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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Grampus (I)

  • Laid down in 1820 at Washington Navy Yard
  • Launched in early August 1821
  • Commissioned USS Grampus in 1821, LT. F. H. Gregory in command
  • Grampus departed Washington for the West Indies in pursuit of pirates
  • In the company of USS Hornet, USS Enterprise, USS Spark, USS Porpoise, and USS Shark, Grampus helped convoy merchant vessels in the region into 1822
  • On 16 August 1822, Grampus gave chase to the brig Palmyra flying Spanish colors but suspected of being a pirate. When called upon to surrender the brig replied with cannon and musket fire. Grampus answered in turn, firing broadsides that reduced Palmyra's rigging to a complete wreck, killing one and wounding six, the brig struck shortly thereafter
  • Grampus shifted operations to Thompson's Island (later Key West) in 1823, continuing patrol and anti-piracy operations for ships sailing in the West Indies
  • She took part in the landings in Puerto Rico in 1824, where the U.S. received an apology from the Spanish for firing on schooner Fox in March 1823
  • Grampus continued her duties in the protection of shipping in the Caribbean Sea and in the South Atlantic Ocean for almost two more decades
  • Between 1840-41, Grampus sailed on the Africa Station, conducting anti-slavery patrols until detached from the African Squadron
  • Grampus was assigned to the Home Squadron at Norfolk, Va., 23 January 1843
  • Final Disposition, lost at sea in March 1843, presumably after having foundered in a gale off Charleston, S.C.
    Displacement 171.5 t.
    Length 97'
    Beam 23'6"
    Depth of Hold 9'6"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 64
    Armament 12 guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Grampus (I) 19k Washington Navy Yard sketch of the hull plan for schooner USS Grampus (I) Robert Hurst
    Grampus (I) 209k USS Hornet (III), (1805-1829) at top, and USS Grampus (I) (1821-1843) at bottom. Sketches of hulls and rigging (with the latter out of scale to the hulls), by William A.K. Martin, circa 1843 or later. Both vessels, which were lost at sea with all hands, are depicted flying their National Ensigns upside down, a sign of distress.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 86236
    Robert Hurst
    John Adams 250k "Fajardo Incident".
    An oil painting by RADM. John W. Schmidt showing frigate USS John Adams and schooners USS Grampus and USS Beagle off the east coast of Puerto Rico, 14 November 1824.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 123338
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Grampus (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 21 April 2017