U.S.S. Farragut (1898)

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U.S.S. Farragut (1898)
Hull Number: TB-11
Builder: Union Iron Works
Ordered: Act of 10 June, 1896[1]
Laid down: 23 July, 1897[2]
Launched: 16 July, 1898[3]
Commissioned: 5 July, 1899[4]
Decommissioned: 13 March, 1919[5]
Stricken: May, 1919[6]
Sold: 9 Septemper, 1919[7]
Fate: Broken up
U.S.S. Farragut was a torpedo boat built for the U.S. Navy.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Farragut was laid down on 23 July, 1897 by Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California. She was launched on 16 July, 1898, sponsored by Elizabeth Ashe, niece of the ship's namesake, Civil War naval hero Admiral David G. Farragut.


Farragut was commissioned on 22 March, 1899, with Lieutenant Commander Reginald F. Nicholson in command, but the new ship incurred a four month delay in her construction in order to obtain suitable engineering equipment "due to high rate of speed required, but not to inherent defects." Farragut carried out her final sea trials on 16 June 1899, and the Navy accepted her on 3 July.

Farragut carried out target and torpedo practice between Mare Island Navy Yard and Sausalito in San Francisco Bay, broken by occasional voyages southward to San Diego. She was decommissioned at Mare Island on 4 September, 1902, and placed in commission in reserve on 8 October 1904.

The torpedo boat was restored to full commission at Mare Island for duty with the Pacific Torpedo Fleet on 23 March, 1908, Lieutenant Martin K. Metcalf in command. She resumed her operations along the coast of California, and also participated in the Portland Rose Festival, Portland, Oregon. (30 May–10 June 1908). The ship trained off the west coast through the remainder of the year, and conducted target practice on 23 April, 1909. Farragut was placed in reserve at Mare Island on 17 September, 1909.

She then became involved in a debate concerning the proposed reorganization of the Navy to improve efficiency. Rear Admiral Washington L. Capps, Chief Constructor, Bureau of Construction and Repair, testified before the House Committee on Naval Affairs concerning delays and expenses incurred by ships undergoing maintenance, on 26 January, 1910. Capps explained that on 29 September, 1909, men working on Farragut discovered a defect in a drum in one of her boilers. The Inspector of Machinery recommended that the Bureau of Steam Engineering rivet the defective weld, but the bureau disapproved of this recommendation and directed the installation of a new drum. The Navy Yard did not possess the material, but the Naval Constructor-Manager recommended purchasing one from Union Iron Works, which had built Farragut and lay only 30 miles away. The ship subsequently accomplished her repairs, but the comparatively simple work escalated in cost and time.

Recommissioned at Mare Island on 10 May, 1911, Ensign Henry R. Keller in command, Farragut operated primarily with the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla in the San Francisco area, aside from a cruise to Bremerton, Washington from 15 July to 6 September. She was placed in First Reserve with the Reserve Torpedo Group at Mare Island on 1 June, 1912, and Ensign Claude S. Gillette relieved now-Lt. Keller as the commanding officer on 6 June.

Farragut was placed in ordinary with the Reserve Torpedo Division at Mare Island on 26 March, 1914, and then served as a training ship in the San Pedro Division of the California Naval Militia from 12 January, 1915 until 14 April, 1917.

World War I

Farragut was returned to full commission on 14 April, 1917. She sailed for the Panama Canal Zone on 11 July, 1917, and during the war patrolled both the Atlantic and Pacific entrances to the canal, and also carried troops and supplies in the Balboa area.

Renamed Coast Torpedo Boat No. 5 in accordance with General Order No. 408 of 1 August, 1918, she helped escort a convoy from Balboa on 30 December, 1918, but incurred problems that necessitated submarine tender Template:US-Beaver (Id. No. 2032) taking the warship in tow on 5 January, 1919. On 15 January, they reached San Pedro. Another vessel then towed Coast Torpedo Boat No. 5 to Mare Island, where they arrived on 18 January. Coast Torpedo Boat No. 5 was decommissioned at Mare Island on 13 March, 1919. She was sold on 9 September, 1919 for $27,219 to Rodeo-Valleo Ferry Co., Rodeo, California.


Dates of appointment are provided when known.


  • four 6-pounder guns
  • two single 18-in torpedo tubes

See Also


  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 157.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 157.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 157.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 157.
  5. Silverstone. The New Navy. p. 37.
  6. Silverstone. The New Navy. p. 37.
  7. Silverstone. The New Navy. p. 37.
  8. Register of Officers, 1900. p. 18.
  9. List and Station, July 1902. p. 13.
  10. Register of Officers, 1911. p. 46.
  11. Register of Officers, 1913. p. 50.
  12. Register of Officers, 1912. p. 48.
  13. "The Navy Gazette". Army and Navy Register. 31 January, 1914. Vol. LV, No. 1,750, p. 151.
  14. Register of Officers, 1916. p. 54.
  15. Register of Officers, 1917. p. 52.


  • Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. (on Amazon.com).
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). The U.S. Navy Warship Series: The New Navy 1883-1922. New York: Routledge.

Torpedo Boat U.S.S. Farragut
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