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Yale I (Str)

(Str: dp. 10,669 (gross); l. 527'6"; b. 63'2"; dr. 23' (mean); s. 21.8 k.; cpl. 436; a. 4 6-pdrs., 4 3-pdrs.)


SS Paris, a steamship built in 1888 and 1889 by J. & G. Thompson at Glasgow, Scotland, was acquired by the Navy on 27 April 1898 under charter from the International Navigation Co.; renamed Yale; and commissioned on 2 May 1898, Capt. W. C. Wise in command.

That same day, she put to sea from New York bound for Puerto Rico to patrol and help locate Admiral Cervera's Spanish fleet. On 8 May, two days after her arrival off Puerto Rico, Yale encountered and captured the Spanish cargo ship Rita, installed a prize crew in her, and sent her into Charleston, S.C.

The following day, she had another brief encounter with the enemy off San Juan when a Spanish armed transport came out and fired a few shots. Yale, possessing armament greatly inferior to the enemy ship, was forced to retire from the scene. She returned to San Juan the following day, and a shore battery fired two poorly aimed shots at her, both of which fell far short.

Pursuant to her orders, Yale patrolled off Puerto Rico until 13 May at which time she cleared the area for St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) to telegraph her report to Washington. She returned briefly to Puerto Rico on 16 and 17 May, then headed for Cape Haitien, Haiti, in company with St. Paul. She remained at Cape Haitien until 21 May, then headed for waters off Santiago de Cuba where the Spanish fleet had been discovered. Yale remained there while the United States fleet assembled off Santiago to blockade Cervera's ships in that port. On the 28th, she quit the area; stopped briefly at Port Antonio, Jamaica; and then set a course for Newport News, Va. The ship spent 20 days at Newport News, heading back to Cuba on 23 June. She arrived off Santiago on 27 June but remained there only two days. On the 29th, she got underway for Key West, Fla., stopping there overnight on 3 and 4 July before continuing on to Charleston. Yale returned to Santiago on 11 July and remained in Cuban waters until the 17th. After a stop at Guanica, Puerto Rico, she set a course for New York on 26 July. She spent most of the first two weeks of August in New York and returned to Cuba on the 15th. Remaining only briefly, she embarked troops for the return voyage to New York.

Yale arrived back in New York on 23 August and remained there until decommissioned on 2 September 1898. Though returned to her owners after decommissioning, Yale was not struck from the Navy list until 3 July 1899. She returned to merchant service, first under the name SS City of Paris and later as SS Philadelphia, and operated out of New York until the mid-1920's, at which time all reference to her in merchant registers ceased.

Published: Wed Nov 04 15:27:46 EST 2015