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This Month in Naval History


Former name retained.

(Sch: t. 150; dr. 7'6"; cpl. 89; a. 2 9-pdr., 6 24-pdr. car. )

Flirt was built in 1839 by the War Department at Baltimore; transferred to. the Navy in November 1839; and first put to sea 15 December 1839, Lieutenant J. T. McLaughlin in command.

Flirt departed Baltimore 15 December 1839 as flagship for a small squadron of schooners commanded by her captain, which based at Key West for operations along the coast of Florida during the suppression of Indian uprisings. The force prevented the Indians from receiving ammunition and supplies from Cuba and Bermuda, and organized expeditions into the Everglades to protect settlers' lives and property. With the squadron dissolved in 1842, Flirt was ordered north, arriving in Hampton Roads 19 July.

From August to November 1842, Flirt lay in ordinary at Norfolk VA., then served as receiving ship at Charleston, S.C. until April 1843, when she was fitted out for service as a despatch ship. Baged at Norfolk, Flirt carried passengers and mail destined for the Pacific Squadron to Panama, and touched at many ports in the Gulf of Mexico to transfer men and supplies. During the Mexican War of 1846 and 1847 she continued carrying despatches for the Pacific Squadron to Punamu, as well as transporting mail and supplies between New Orleans and Galveston for the forces in Texas, and occasionally blockading Mexican ports.

From 1847 to 1850, Flirt based at Key West for patrol duty in the Gulf of Mexico, and on 18 October 1850, she arrived at Charleston, where she was decommissioned 29 November 1860 and subsequently sold.


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