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Goldsborough I (Torpedo Boat No. 20)


Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough, born 18 February 1805 in Washington, D.C., was appointed Midshipman 28 June 1812, but did not serve until 13 February 1816 when he reported for duty at the Washington Navy Yard. He led a four-boat night expedition from Porpoise in September 1827 to rescue British merchant brig Comet from Mediterranean pirates. In 1830 he was appointed first officer in charge of the newly created Depot of Charts and Instruments at Washington, the rude beginning of the United States Hydrographic Office. It was Goldsborough who suggested creation of the depot and initiated the collection and centralization of the instruments, books and charts that were scattered among several Navy yards. After 2 years he was relieved by Lt. Charles Wilkes.

Goldsborough led German emigrants to Wirt's Estates near Monticello, Fla., in 1833; then took leave from the Navy to command a steamboat expedition and later mounted volunteers in the Seminole War. After cruising the Pacific in frigate United States, he participated in the bombardment of Vera Cruz in Ohio. He served consecutively as: commander of a detachment in the expedition against Tuxpan; senior officer of a commission which explored California and Oregon (1849-1850); Superintendent of the Naval Academy (1853-1857); and commander of the Brazil Squadron (1859-1861). During his command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron October 1861 to September 1862, he led his fleet off North Carolina, where in cooperation with troops under General Burnside, he captured Roanoke Island and destroyed a small Confederate fleet. After special administrative duties in Washington, D.C., he took command of the European Squadron in the last year of the Civil War, returning to Washington in 1868 to serve as Commander of the Washington Navy Yard until his retirement in 1873. Rear Admiral Goldsborough died 20 February 1877.


(Torpedo Boat No. 20; displacement 255; length 198'; beam 20'7"; draft 6'10"; speed 27 knots; complement 59; armament 2 18-inch torpedo tubes, 4 6-pounders)

The first Goldsborough (Torpedo Boat No. 20) was launched on 29 July 1899 by the Wolff & Zwicker Iron Works, Portland, Ore.; sponsored by Miss Gertrude Ballin; commissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., on 9 April 1908, Lt. Daniel T. Ghent in command.

Goldsborough based at San Diego, Calif., as a unit of the Pacific Torpedo Fleet, cruising for six years along the coast of California and the Pacific Coast of Mexico in a schedule of torpedo practice, and joint fleet exercises and maneuvers. She was placed in ordinary at the Mare Island Navy Yard 26 March 1914 ; served the Oregon State Naval Militia at Portland (December 1914-April 1917) ; and again fully commissioned on 7 April 1917 for Pacific coast patrol throughout World War I. She was designated Coast Torpedo Boat No. 7  on 1 August 1918, her name being assigned to a new destroyer under construction.

Decommissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 12 March 1919, the ship was sold for scrapping on 8 September 1919.

Published: Sun Aug 07 19:59:34 EDT 2016