed out of service on 4 November 1934, Muscotah was stricken from the Navy Register on 8 January 1937 and earmarked for sale as a hulk. Ultimately, on 30 April 1937, she was sold to Boston Iron & Metal Co., Baltimore, Md., for $2,622.00.

Robert J. Cressman and Theresa R. Hasson

16 June 2017

Published: Fri Jun 23 11:57:29 EDT 2017