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Gunboat Photo Archive

Petrel (PG 2)
ex-Gunboat No. 2

Call sign (1919):
George - Rush - Cast - Mike

Call sign (1909):
Nan - Oboe - Zed

Petrel Class Gunboat:

  • The third Petrel was laid down 27 August 1887 by the Columbian Iron Works and Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD
  • Launched 13 October 1888
  • Accepted 15 October 1889
  • Commissioned 10 December 1889
  • Decommissioned 31 March 1901 at Cavite, Philippine Islands
  • Recommissioned 19 October 1903
  • Decommissioned 12 May 1905
  • Recommissioned 9 May 1910
    1911 Ships' Data, U.S. Naval vessels records 2 May 1910 as recommissioning date
  • Designated PG-2 in 1918
  • Decommissioned 15 July 1919 at New Orleans, LA
  • Struck from the Navy list 16 April 1920
  • Sold 1 November 1920 to Snare and Treest of New York
    1920 Ships' Data, U.S. Naval Vessels lists sold date as 7 September 1920
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 867 t.
  • Length 188'
  • Beam 31'
  • Draft 11'
  • Speed 11.4 kts.
  • Complement 122
    1910 - 138
    1914 - 142
  • Armament: Four 6" Breech-loading Rifles, two 3-pounders, one 1-pounder rapid fire gun, two Hotchkiss revolving cannons and two Gatling guns
    1905 - Four 6" mounts, two 3-pounders, two 1-pounders and two .30 cal. machine guns
    1911 - Four 4"/40 rapid fire mounts, two 3-pounder rapid fire mounts and two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts
  • 1918 - Four 4"/50 mounts and two 3-pounders
  • Propulsion: Two single ended cylindrical boilers, one 1,045ihp horizontal compound engine, one shaft
    1914 - Four single ended cylindrical boilers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Petrel 135k Geff Adams
    Petrel 140k Oil on canvas by Francis Muller
    Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    Donation of Commodore J.H. Hellweg. Navy Art Accession No.: 51-027-A
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 88068-KN
    Robert Hurst
    Petrel 75k
    Petrel 165k Photographed with a "pinhole" camera
    From the collection of Raymond Strout
    Jonathan Eno
    Petrel 187k
    Petrel 351k Daniel Ditsch
    Petrel 209k Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Petrel 558k Original photo: "Life and Heroic Deeds of Admiral Dewey: Including Battles of the Philippines" Globe Bible Publishing Co., Philadelphia 1899
    Replacement photo: Photo from The American Navy; Belford, Middlebrook and Co., Chicago - 1898
    Second replacement photo: Port side view of USS Petrel (Gunboat No. 2) at anchor, circa 1891
    Department of the Navy photo. Bureau of Construction and Repair
    National Archives photo
    Original photo: John Kohnen
    Replacement photo: Thomas Becher
    Second replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Petrel 400k Our New Navy, 1892: From left to right and top to bottom: Concord (PG-3); monitor Miantonomah(BM-5); cruiser Philadelphia (C-4); armored cruiser New York (CA-2); cruiser Pirate; cruiser Atlanta: cruiser Boston; cruiser Newark (C-1); dynamite cruiser Vesuvius; dispatch boat Dolphin (PG-24); flagship Chicago; cruiser Baltimore (C-3); gunboat Yorktown (PG 1); flagship San Francisco (C-5); coastline battleship Massachusetts (BB-2), Indiana (BB-1) and Oregon (BB-3); gunboat Petrel (PG-2); torpedo boat Cushing (TB-1); and cruiser Charleston (C-2)
    Photo by Edward H.Hart from the Library of Congress
    Michael Mohl
    Petrel 83k Photo from 1892 G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Washington, D.C. Encampment Fold Out Book "Our Navy" of U.S. Ships Tommy Trampp
    Petrel 220k Line drawing from Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Vol. 1, 1893. Collection of Robb Jensen Robb Jensen
    Petrel 93k Photographed during the 1890s
    U.S. Navy photo NH 44477
    Naval Historical Center
    Petrel 200k 16 December 1896 (10:00 am)
    Mare Island Navy Yard
    U.S. Navy photo PG 2 12181896
    Darryl Baker
    Petrel 344k Petrel, a 4th grade gunboat. In April 1898, Petrel became part of Adm. George Dewey's fleet in the campaign against Manila during the Spanish American War. Naval History and Heritage Command photo archives staff members are scanning a wooden box containing approximately 150 glass plate photographs depicting scenes from the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo
    Robert M. Cieri
    Petrel 110k Franz A. Itrich, Chief Carpenter's Mate, USN, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898. He was then serving aboard USS Petrel
    Halftone image published in Deeds of Valor, Vol.II, page 353, by the Perrien-Keydel Co., Detroit, Michigan, 1907
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 79947
    Robert Hurst
    Petrel 122k Halftone reproduction of an artwork by E.T. Smith, 1901, depicting a boat party from USS Petrel setting fire to Spanish gunboats near the battle's end. The party was under the direction of Chief Carpenter's Mate Franz A. Itrich, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for this operation
    Copied from Deeds of Valor, Vol.II, page 354, published by the Perrien-Keydel Co., Detroit, Michigan, 1907
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 79948
    Petrel 98k At Hong Kong, 15 April 1898, shortly before the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Note crewmen aloft watching the rowing launches racing past in the foreground, also shipping and Chinese junks in the distance
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation
    Collection of Admiral Montgomery M. Taylor
    U.S. Navy photo NH 42707
    Naval Historical Center
    Petrel 122k Photograph of a contemporary artwork, depicting Petrel in action during the Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898
    Courtesy of Mr. L.Y. Spear, Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT, 1948
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NR&L(O) 18226
    Robert Hurst
    Petrel 209k Here is a unique photo of Petrel with a headgear (bowsprit) circa 1902 in Mare Island Channel. There is no history of Petrel with a bowsprit, but it is Petrel. Her hull (less the gun sponsons) matchs up well with USRC McCulloch, but stack and pilot house indicate Petrel Darryl Baker
    Photos added 7 April 2022
    Petrel 301k In Mare Islandís dry dock No. 1 between 17 and 19 November 1902. USS Lawton (ex-Badger) is to the left outside the dry dock and the USS Vigilant (YT 25) is berth at the dry dockís caisson
    U. S. Navy photo from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker>
    Petrel 394k On her commission date of 19 October 1903 at Mare Island. Note: 1904-1906 Secretary of the Navyís Annual Reports of the Navy Department lists Petrel commissioning date as 19 October 1903, decommissioned on 12 May 1905 and commissioned again 2 May 1910
    U. S. Navy photo from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Petrel 245k Moored at a buoy in the Mare Island Channel on 17 November 1903
    U. S. Navy photo from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Petrel 449k
    Petrel 255k At a buoy in November 1903, south of Mare Islandís dry dock
    U. S. Navy photo from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Vicksburg 91k Mare Island Navy Yard, California. An early U.S. Navy submarine (probably Grampus or Pike) underway off the yard, circa early 1905. Gunboats Petrel and Princeton are in the center background. At left are the decommissioned gunboats Annapolis and Vicksburg
    Courtesy of Ted Stone, 1986
    U.S. Navy photo NH 100915
    Naval Historical Center
    Petrel 138k c. 1916/1917
    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    View of the "new Naval Station" buildings and wharf, looking south-east. Station ship Petrel is at left. In left center is Water Barge No. 14 (YW-14)
    Photo by Tolderlund. Courtesy of Carter Rila, 1986
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 100937
    Mike Green
    Petrel 222k c. 1917
    Post Card
    Original photo: Richard Cleaveland
    Replacement photo: Tommy Trampp
    Petrel 105k c. 1917/1918
    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    Leftmost section (of six) of a panoramic photograph taken from the Naval Station radio tower. Ship at the dock is Petrel, which was then the Station Ship. A South Carolina class battleship is visible in the right distance.
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.
    Donation of MMC Jesse Forton, USN (Retired), 1972
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 76417
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Willard Herbert Brownson, USN - USNA Class of 1865
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    10 December 1889
    02CDR Morris Robinson Slidell MacKenzie, USN - USNA Class of 186619 July 1891 - 21 February 1893
    03CDR James Henry Dayton, USN - USNA Class of 186621 February 1893 - 10 March 1894
    04LCDR William Hemsley Emory, USN - USNA Class of 186610 March 1894 - 16 December 1896
    05LCDR Edward Parker Wood, USN - USNA Class of 186716 December 1896 - 21 December 1898
    06LCDR Charles Carpenter Cornwell, USN - USNA Class of 186821 December 1898 - 16 December 1899
    07LCDR James Thorn Smith, USN - USNA Class of 187516 December 1899
    08CDR Charles Carpenter Cornwell, USN - USNA Class of 186819 May 1900
    09CDR Edwin King Moore, USN - USNA Class of 186830 June 1900
    10CDR Walter Cowper Cowles, USN - USNA Class of 187228 July 1900
    11LT Harry Girard Leopold, USN - USNA Class of 188218 August 1900
    12LT John Joseph Knapp, USN - USNA Class of 187815 September 1900
    13LCDR Jesse Mims Roper, USN - USNA Class of 187219 November 1900 - 31 March 1901
    14CDR Benjamin Tappan, USN - USNA Class of 1876
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    29 October 1903
    15CDR Montgomery Meigs Taylor, USN - USNA Class of 1890
    Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    9 May 1910 - May 1911
    16LCDR Douglas Eugene Dismukes, USN - USNA Class of 1890
    Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    22 June 1911 - 22 October 1912
    17LT Roscoe Franklin Dillen, USN - USNA Class of 190422 October 1912 - 5 December 1912
    18CDR John Fore Hines, USN - USNA Class of 1892
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and the Army Distinguished Service Medal (1918) - Retired as Captain
    5 December 1912 - 1914
    19CDR Duncan Mahon Woods, USN - USNA Class of 1896
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Captain
    1914 - 10 November 1915
    20LT Herbert Franklin Emerson, USN - USNA Class of 190610 November 1915 - 8 January 1916
    21LCDR Dudley Wright Knox, USN - USNA Class of 1896
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and the Legion of Merit (1946) - Retired as Commodore
    8 January 1916 - 1918
    22LCDR John W. Schoenfeld, USN - USNA Class of 19134 June 1917 - 7 April 1919
    23CAPT Stephen Victor Graham, USN - USNA Class of 1894
    Awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1917) - Served as the 18th Governor of American Samoa from 9 September 1927 to 2 August 1929
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    7 April 1919 - 15 July 1919
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View Petrel (PG 2) Library of Congress Images
    View the Petrel (PG 2)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command Website
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