Skip to main content
Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Submarine
  • Boats-Ships--Support Ships
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Dubuque I (Gunboat No. 17)


A city in Iowa.

(Gunboat No. 17: displacement 1,084; length 200'5"; beam 35'; draft 13'4"; speed 13 knots; complement 98; armament 2 4-inch, 4 6-pounders, 2 1-pounders)

Dubuque (Gunboat No. 17) was launched 15 August 1904 by Gas Engine and Power Co., and Charles L. Seabury and Co., Morris Heights, Long Island, N.Y.; sponsored by Miss M. Tredway; and commissioned 3 June 1905, Lieutenant Commander A. F. Fechteler in command. She was reclassified AG-6 in 1919; IX-9, 24 April 1922; and PG-17, 4 November 1940.

Dubuque cruised from her home port of Portsmouth, N.H., in Atlantic coastal waters and in the Caribbean protecting American interests and citizens, a group of whom she saved from depredations by Cuban bandits on the night of 18-19 May 1907. She arrived at Chicago, Ill., 29 June 1911, and was decommissioned 22 July for use as a training ship by the Illinois Naval Militia.

Recommissioned 4 August 1914, Dubuque sailed 3 days later for Portsmouth, N.H., where she was placed in commission in reserve 3 October. She was fitted out as a mine-training ship and on 30 July 1915 she returned to a fully commissioned status and was assigned to Mining and Minesweeping Division, Atlantic Fleet. She participated in training along the Atlantic coast and after American entry into World War I in April 1917, installed and tended submarine nets in Hampton Roads and at New London, Conn. She also trained reserve officers at the Naval Academy.

Assigned to temporary duty with the Cruiser and Transport Force, Dubuque made three voyages between New York and Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a convoy escort between 6 June and 14 July 1917. She arrived at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 3 August for duty with the French division of the Caribbean Patrol, investigating isolated harbors and inlets in the Caribbean and on the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia to prevent their use by German submarines. On 8 December 1918 she reported to the American Patrol Detachment, Atlantic Fleet, with whom she served along the east coast until returning to Portsmouth 6 May 1919. She again went out of commission 27 May 1919.

Dubuque was recommissioned 25 May 1922 and sailed from Portsmouth 8 June for Detroit, Mich., where she arrived 24 June. Attached to the 9th Naval District, she took Naval Reservists on cruises from her home port of Detroit into Lakes Superior and Michigan every summer. She was placed in reduced commission 1 November 1940 and on the 14th sailed for Boston where she was assigned to the 1st Naval District and was modernized and refitted. She returned to full commission 1 July 1941 and patrolled on the New England coast until 14 October. Two days later she arrived at Little Creek, Va., to serve as gunnery practice ship for the Armed Guard School there. Throughout her second war Dubuque trained merchant ship armed guard crews in Chesapeake Bay. She was decommissioned 7 September 1945 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 19 December 1946.

Published: Tue Jul 07 08:53:14 EDT 2015