Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Stiletto
(Wooden torpedo boat-1: dp. 31; 1. 94'; b. 11'6"; dr. 5'; s. 18.2 k.; cpl. 6)

A small dagger with a slender, tapering blade.

Stiletto, a wooden torpedo boat, was launched in 1885 at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Bristol, R.I., as a private speculation; purchased for the United States Navy under an Act of Congress dated 3 March 1887; and entered service in July 1887, attached to the Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I.

Stiletto was the Navy's first torpedo boat capable of launching self-propelled torpedoes. Purchased for experimental evaluation, Stiletto was based throughout her career at Newport, R.I. During 1897, she was modified to burn fuel oil, but results of trials held subsequently were disappointing, and the experiment was not repeated. Stiletto was struck from the Navy list on 27 January 1911 and sold on 18 July 1911 at Newport, R.I., to James F. Nolan of East Boston, Mass., for scrapping.