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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS America (IX-41)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Charlie - Lima
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Civil War Medal - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Racing Schooner:
  • Laid down, circa 1850-51 at William H. Brown Shipyard, New York City, N.Y., built by George Steers
  • Launched, 3 May 1851
  • Won the Royal Yacht Society regatta in August 1851
  • Sold to a British purchaser, 1 September 1851
  • Resold, date unknown, renamed Camilla
  • Said to have been secretly sold by her owner, Edward Decie. to the Confederacy in April-May 1861
  • Possibly renamed Memphis by the Confederate government
  • Returned to England, still commanded by Edward Decie, with a Southern purchasing commission
  • Memphis successfully ran the blockade at Jacksonville, FL. circa October 1861
  • Scuttled in March 1862 in Dunn's Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River, to avoid capture
  • Found, 18 March 1862, raised and towed to Port Royal. S.C. for repair and outfitting as a dispatch vessel and blockader
  • Apparently renamed and commissioned USS America, 18 March 1862, Acting Master Jonathan Baker in command
  • Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • While assigned as a blockader America captured schooner David Crockett, 13 October 1862 and the British topsail schooner, Antelope, 31 March 1863
  • Ordered north, 25 March 1863 to the Naval Academy at Newport, R.I.
  • Decommissioned and laid up at Annapolis, MD. in 1866
  • Completely overhauled at Washington Navy Yard in 1869
  • Fitted out for international racing at New York Navy Yard in 1870
  • Sold by the Navy to MGEN Benjamin F. Butler
  • Sold in 1921 to Charles Foster, overhauled and presented to the Naval Academy.
  • During her last major overhaul work was stopped in 1941 due to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Final Disposition, crushed while in a boat shed at Annapolis MD., 29 March 1942. Broken up for scrap
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 11 October 1945
    Displacement 100 t.
    Length 111'
    Beam 25'
    Draft 12'
    one 12-pdr rifle
    two 23-pdr smoothbores
    Propulsion sail
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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Yacht America
    America 491k An undated plan of the yacht America probably made at Portsmouth Dockyard, England, in 1851 or 1852. The sail plan is drawn from the Admiralty draught and from George Ratsey's sail plan made at the same time. This undated draught was found in the files of the British Admiralty by Howard I. Chapelle in 1933.
    Image was photocopied and then scanned from "The History of American Sailing Ships" by Howard I Chapelle, Bonanza Books, Crown Publishers Inc.
    Robert Hurst
    America 115k A perspective view of the yacht America drawn in pen and ink by Charles C. Wales.
    Image was photocopied and then scanned from "The History of American Sailing Ships" by Howard I Chapelle, Bonanza Books, Crown Publishers Inc.
    Robert Hurst
    America 143k A wood cut engraving of the yacht America on the builders ways at the William H. Brown Shipyard, New York City. engraving is captioned "Our artist has given as a scene here representing the launch of the yacht America, designed to compete with the English yachts on a sailing match off the England coast. She is owned by a party of gentlemen, whose names are not known to us, and was built by William H. Brown. The America will go to England and race with the yacht club there. If she beats them she is to be paid for by the club; if she is beaten, she is then to be given up to them as a forfeit. The yacht's length is 96 feet; breath 23 feet 6 inches; depth 3 feet 9 inches. Her frame is composed of hackmatac, chestnut, locust, oak and cedar, secured by diagonal iron braces, 3 feet apart, 3 1/2 inches by 5/8 inches, bolted through each frame. Her cabin is 21 feet long and has two staterooms, one on each side, 8 feet long. Yachting has for a long time been a favorite diversion of noblemen and gentlemen on the continent of Europe, and some excellent specimens of nautical shill have been produced in foreign countries. We predict the day is not very remote, when species of maritime craft, constructed by Yankee energy and talent, shall fully rival those of any other nation in the world, and even, as in other exhibition of naval architecture, surpass them." Tommy Trampp
    America 135k Yacht USS America at Boston Navy Yard in the summer of 1863 with the Practice Ship USS Marion and USS Ohio behind her. America was serving as tender to Marion, a sailing sloop of war that acted as practice ship for the US Naval Academy at Annapolis between 1862 and 1870, while Ohio was serving as receiving ship at the Boston Navy Yard.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 89400. Courtesy
    Mike Green
    America 33k Lithograph of the yacht America circa 1851, artist unknown. Robert Hurst
    America 150k Oil on canvas, 24-1/2 x 27-1/2 inches, painting by Fitz Hugh Lane, 1851. "The Yacht America Winning the International Race", dated 1851. Signed “F. H. Lane.” Composition derived from Dutton’s lithograph after the sketch by Brierly. Courtesy the Peabody Essex Museum. (M4696). Tommy Trampp
    America 189k A second Oil on canvas painting titled "Yacht America Winning the International Race," by Fitz Hugh Lane, 1851. Courtesy of the Peabody Collection. Robert Hurst
    America 268k A faithful reproduction America entitled "The America, Schooner yacht". To John C Stevens, esq., Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, 5 September 1851, by Oswald W. Brierly, published by Ackermann & Co. Image courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, England. Robert Hurst
    America 812k Schooner yacht America, an oil on canvas by James Bard (1815-1897), 1 January 1851. Image courtesy of The Athenaeum. Robert Hurst
    America 185k A model of the schooner yacht America, first winner of the America's Cup, Paris Maritime Museum, 2 March 2014. photo taken by Kou07kou (real name unknown). Robert Hurst
    America 236k The Yankee schooner America under way showing her 1887 rig. Image taken on 1 August 1891, photographer unknown. Note that this is not America's rig as that with which she won the £100 Cup in 1851: Donald McKay and Edward Burgess refitted her in 1875 and 1885 respectively. By 1887, the rake in her masts was reduced, all her spars were lengthened, she featured a lead keel and carried two extra headsails and a fore gaff topsail. An enlarged rig and modernized build would have kept the aging America competitive in the light Yankee airs.
    United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID det.4a0495
    Robert Hurst
    America 119k America's transom eagle, 1851. Carved wood, gilt and painted with a wing span of nine feet. Artist unknown. Courtesy New York Yacht Club. Tommy Trampp
    America (IX-41)
    America 44k Ships in the Severn River, off the Naval Academy, circa 1866-1870. They are (from left): an unidentified "Double-ender" gunboat; USS Tonawanda (renamed Amphitrite in 1869); and America.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 46618
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    America 119k America at anchor off the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. around 1870. US Navy photo from the Martin Holbrook Collection, US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo and text from "Warships of The American Civil War Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone. Robert Hurst
    America 609k Oil on board painting of the racing yacht America, by John Fraser, circa 1890-1920, National Maritime Museum, London (BHC3192).
    From "Ship: A History in Art and Photography" Edited by Andrew Lambert.
    Robert Hurst
    America 205k Schooner America underway in 1910. Note that this is not America's rig as that with which she won the £100 Cup in 1851: Donald McKay and Edward Burgess refitted her in 1875 and 1885 respectively. By 1887, the rake in her masts was reduced, all her spars were lengthened, she featured a lead keel and carried two extra headsails and a fore gaff topsail. In this photograph she also carried a fisherman. Photographer unknown. Photo from the Detroit Publishing Co. Collection, which was given to the Library of Congress by the State Historical Society of Colorado in 1949.
    US Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division digital ID det.4a16135.
    Robert Hurst
    America 129k Racing yacht America being towed out of Boston Harbor, enroute to Annapolis, MD., in September 1921.
    Boston Public Library Photo # 6775505988 courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    America 78k America (IX-41) moored pierside at the US Naval Academy,Annapolis, MD., in 1930.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo No. NH 84192, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    America 107k America (IX-41) moored pierside at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD., circa the 1930s.
    Photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    America 123k America (IX-41) in late March 1942, showing all that remains of the historic yacht at the Annapolis Yacht Yard after a snow-covered shed collapsed on her.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-113256 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives. Courtesy
    Mike Green

    America (I) (IX-41)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 13 October 2017