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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Piqua (SP 130)

Navy call sign:
George - Sail - King - Mike

ex-Kanawha II (SP 130)

Civilian call sign (1919):
King - Pup - Dog - Watch

Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1898 as Kanawha II by Gas Engine and Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co., Morris Heights, NY for Henry Huttleston Rogers of the Standard Oil Co.
  • Sold in 1915 to John Borden of Chicago, IL
  • Acquired by the Navy 28 April 1917 and commissioned USS Kanawha II (SP 130) the same day
  • Renamed Piqua 1 March 1918
  • Decommissioned and returned to her owner 1 July 1919
  • Renamed Kanawha
  • Acquired in April 1920 by Marcus Garvey for the Black Star Line and renamed Antonio Maceo
  • Abandoned in 1922 at Antilla Harbor, Cuba
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 575 t.
  • Length 227'
  • Beam 24' 5"
  • Draft 9' 8"
  • Speed 20 kts.
  • Complement 65
  • Armament: Four 3" mounts and one 6-pounder
  • Propulsion: Two 1,600ihp steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Steam Yacht Kanawha II
    Kanawah II 132k 7 August 1897
    Glencove, NY
    Library of Congress photo LC-D4-62119 by John S. Johnston
    Joe Radigan
    Kanawah II 73k Underway, prior to her World War I Navy service.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102128
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Piqua (SP 130)
    Anderton 119k USS Anderton (SP 530) off Lorient, France, circa 1918. She has the numeral "4" painted on her bow. Ships partially visible in the background are Piqua, at left, and USS Winfield S. Cahill (SP-493) at right, with numeral "2" on her bow
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2011
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107339
    Robert Hurst
    Piqua 380k Off Lorient, France, circa 1918. She is painted in distinctive pattern camouflage. The French Navy machinist school is in the extreme right distance
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2011
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107329
    Piqua 95k Photographed on 4 July 1918, as flagship of the U.S. District Commander at Lorient, France
    U.S. Navy photos NH 42426 and NH 42427
    Naval Historical Center
    Piqua 79k

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Henry David Cooke, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1903
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    28 April 1917
    02LCDR John Borden, USNRF - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)1918
    03CDR Archibald Douglas Turnbull, USN - USNA Class of 1907
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)
    1919 - 1919
    04LT Grant T. Stephenson, USNRF - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Wolfgang Hechler

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The first Piqua (SP-130) was built as the yacht Kanawha II by Gas Engine and Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co., Morris Heights, N.Y., in 1898, acquired by the Navy, from her owner, John Borden, 28 April 1917, and commissioned the same day with the designation SP-130, Lt. Comdr. John Borden in command.

    During her first three weeks of naval service, Kanawha II performed various duties in the New York area. Then outfitted for distant service, she got underway, for Europe, 9 June 1917. She arrived at Brest, 4 July, in the vanguard of the flotilla of ships of war sent to France following the entry of the United States into World War I.

    Two weeks after her arrival she began patrol off Brest. On 3 September, she sighted her first enemy periscope off the French coast, but was unable to press an attack. Toward the end of November, on the 28th, she sighted another closing on a convoy. She issued a submarine warning and the U-boat was later tracked and sunk by two other patrol vessels equipped with depth bombs. The convoy continued undamaged. On 16 July 1918, while steaming in convoy, the former pleasure craft, renamed Piqua 1 March 1918 sighted the conning tower of a third U-boat, on a heading almost parallel with the course of the convoy.

    Piqua closed and at 11,000 yards, firing commenced. The gun crew, unable to see their target, aimed according to ranges and bearings estimated and called down to them from the bridge. Although she scored no hits, her shells forced the U-boat to abandon her prey.

    Piqua continued to operate off the French coast through the end of the war, and into 1919. On 20 May, she sailed for New York and a month later, after stops in the Azores and at Bermuda, anchored off Tompkinsville, Staten Island. Later shifted to Morris Heights, she decommissioned and was returned to her owner 1 July 1919

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