Naval History and Heritage Command

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Fortune I (Screw Steamer)

(ScStr: dp. 450; l. 137'; b. 26'; dr. 9'6"; s. 10 k.; a. 2 3-pdr.)

Chance, luck.


The first Fortune, a screw steamer, was launched 25 March 1865 by James Tetlow, Boston, Mass.; and commissioned 19 May 1871, Mate (Warrant Officer) L. G. Cook in command. She was classified YT-11 on 17 July 1920.

During her long career, Fortune provided a variety of highly useful services to the Navy. During her first period of commission, which lasted until 1 January 1873, she was assigned to towing and freight transport services along the east coast, then lay at Washington Navy Yard until recommissioned 1 June 1873. During the next 3 years, she trained cadet engineers of the Naval Academy, cruised in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on survey duty and drills, and carried men from the east coast to New Orleans, as well as serving on harbor duty at many ports. She was again out of commission between 23 June 1876 and 21 September 1877, at Washington.

Again in commission until 7 June 1879, she sailed out of the Norfolk Navy Yard, carrying cargo to Washington, on harbor duty, and occasionally serving as icebreaker. She was recommissioned 30 March 1887 to carry cargo between ships and stations along the east coast until decommissioned at Newport 22 April 1891. She returned to commission from 15 December 1899 to 6 June 1901 to serve as gunnery training vessel for naval apprentices at Newport, and as gunnery tug out of Newport, New York, and Boston. Again recommissioned 23 October 1902, she sailed to join the South Atlantic Fleet for operations around Puerto Rico, and on 20 May 1903, reached San Diego for duty with the Pacific Squadron, sailing out of Bremerton, Wash., through the summer. On 2 August she arrived at Mare Island to serve as tender to submarines, joining in target practice and other fleet operations until going out of commission 10 April 1907.

In commission 22 January 1908 to 29 May 1909, and again from 9 June 1909 until placed in reserve 28 June 1912, Fortune continued her pioneering work with submarines. Placed in full commission for the last time 22 May 1915, she served as station ship at Tutuila, Samoa, using Pearl Harbor as her home yard, until decommissioned at Tutuila 7 May 1922. She was sold 22 May 1922.

Published: Thu Jul 09 07:22:35 EDT 2015