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Machigonne (S.P. 1043)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time of her acquisition.

(S.P. 1043: tonnage 425 (gross); length 136'6"; beam 29'0"; draft 8'6" (mean); speed 12.0 knots; complement 34; armament 2 1‑pounders)

\The steel-hulled, single-screw passenger steamer Dida) was built by Neafie, Levy & Co., Phlladelphia, Pa., in 1907. She was operated by the Casco Bay & Harpswell Line until acquired in 1913 when she was acquired by the Boston, Nahant & Pines Steamship Co,.,and renamed Machigonne, which operated her until she was chartered by the Navy on 2 October 1917 for section patrol and supply duties. Given the identification number S.P. 1043, she was commissioned on 15 May 1918 to transport men and supplies between Boston, Mass., and the Bumpkin Island Training Station during the Great War [World War I].

The Boston, Nahant & Pines Steamboat Co. re-acquired Machigonne on 29 May 1919. She changed hands over the ensuing years, retaining the name Machigonne when bought by John E.Moore & Co., of New York, in 1921, then later the same year when the U.S. Immigration Service acquired her for service as an Ellis Island ferry. Capt. Daniel F. McAlister purchased the ship in 1929, first renaming her Hook Mountain, then earmarking her for service as a tour boat to take people out to the Statue of Liberty. A decade later, in 1939, she was sold to  H. Reynolds Palmer and Raymond H. Abell of Gales Ferry, Conn., and renamed Block Island.

The acquisition of auxiliary ships given the U.S. Navy's expansion in the light of looming involvement in global hostilities resulted in Block Island being acquired by that service on 24 February 1941. Classified as a ferryboat, YFB-20, she was renamed League Island and placed in service on 7 March 1941. Assigned to the Fourth Naval District, League Island served as a ferry between the Philadelphia (Pa.) Navy Yard and National Park, N.J., during World War II. Ultimately placed out of service on 6 June 1946, a little over a year after the cessation of hostilities in the Atlantic and European Theaters, the ship was turned over to the War Shipping Administration for disposal.

Renamed Yankee in 1947, the former Navy ferry was laid-up at Montville, Conn., in 1983. She was sold in 1990, however, to a Jim Gallagher, of New York, who began restoring the vessel. Sold in 2003 to Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, the ship was moved to Pier 25, Hoboken, N.J., to continue the renovation that had been started years before. That process having been completed, Yankee,  moored at South Red Hook, Brooklyn, N.Y. is on the National Register of Historic Places, having been added to it in 1992.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

11 January 2022

Published: Wed May 04 12:40:55 EDT 2022