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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive


  • A former merchant ships fitted out by the Naval Committee between November 1775 and January 1776
  • Purchased in Baltimore under Congressional authorization of a small tender or despatch vessel for the fleet
  • First commanded by LT. Hoystead Hacker
  • Fly participated in the New Providence amphibious operation, 11 March, 1776
  • Fly patrolled off New London to learn the strength of the British Fleet until June
  • Late in 1776 Fly cruised the New Jersey coast to intercept enemy ships bound for New York
  • In 1777 Fly convoyed merchantmen to sea, carried dispatches, and protected American ships in Cape May Channel
  • Participated in the defense of the Delaware River later in the year
  • Final Disposition, In November when the British Fleet and powerful shore batteries forced the evacuation of Forts Mifflin and Mercer, giving the British control of the river, Fly and the other Continental ships were burned to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy
    Displacement unknown
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    eight guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Fly 53k Panting by William Nowland Van Powell of Fly and Mosquito from the US Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. Tommy Trampp

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 14 September 2012