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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

ex-USCGC Arrow

Call sign:
George - Vice - Have - Quack

ex-USS SP-729
ex-USS Apache (SP 729)

SP-729 served both the U. S. Navy and Coast Guard.


  • Built in June 1917 as Apache by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Inc., Bristol, RI
  • Acquired by the Navy 23 May 1917
  • Commissioned USS Apache (SP 729), 7 July 1917
  • Renamed SP-729 in October 1918
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy list 17 May 1919 at Key West, FL
  • Transferred to the Coast Guard 22 November 1919
  • Renamed Arrow 16 December 1919
  • Commissioned USCGC Arrow 25 August 1921
  • Renamed AB-2, 6 November 1923
  • Transferred to the United States Shipping Board 18 March 1925
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 12 t.
  • Length 62' 4"
  • Beam 10' 11"
  • Draft 2' 6"
  • Speed 21 kts.
  • Complement: Eight
    1922 - Five
  • Armament: One 1-pounder
  • Propulsion: Two 100hp Sterling 8-cylinder gasoline engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Apache 185k A halftone reproduction of a photograph of the motor boat Apache, taken prior to her World War I Navy service
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 101359
    Robert Hurst
    Apache 127k Tied up with other Section Patrol boats at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1917, probably soon after entering Navy service.
    Collection of George K. Beach.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 98332

    Commanding Officers
    01ENS Robert Frederick Herrick, Jr., USNRF1 June 1917
    02LTJG Samuel S. Williamson, USNRF1918 - 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: The third Apache-a wooden-hulled cabin motorboat built by the noted Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Bristol, R.I. -was acquired by the Navy on 23 May 1917 from Bostonian Robert F. Herrick whilst apparently still under construction, since records indicate that she was not due to be completed until 12 June.

    Commissioned on 7 July 1917, Apache-designated SP-729-served as a despatch and local patrol boat at Boston, operating under the aegis of the 1st Naval District through early October 1918. Due to the urgent need for such craft at Brest, France, at that time, orders apparently went forth from Washington to Boston, directing the Commandant of the 1st Naval District to ready six "SP-boats"-Commodore
    (SP-1425), Cossack (SP-695), War Bug (SP-1795), Sea Hawk (SP-2365), Kangaroo (SP-1284)
    , and SP-729 (ex-Apache)-to be shipped to France as deck cargo, amply provided with spare parts. The order, dated 14 October 1918, revealed that Apache had in fact lost her "name" by that time and was known simply by her alphanumeric number, SP-729.

    Nothing further on this proposed movement appears in the records, however, probably because of the armistice of 11 November 1918 that ended hostilities and eliminated the need for patrol craft. However, SP-729 did head south via the inland waterway that December, bound for Florida to take up station briefly at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, probably for duty as a crash boat.

    Decommissioned at Key West, Fla., and struck from the Navy list on 17 May 1919, SP-729 was turned over to the Coast Guard on 22 November 1919. A little less than a month later, she was named Arrow, on 16 December, but was apparently not commissioned for service until 25 August 1921, at Key West. Soon thereafter, the cutter Tallapoosa towed Arrow to Tampa. While Arrow was serving at Tampa, she was reclassified as the unnamed harbor launch, AB-2, on 6 November 1923. The boat was later found unfit for further Coast Guard service and transferred to the Shipping Board on 18 March 1925 for ultimate disposition.

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by David Wright
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