(Minesweeper No. 23: dp. 840; 1. 187'10"; b. 35'6"; dr. 10'3-"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 85; a. 2 3"; cl. Lapwing)
Any of several small, short-necked, river ducks common to Europe and America.
Teal (Minesweeper No. 23) was laid down on 8 October 1917 at Chester, Pa., by the Sun Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 25 May 1918; sponsored by Miss Agnes M. Haig; and commissioned on 20 August 1918 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Lt. (jg.) Frederick Meyer in command.
Through the end of World War I and into the spring of 1919, Teal served in the 4th Naval District patrolling off the shores of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. On 20 April 1919, the minesweeper reported for duty with the North Sea Minesweeping Detachment. As a unit of Mine Division 2, she labored to clear the North Sea Mine Barrage and remained in European waters until the task had been completed late in the fall of 1919.
Upon her return to the United States toward the end of November, Teal was modified for service as an auxiliary aircraft tender. Although not officially designated a "minesweeper for duty with aircraft" until 30 April 1931, she nevertheless served in this capacity throughout the 1920's and into the 30's. Operating out of Norfolk, Va., from the Caribbean in the south to Narragansett Bay in the north, Teal supported operations with the air squadrons of the Scouting Fleet. Frequently in company with Wright (AV-1) and Sandpiper (AM-51), and later with Lapwing (AM-1), she visited the Panama Canal Zone where she serviced the squadrons based at Coco Solo. Her normal schedule alternated winter maneuvers in the Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico area with summer training along the New England coast.
By the mid-1930's, Teal's home port was Coco Solo, whence she operated with Patrol Wing (PatWing) 4. Teal was redesignated a small seaplane tender, AVP-5, effective on 22 January 1936. On 18 October of the following year, she and PatWing 4 were reassigned to Seattle, Wash. For almost five years, Teal operated throughout the Aleutians chain in support of PatWing 4 operations.
Soon after the opening of hostilities between the United States and Japan, Teal moved south to the California coast. In January 1942, the small seaplane tender was assigned to the Pacific Southern Naval Coastal Frontier, the short-lived forerunner of the Western Sea Frontier, but she remained administratively under the commander of the Scouting Force aircraft. She tended the planes of PatWing 8 until March. In July, Teal returned to Seattle and duty with PatWing 4 in the Pacific northwest and Alaska areas. Until the end of the war, the small seaplane tender plowed the icy seas between the Aleutian Islands and along the Alaskan coast. She continued to support flying patrol boats; but the drain of warships from the Alaskan theater to other, more active areas frequently required her to be pressed into service as an escort and sometimes as a resupply transport.
Shortly after the cessation of hostilities on 23 November 1945, Teal was decommissioned at Seattle; and her name was struck from the Navy list on 5 December 1945. On 19 January 1948, she was delivered to the Maritime Commission at Port Nordland, Wash., and simultaneously sold to Mr. Murray E. Baker.