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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Jeannette


Steam Bark:
  • Laid down, 30 March 1860, at Pembroke Dockyard, Wales, as a Royal Navy gunboat
  • Launched, 7 February 1861
  • Commissioned, HMS Pandora in September 1861
  • Purchased by Sir Allan Yound for his Arctic voyages
  • Sold in 1878 to James Gordon Bennett, owner of the New York Herald, renamed Jeannette at Le Harve, Navy LT. George W. De Long placed in command
  • Outfitted at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. for Arctic exploration
  • Privately owned, subject to navy laws and discipline
  • Jeannette sailed from San Francisco, 8 July 1879
  • Caught fast in the ice pack near Herald Island after 4 September, drifting northwest toward the North Pole
  • Pressure from the ice pack began crushing Jeannette, 12 June 1881, all provisions and equipment unloaded onto the ice pack
  • Jeannette sank 13 June 1881
    From DANFS
    "The expedition now faced a long trek to the Siberian coast, with little hope even then of rescue. Nonetheless they started off for the Lena Delta hauling their boats and supplies. After reaching several small islands in the Siberian group and gaining some food and rest, they took to their boats 12 September in hope of reaching the mainland. As a violent storm blew up, one of the boats capsized and sank. The other two, commanded by DeLong and Chief Engineer George W. Melville, survived the severe weather but landed at widely separated points on the delta.
    The party headed by DeLong began the long march inland over the marshy, half-frozen delta to hoped-for native settlements, and one by one the men died from starvation and exposure. Finally DeLong sent the two strongest ahead for help; and, though they eventually found a settlement, DeLong and his companions died on the Siberian tundra.
    In the meantime, the intrepid Melville and his party had found a native village on the other side of the delta and were rescued. Melville then started for Belun, a Russian outpost, where he found the two survivors of DeLong's boat and induced a group of natives to go with him in search of his commander. He succeeded in finding their landing place on the Lena and recovered Jeannette's log and other important records, but returned to Belun 27 November without locating DeLong. Keeping only two of his party, Melville then turned northward once more, and finally found the bodies of DeLong and his two companions 23 March 1882. He built a large cairn over the grave of his friends, a monument which has been reproduced in granite and marble at the United States Naval Academy.
    Before leaving Siberia, Melville made an attempt to find the remains of Jeannette's third boat, even though the chance of survivors was slim. He returned disappointed to Irkutsk, the capital of Siberia, 5 July 1882, almost 3 years since his departure from San Francisco in Jeannette. The results of the expedition, both meteorological and geographic, were important. Melville was rightly honored for his courage and tenacity, and the name of George Washington DeLong is enshrined forever among the ranks of the Navy's explorer heroes."

    Specifications (General Characteristics (as RN wooden screw gun vessel):
    Displacement 460 t.
    Length 145'
    Beam 25' 4"
    Draft 13'
    Speed 9.5 kts
    Complement 60
    Armament
    one 68-pdr muzzle-loading smooth-bore gun
    two 24-pdr howitzers
    two x 20-pdr breech-loading guns
    Sail Plan As designed: Schooner (or gunboat) rig
    Machinery
    single 2-cyl. horizontal single-expansion steam engine; 325 IHP
    single screw

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    Size Image Description Source
    Jeannette 127k HMS Pandora (later Jeannette) under sail.
    Image by T.C.D. Thompson. Courtesy of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, England.
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 689k The steam yacht Jeannette at Le Havre, France, in 1878, prior to her departure for San Francisco, CA. She is flying the US Yacht Ensign.
    Photo presented to Rear Admiral Yancy S. Williams, 20 January 1936 by Frank Breen Haggerty, who served at the Mare Island Navy Yard from September 1874 to 30 September 1909.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52199.
    Darryl Baker
    Jeannette 120k Engraving of Jeannette under sail and steam, with title page text, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92123.
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 124k Engraving of Jeannette underway in San Francisco Bay, circa 8 July 1879. Note that she is depicted flying the U.S. Yacht Ensign.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52004.
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 226k Engraving of Jeannette from a sketch by H.A. Ogden, depicting the ship leaving San Francisco on 8 July 1879 to begin her Arctic expedition
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52003.
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 136k Jeannette in the harbor at Ounalaska (Unalaska) Island, Alaska, while she was en route to the Arctic, August 1879. Note the kayak underway in the right foreground. From "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume I, page 84, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 92112
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 156k Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume I, page 117, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts Jeannette entering the Arctic Ice, near Herald Island (about 72N, 175W), on 6 September 1879.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 52001
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 151k Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 575, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts Jeannette after she was crushed by ice flows north of Siberia on 12 June 1881. She sank in the morning of 13 June in position 77 14'57" N, 154 58'45"E.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 52000
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 115k Sketch by LCDR. DeLong of Jeannette stuck and sinking in the ice in June 1881.
    US Navy photo from the "Neal Family Reunion".
    Tommy Trampp
    Jeannette 134k Composite photograph of Jeanette and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center):
    LCDR. George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer;
    Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN;
    Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN;
    Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer;
    William Dunbar, Pilot;
    Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the "New York Herald";
    LT. John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and
    LT. Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52007 Donation of CAPT.n T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934.
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 68k Jeannette sail plan as fitted for her Arctic exploring expedition. From "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 510, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 92125
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 205k Jeannette spar deck, berth deck and hold plans, as fitted for her Arctic exploring expedition. From "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 511, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 92126
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 126k Jeannette hull cross section, through coal bunkers and fire room, showing the heavy bracing added to suit the ship for navigation in the Arctic ice. From "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume I, page 59, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.
    US Naval Historical Center Photo # NH 92106
    Robert Hurst
    Jeannette 1466k Front and reverse side of a Chest-Field advertisement card. Using an illustration of Jeannette under way in the Arctic ice.
    Courtesy of Mike Rhode.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Jeannette
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 7 April 2017