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Machias I (Gunboat No. 5)

(PG‑5: dp. 1,177; l. 204'; b. 32'1"; dr. 14'; s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 154; a. 8 4", 4 6‑pdr., 4 1‑pdr.)

A town in eastern Maine.


The first Machias (Gunboat No. 5), a schooner‑rigged gunboat, was laid down in February 1891 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; launched 8 December 1891; sponsored by Miss Ethel Hyde, daughter of President Hyde of Bath Iron Works; and commissioned at Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., 20 July 1893, Comdr. C. J. Train in command.

Following shakedown along the east coast and service on the North Atlantic station, Machias departed Portsmouth in November 1894 for the Asiatic station, sailing via the Azores, Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Aden, Ceylon, and Singapore, arriving Hong Kong 6 March 1895. For the next 2 years, the gunboat remained in the Far East, protecting American interests in Korea and Japan during the SinoJapanese War, making intermitten visits to treaty ports up the Yangtze River, and, in general, showing the flag from Port Arthur to Saigon, until departing Hong Kong 16 December 1897 to return home the way she came, arriving Boston 18 March.

Sailing for Key West, Fla., 7 April, the ship joined the North Atlantic Fleet blockading Cuba and participated in the engagement of Cardenas 11 May, leading gunboats Wilmington, Hudson, and torpedo boat Winslow against three Spanish gunboats in the bay. Continuing on blockade duty through September, in addition serving as a transport for Army troops and supplies, Machias sailed north to Boston and then Portsmouth for repairs until 15 January 1899. The gunboat then returned to the Caribbean, operating off Cuba, in the West Indies and along the coast of Central America, showing the flag and protecting American interests until sailing for Washington, D.C., to join in the celebration in honor of Adm. George Dewey 24 September. She returned to the Caribbean in January 1900, resuming her patrols and, in addition, carrying the U.S. Minister to Venezuela on a diplomatic mission until ordered home 8 July, arriving Boston on the 17th, and decommissioning there 14 August.

Machias recommissioned 24 July 1901 and sailed 15 days later to return to the Caribbean on patrol operations off Panama and Colombia during the Panamanian Revolution, protecting American lives and property off Panama through the end of the year; and then, following repairs at Boston, landing troops at Boca del Toro, Colombia, 17 to 19 April 1902. Attached to the Caribbean Patrol Squadron 4 October, the gunboat remained in Latin American waters until 8 January 1903 when she was assigned to the European Squadron and sailed on the 12th from San Juan, P.R., for the Mediterranean. Steaming via Bermuda, the Azores, and Gibraltar, she arrived off the Riviera in late March and remained there on patrol until sailing in mid‑May for a trip to northern Europe, visiting Southampton, England, and transiting the Kiel Canal, returning to the Mediterranean 30 June. From 21 November to 18 January 1904 the ship made a good will visit to Djibouti, Abyssinia, and then, 1 March, was detached from the European Squadron and sailed for home, arriving Pensacola on the 26th. She decommissioned there 14 May and remained there until assigned to the Connecticut Naval Militia 19 November 1907.

Machias departed Pensacola 17 January 1908 for New York and following refit was turned over to the Connecticut Naval Militia 27 June. Based at New Haven, the gunboat continued on this duty, making a cruise once a year off New England until withdrawn 25 April 1914 and taken to New York where she once again was placed in fall commission on the 27th. Assigned to the Special Service Squadron, the warship sailed 17 May for the Caribbean, patrolling off the Dominican Republic and Haiti through the end of 1914 when she was placed in reserve at New York 1 February 1915.

Reactivated 1 April, the gunboat sailed for Mexico, arriving Vera Cruz 14 June as part of the fleet protecting American lives and property during a revolution. Returning to Mobile and New Orleans for repairs from October 1915 to February 1916, she returned to Mexico and evacuated a number of Americans from Tuxpan because of disturbances there, and took them to Tampico. The ship continued her operations in the Caribbean, basing out of New Orleans and patrolling off Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the Danish West Indies, the latter on patrol protecting American neutrality, until U.S. entry into World War I in April 1917.

Machias departed New Orleans 22 July for Gibraltar, steaming via Key West, Bermuda, and the Azores, arriving Gibraltar 22 August. Assigned to the patrol force in European waters, she operated out of Gibraltar on antisubmarine patrol through July 1918, and was then ordered home, departing for New London 20 August and then sailing to Charleston where she refitted. The veteran gunboat departed Charleston in April 1919 for the Pacific, transiting the Panama Canal and operating along the west coast of Central America until 27 August when she arrived Mare Island Navy Yard for inactivation.

Machias decommissioned there 3 October 1919 and 1 year later was sold, 29 October 1920, to the Mexican Navy. Renamed Agua Prieta, the old gunboat served as a transport and coast guard ship along the west coast of Mexico for the next 15 years, and was finally disposed of by the Mexican Navy in late 1935.


Machias (PF‑72) was laid down 1 April 1943 as PG‑180 under Maritime Commission contract by Walsh Kaiser Co., Providence, R.I. Reclassified PF‑72 on 15 April 1943, she was named Machias 5 May. Designated for transfer to England under lend lease 10 June 1943, the name Machias was canceled the next day and reasigned to another patrol frigate, PF‑53. Renamed Hallowell by the Royal Navy, she was launched 14 July 1943 as Anguilla with Mrs. John S. Macdonald as sponsor. Formally transferred to the Royal Navy 15 October 1943, she was commissioned on the same date as HMS Anguilla (K‑500). She served with the Royal Navy until returned to the U.S. Navy at New York 31 May 1946. Struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register, she was sold to Pro‑Industry Products, Inc., New York, 8 May 1947. She was later resold to the Sociedad de Navigacion Levante, S.A., Panama for scrapping.

Published: Mon Feb 29 15:43:03 EST 2016