USS Vitess

Navyhistory.com
ABOUT US
History of Ships and Navies
Contact US
Navy Links

Ê

Other Sites
HistoryShopping.com
Navalshopping.com
Historycentral.com
America's Wars
Revolutionary War
War of 1812
Civil War
World War II
Ê US Aircraft of WW2
Vietnam War
Presidential Elections
NationbyNation.com
Multieducator Products

Vitess

Mug Windbreaker
Plaque Cap
Polo Shirt Sweatshirt
Vitess

(MB: t. 18 (gross); 1. 60'0"; b. 10'0"- dr. 3'0"
(mean); s. 22.0 k.; cpl. 7; a. 1 3-pdr., 1 Colt mg.)

Vitesse-a wooden-hulled motorboat built in 1917 at Greenport, Long Island, N.Y., by the Greenport Basin and Construction Co.—was acquired by the Navy in July l9l7 from Charles Fry under a free lease. Assigned the designation SP-1192, Vitesse was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 18 July 1917, Machinist's Mate Second Class Charles Fry USNRF, in temporary command. Eleven days later, on 29 July, Lt. (jg.) E. C. Sweeney, USNRF, assumed command.

Over the next few weeks, Vitesse remained in the Philadelphia area, fitting out. Her main battery, a single pedestal-mounted 3-pounder, was installed at the Essington Ship Building Co., Essington, Pa., on 3 August. Four days later, the boat received her secondary battery, a single Colt machine gun, and she took on ammunition at Fort Mifflin the following day Vitesse ultimately departed Philadelphia on the after noon of 9 August, carrying 1,000 hymm books for the chaplain at Cape May, N.J.—her assigned section base —as well as confidential publications for the commander of the harbor entrance patrol there.

Assigned to the 4th Naval District's harbor entrance patrol at the outset of her naval career, Vitesse performed her initial duty out of Sewall's Point and Cape May. She patrolled assigned sectors, usually off net defenses, speaking to and identifying passing naval and merchant vessels. In addition, she occasionally carried dispatches to other boats on patrol and stood by, ready to assist other nearby small craft in need of aid.

Vitesse escorted the yacht Aloha (SP-317), the flagship for Rear Admiral Cameron McR. Winslow, Inspector of Naval Districts, Atlantic Coast, when Admiral Winslow inspected the wreck of the steamer SS Herbert Pratt off Lewes, Del., on 4 and 5 June 1918. Later, on 30 September 1918, while operating temporarily out of the Corinthian Yacht Club, near Philadelphia, Vitesse embarked Rear Admiral James M. Helm, Commandant of the 4th Naval District, and Rear Admiral Hugo Osterhaus, USN (Ret.), from the Office of Naval Districts, as they toured Philadelphia harbor on an inspection trip.

After a final stint of patrol operations out of Lewes Del., Vitesse departed that vicinity at 0606 on 21 November—13 days after the armistice and five days after the discontinuance of "military patrol" activities —and arrived at Fort Mifflin at 1600 to offload ammunition the same day. When that task was done, the motorboat proceeded on to pier 19, Philadelphia, arriving there at 1716 the same day. She remained there until decommissioned on 3 December 1918. Struck from the Navy list the following day, Vitesse was simultaneously returned to her owner.
hjk