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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Freelance (SP 830)

Civilian call sign (1919):
King - Mike - Love - Fox

ex-Free Lance

Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1895 by Lewis Nixon, Elizabethport, NJ
  • Acquired by the Navy in May 1898
  • Commissioned USS Free Lance 12 May 1898
  • Decommissioned 24 August 1898
  • From 1905 on her named was spelled Freelance
  • Reacquired by the Navy 19 July 1917
  • Commissioned USS Freelance (SP 830), 5 September 1917
  • Decommissioned 24 December 1918 and returned to her owner, F. Augustus Schermerhorn of New York City the same day
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 132 t.
  • Length 137'
  • Beam 20' 8"
  • Draft 7' 6"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 18
  • Armament: Two .65 Gatling guns (1898)
    1917 - Two 3-pounders
    1918 - Two 3-pounders and one machine gun
  • Propulsion: Two Almy boilers, one 750hp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Free Lance
    Freelance 98k 11 June 1896
    Library of Congress photo LC-D4-62113
    Mike Green
    USS Free Lance
    Freelance 302k c. 1898
    New York City, New York
    The crew of the USS Free Lance pose together on the fantail of the patrol yacht. Behind her sits the receiving ship Vermont
    Library of Congress photo
    Bill Gonyo
    Freelance 290k c. 1898
    New York City, New York
    The Petty Officers of the USS Free Lance pose together on the fantail of the patrol yacht next to the .65 Gatling-gun on a naval mounting. A Broadwell drum magazine feeds the gun when activated by the gun crew. A second Gatling-gun is mounted above the wheel house. Behind her sits the receiving ship Vermont
    Detroit Photographing Co. photo 020021 from the Library of Congress
    Freelance 92k Underway off New York City, probably in August 1898. A small sailboat is just astern of Free Lance, and USS New York (Armored Cruiser # 2) is in the background
    U.S. Navy photo NH 53953
    Naval Historical Center
    Freelance 90k At anchor off New York City, probably in August 1898
    U.S. Navy photos NH 53954 and NH 53955
    Freelance 96k
    Yacht Freelance
    Freelance 136k Underway, prior to World War I
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102819
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Freelance (SP 830)
    Freelance 53k In port during the World War I era
    U.S. Navy photo NH 101720
    Naval Historical Center
    Coal Batge No. 518 106k Barge Dolphin (ID-1314), also known as Coal Barge No. 518 with USS Bagley (Torpedo Boat No. 24) alongside, in a New York City area yacht basin circa 1917-1918. Partially visible at right is Freelance. Another patrol vessel (converted yacht) and a tug are in the right background
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104426
    Robert Hurst
    Freelance 151k 17 September 1918
    Patrol vessel USS Freelance (SP 830), with two subchasers on the other side of the pier identified as SC 59 and SC 63, two chasers that served along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. during the war.
    From the Ens. Charles E. Rose Collection. Courtesy of Thomas Rose
    The Sub Chaser Archives

    View the Freelance (SP 830)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Section Patrol Craft (SP) Photo Index

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