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USS LIGHTNING

CLASS - Lightning As Built.
Displacement: 3.45 long tons
Length: 58 ft overall
Beam: 6 ft 3 in
Draft: 1 ft 10 in
Propulsion: coal-fired water tube boiler; direct acting reciprocating engine; 38 ihp
Performance: 17.5 kts designed; 20 kts trials
Armament: 2 x spar torpedoes.
Complement: Unknown.

Operational and Building Data
In 1876, the Bureau of Naval Ordnance ordered Steam Launch No. 6, a high-speed wooden double-ender from the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, to be built for $5,000. Lightining’s coil boiler delivered performance that proved a revelation. Her partially-decked 58-foot hull was so well built and so light that she made 20 knots on trials and could be stopped within her own length while moving at her design speed of 17˝ knots. Lighting proved a fine test bed, capable of carrying two spar torpedoes. She spent much of her career attached to the Torpedo Station, and was superseded only when it needed something large enough to carry a self-propelled torpedo. For that, it aquired Stiletto.

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Intrepid 40kUndated, at the Torpedo Station, Goat Island, Newport, RI. Coutesy of the Herreshoff Museum.Robert Hurst
Intrepid 164kUndated, an illustration of Ericcson's Destroyer as shown on a period advertising card.Robert Hurst
Intrepid 113kBow view of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co.'s SPAR torpedo boat Lightning (Steam Launch No. 6), launched May 1876, and the first torpedo boat purchased by the U.S. Navy. The Lightning is on a wooden cradle in front of an unidentified building, believed to be located at the Naval Torpedo Station, on Goat Island, in Newport, Rhode Island. Source: John Palmieri, Curator Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame.Robert Hurst

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website


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