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USS Spitfire (III)

  • Built, date and location unknown
  • Purchased at Baltimore between October and December 1814
  • Assigned to the "flying squadron," commanded by COMO. David Porter, slated to cruise the West Indies to wage war on British commerce
  • However, the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent on 18 February 1815 terminated hostilities before the squadron could get to sea
  • Five days after hostilities with Great Britain ceased the United States declared war on Algeria
  • A squadron under the command of CAPT. Stephen Decatur, in Guerriere, set sail from New York on 20 May, bound for the Mediterranean
  • Spitfire with Epervier, Torch, and Spark ran the 22-gun brig Estedio aground a Cape Palos
  • The Americans took possession of the enemy brig and 83 prisoners.
  • Spitfire then sailed with the squadron to Algiers where its presence forced the Dey to agree to American terms
  • The squadron then sailed in turn to Tunis and Tripoli and successfully demanded indemnities for violations of treaties with the United States during the recent American war with England
  • Spitfire returned home to the United States and was sold 3 April 1816
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 286 t.
    Length 106'
    Beam 25' 6"
    Draft unknown
    Depth of Hold 11' 9"
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    eight 18-pdr carronades
    one long 18-pdr
    two long 9-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Guerriere 111k COMO.. Stephen Decatur squadron off Algiers comprised of the frigates;
    USF Guerriere, the flagship with 44 guns, commanded by Captain William Lewis,
    USF Constellation with 36 guns, commanded by Captain Charles Gordon;
    USF Macedonia with 38 guns, under the command of Captain Jacob Jones;
    the sloops-of-war USS Eperyie, commanded by Captain John Downes,
    and USS Ontario with 16 guns, commanded by Captain Jesse D. Elliott;
    the brigs USS Firefly,
    USS Spark and
    USS Flambeau, each with 14 guns, commanded by Lieutenants George W. Kodgers, Thomas Gamble, and John B. Nicholson;
    and the schooners USS Torch
    and USS Spitfire, both with 12 guns, commanded by Lieutenants Wolcott Chauncey and Alexander J. Dallas.
    Gardner Weld Allen (1856-1944) - "Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs".
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Spitfire (III)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 31 July 2015