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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Thetis (I)


Auxiliary Steamer:
  • Built in 1881 as a three-masted, wooden-hulled steam whaler, at Dundee, Scotland, by Alexander Stephen & Sons
  • Acquired by the Navy, 2 February 1884, to relieve the polar exploration party under the command of LT. Adolphus W. Greely, U.S.A.
  • Commissioned USS Thetis, 2 February 1884, LT. L. L. Reamey in command
  • USS Thetis, departed New York, 1 May 1884, CDR. Winfield Scott Schley in command for Upernavik, Greenland
  • Thetis departed Upernavik, 29 May 1884 in company with USS Bear
  • Thetis and Bear found LT Greely with six of the original 26 members of his party near Cape Sabine, Canada
  • Decommissioned and laid up in reserve at New York, 26 November 1884
  • Recommissioned, 15 January 1887, LT. William H. Emory Jr., in command
  • Fitted out as a gunboat in preparation for a cruise around South America
  • USS Thetis arrived at Mare Island Navy Yard for voyage repairs, 13 October and departed for Alaskan waters, 16 November 1887
  • Between January 1888 and July 1890 USS Thetis was engaged in survey work in Alaskan waters with intermittent voyages to Mare Island for voyage repairs
  • USS Thetis sailed for Central America in July 1890 to protect American lives during the Guatemalan revolution, returning to Mare Island, 29 October 1890
  • USS Thetis was re-employed in survey work in Alaska and Baja California from 1890 until she was placed in ordinary in July 1897
  • In 1899 ex-USS Thetis was transferred the Revenue Cutter Service and commissioned USRC Thetis
  • Decommissioned by the Revenue Cutter Service, 30 April 1916, after a long career policing Alaskan waters
  • Sold, 3 June 1916, to W. & S. Job & Co., New York, converted to a sealer operating out of Newfoundland until 1950
  • Final Disposition, hulk purposely grounded off St. Johns and remained there until broke up.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,250 t.
    Length 188' 6"
    Beam 29'
    Depth unknown
    Draft 17' 10"
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament
    one howitzer
    Propulsion steam and sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Thetis 27k USS Thetis (center) and USS Bear (left), hampered by ice during their search for the Greely expedition, 1884.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Thetis 100k Starboard bow view of USS Thetis sometime between 1884 and 1897 anchored at an unknown location.
    US Library of Congress photo # LC-D4-21020
    Mike Green
    Thetis 510k USS Thetis in a floating drydock at Mare Island Navy Yard in either 1887 or 1888.
    US Navy photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Monongahela 656k Mare Island Navy Yard, September-October 1889. Ships present:
    USS Monongahela, outboard of,
    USS Monadnock (under construction),
    USS Albatross,
    USC&GS Carlisle P. Patterson,
    USS Charleston (C-2) (being outfitted),
    Floating dry dock and
    USS Independence (Receiving Ship)
    Ships in the channel (left to right)
    USS Alert and
    USS Thetis.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker and Robb Johnson
    Thetis 159k USS Thetis at Mare Island Navy Yard around the time she was placed in ordinary there in July 1897 following her survey of Baja California between 1893 and 1897. Note USS Hartford is in the early stages of reconstruction behind her.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 71759
    Mike Green

    USS Thetis (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 17 May 2013