Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Remlick (S. P. 157)

(SP-157: displacement 600; length 200-; beam 23-; draft 13-6-; speed 14 knots; complement 62; armament 2 3-, 2 machine guns)

Remlick (S. P. 157), ex-Candace, was built by Cook, Walton, and Gimmell, Hull, England in 1903; purchased by the Navy from her owner, Willis S. Kilmer, Binghamton, N.Y., 1 June 1917; delivered 10 June 1917; converted for use as a patrol boat and commissioned 11 July 1917, Lt. Comdr. I. C. Johnson in command.

Following commissioning, the converted steam yacht got underway for France, where, in late summer, she assumed antisubmarine patrol and coastal escort duties in the Bay of Biscay. Originally with the 2d Patrol Division, and later with the 8th, Remlick was on patrol duty on the morning of 17 December when she found herself fighting a storm, stalking a submarine, and endangered by one of her own depth charges.

The submarine, sighted off the starboard beam, submerged before the guncrews could fire. The U-boat's periscope reappeared three times, but the extremely rough weather precluded the use of her torpedoes and she finally disappeared. Remlick, although prohibited from using her depth charges by her speed, only 2 knots against the gale, remained in the area in hopes her quarry would reappear.

Shortly thereafter, the depth charge box on Remlick's taffrail aft was washed overboard. Its depth charge, however, fell inboard, lost its safety pin, and began rolling around on deck.

In the ensuing minutes, John Mackenzie, BMC, ran down the deck and, despite the rolling and pitching of the vessel, got a firm grip on the cylinder; put it on end; then, sat on it to hold it in place until others could lash it down. Mackenzie was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Remlick continued her patrols and escorted ships along the French coast through the remainder of World War I. After the end of hostilities, she returned to the United States for inactivation. She was decommissioned at Norfolk 7 November 1919 and was sold to J. S. Webster, Baltimore, Md., 7 June 1920.

23 September 2005

Published: Tue Feb 16 09:24:48 EST 2016