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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Christabel (SP 162)

Savannah call sign (1933):
King - Jig - Yoke - Cast

Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1893 by D. and W. Henderson, Glasgow, Scotland for A. C. Kennaard of Port Glasgow
  • Sold in 1903 to Walton Ferguson of New York
  • Sold in 1916
  • Acquired by the Navy 30 April 1917
  • Commissioned 31 May 1917 at the New York Navy Yard
  • Decommissioned 19 May 1919 at Brooklyn, NY
  • Sold 30 June 1919 to the Savannah Bar Pilots Association of Savannah, Georgia and renamed Savannah
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 248 t.
    1927 - 263 t.
  • Length 164'
    1927 - 146.9'
  • Beam 22"
  • Draft 9' 7½"
    1927 - 12.5'
  • Speed 11.5 kts.
  • Complement 55
    1927 - 21
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 mounts and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: One single ended boiler, one 550hp verticle triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Christabel
    Christabel 84k Photographed prior to World War I
    U.S. Navy photo NH 89408
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Christabel (SP 162)
    Christabel 175k 25 December 1918
    Stan Svec
    Christabel 76k In port, circa 1918-1919
    Taken by Carl A. Stahl, Photographer, USN
    U.S. Navy photo NH 300
    Naval Historical Center
    Christabel 70k View of the ship's smokestack, circa 1919. The star painted on it represents the German submarine she was then credited with having sunk during World War I
    U.S. Navy photo NH 55162
    Christabel 64k Lieutenant Commander Daniel A. J. Sullivan, USNRF
    Portrait photograph, taken circa 1920 showing the "overseas service" chevrons on his uniform sleeve.
    Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on 31 July 1884. On 12 April 1917, a few days after the United States entered World War I, he enrolled in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and later was commissioned in the rank of Ensign. On 21 May 1918, while serving as an officer of Christabel, he exhibited "extraordinary heroism" in securing live depth charges that had come loose during combat with a German U-Boat.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 44173

    Medal of Honor citation of Ensign Daniel A. J. Sullivan (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 125):

    "For extraordinary heroism as an officer of the U.S.S. Christabel in conflict with an enemy submarine on 21 May 1918. As a result of the explosion of a depth bomb dropped near the submarine, the Christabel was so badly shaken that a number of depth charges which had been set for firing were thrown about the deck and there was imminent danger that they would explode. Ensign Sullivan immediately fell on the depth charges and succeeded in securing them, thus saving the ship from disaster, which would inevitably have caused great loss of life."

    Bill Gonyo

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Herbert Berhard Riebe, USN - USNA Class of 1906
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918), made Honorary Commander to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (December 1945) - Retired as Captain
    31 May 1917 - May 1918
    02LCDR Millington Barnett McComb, USN - USNA Class of 1910
    Awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1918) - Retired as Lieutenant Commander
    May 1918 - 1918
    03LT Richard Henry Booth, USN - USNA Class of 1911
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)
    04LCDR Stanley Gray Womble, USN - USNA Class of 19121918
    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Wolfgang Hechler

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: Christabel (No. 162), an iron yacht, was built in 1893 by D. and W. Henderson, Glasgow, Scotland; purchased by the Navy 30 April 1917 from Irving T. Bush; commissioned at New York Navy Yard 31 May 1917, Lieutenant H. B. Riebe in command; and assigned to U.S. Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters.

    Clearing New York 9 June 1917 Christabel put in at Brest, France, 4 July. Throughout the war she had escort and patrol duty off the coast of France. She returned to the United States in December 1918 and served with the reserve antisubmarine squadrons in training operations at New London, Conn., until 19 May 1919 when she was placed out of commission at the Marine Basin, Brooklyn, N.Y. She was sold 30 June 1919.

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