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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Whistler (SP 784)


  • Built in 1917 by J. E. Graves, Marblehead, MA
  • Acquired by the Navy 17 May 1917
  • Commissioned 31 July 1917
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy list 19 May 1919
  • Sold 20 June 1919
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 20 t.
  • Length 50'
  • Beam 11' 6"
  • Draft 3'
  • Speed 25 kts.
  • Complement: Seven
  • Armament: One 1-pounder and one Colt machine gun
  • Propulsion: One 300hp 8-cylinder Sterling gasoline engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Whistler 83k Passing a Nebraska class battleship, probably at about the time she was taken over by the Navy. c. 1917
    U.S. Navy photo NH 89753
    Naval Historical Center
    Whistler 95k Probably photographed at the time she was taken over by the Navy. She already has a gun mounting installed just forward of her cockpit. The small motor boat Argus in the foreground.
    c. 1917
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102372
    Alacrity 83k Lockwood's Basin, Boston, Massachusetts. View of the basin looking down the pier, taken by Alton M. Blackinton, Boston, circa 1918, showing USS Moosehead (ID 2047) in the center and section patrol boats. USS Alacrity (SP-206) is at the far left. The patrol boats in the left center foreground are (from left to right): USS Kiowa (SP-711); USS Skink (SP-605); unidentified; Whistler; and USS Lynx II (SP-730)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 42147
    Whistler 85k In Lockwood's Basin, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1918, with USS Moosehead (ID 2047) on the left and four patrol boats at right. The latter are (from outboard): USS Kiowa (SP-711), USS Skink (SP-605), Whistler and USS Lynx II (SP-730)
    Photographed by Alton M. Blackinton, Boston
    U.S. Navy photo NH 45268
    Skink 128k Lockwood's Basin, Boston, Massachusetts
    View of the basin from on board USS Moosehead (ID 2047), taken by Alton M. Blackinton, Boston, circa 1918, showing the marine railway, Carpenter's Shop and General Headquarters. Four section patrol boats are tied up in the foreground, just beyond Moosehead's bow. They are (from left to right): USS Lynx II (SP 730); Whistler; Kiowa (SP 711); and USS Skink
    (SP 605)

    Naval Historical Center photo NH 42145
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01ENS Richard Buckmaster Fuller, USNRF8 October 1917 - 26 October 1917
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Whistler (SP-784), a wooden-hulled motorboat constructed at Marblehead, Mass., by J. E. Graves, and completed in 1917, was acquired by the Navy from Lawrence F. Percival, of Boston, on 17 May 1917, and commissioned at Boston on 31 July 1917. Attached to the Boston section of the 1st Naval District, Whistler operated from the Commonwealth Pier, the district headquarters, on harbor entrance patrols. On occasion, in line with her employment, she carried dispatches to other vessels and craft of the entrance patrol. One break in her routine came in the spring of 1918, when she stood by as 0-5 (Submarine No. 66) conducted sea and submergence trials in Hingham Bay on 30 May 1918. Subsequently decommissioned and struck from the Navy list on 19 May 1919, Whistler was sold to J. E. Doherty, of Boston, on 20 June 1919.
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