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Iris I (Paddle Steamer)

(Str: t. 388; l.145' d.; b. 27'; dr. 9'9"; cpl. 70; a. 1 32-pdr.)

In Greek mythology, the goddess of the rainbow.


The first Iris was a wooden steamer propelled by radial paddle wheels built at New York in 1847 and purchased there by the Navy in the same year. She commissioned at New York Navy Yard 25 October 1847, Comdr. Stephen B. Wilson in command.

The next day Iris departed New York Harbor for Vera Cruz, Mexico, where she arrived 11 December. With the exception of a brief visit to Mobile, Ala., in February 1848 and a voyage to Pensacola, Fla., in September, Iris remained on duty in the vicinity of Vera Cruz for the next year. During the closing months of the Mexican War, she assisted in maintaining the blockade of the coast of Mexico and protected the Army's water communications. Thereafter she vigilantly protected United States interests in that volatile area lest trouble break out anew.

Iris departed Vera Cruz 8 November and arrived Norfolk 16 December. She decommissioned there 16 December and was sold soon thereafter. She redocumented as Osprey 9 March 1849, being destroyed by fire at Kingston, Jamaica, 18 April 1856.

Published: Wed Jul 22 08:46:25 EDT 2015