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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Passaic (YT-20)
USS Passaic (1918 - 1920)
USS Pontiac (1911 - 1918)
Pontiac (1898 - 1911)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

World War I Victory Medal

Wood-hulled Steam Tug:
  • Built by Peter Magee, Athens, NY
  • [Please note frequent citations of builder as the non-existant "Peter McGiehan" are erroneous]
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Completed as salvage tug Right Arm (ON 110962) for Merritt & Chapman, 1891
  • Purchased by the Navy and renamed Pontiac, 23 April 1898
  • Commissioned, 16 May 1898, LT Francis H. Sherman commanding
  • Decommissioned, 11 September 1898
  • Commissioned USS Pontiac, 01 July 1911
  • Renamed Passaic, 11 April 1918
  • Designated District Harbor Tug (YT-20), 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned, in 1921, and placed on the sale list
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Sold to John Kantzler & Sons, Bay City, MI, 25 February 1922
  • Ran aground in Absecon Inlet, NJ and lost, 22 April 1923
    Displacement 238.25 gross tons, 137.48 net tons, 401 tons displacement
    Length 124' 4"
    Beam 27'
    Draft 9' 6"
    Speed 10.5 knots
    Complement unknown
    Armament two 1-pdrs, one machine gun
    Propulsion vertical compound, single screw

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    Size Image Description Source
    Pontiac 27k The future USS Pontiac as the steam tug Right Arm, towing the whaling bark Progress off New Bedford, MA, circa 1891-94.
    Cropped from Mystic Seaport #1973.899.171, a photograph now in the collections of Mystic Seaport.
    Dave Wright
    Pontiac 122k USS Pontiac moored pierside at New York Navy Yard, 19 October 1917. The photo shows the vessel's derrick and boom viewed from aft, her appearance changed little since she was acquired in 1898.
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 57, Photo # 19-N-14199, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green

    View the Pontiac (YT-20)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo and is maintained by David L. Wright
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    Last Updated 22 January 2016