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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Syren

  • Built for the US Navy in 1803 at Philadelphia by Nathaniel Hutton
  • Launched on 6 August 1803
  • Commissioned USS Syren, late August-early September 1803, LT. Charles Stewart in command
  • USS Syren jointed the Mediterranean Squadron at Gibraltar, 1 October 1803
  • Participated in the destruction of the captured US Frigate Philadelphia at Tripoli, along with the US Ketch Intrepid, 16 October 1803
  • Syren returned to blockade duty at Tripoli capturing the polacca Madona Catapolcana in March 1804 and armed brig Transfer
  • Participated in the attacks on Tripoli in August and September 1804.
  • Syren departed Gibraltar, 28 May 1806 and reached the Washington Navy Yard on or about 1 August
  • Laid up in ordinary at Washington Navy Yard until reactivated in 1807 and carried dispatches to France in 1809
  • Name changed to Siren in 1810
  • During the War of 1812 Siren was captured by HMS Medway, 12 July 1814, after an 11-hour chase during which she jettisoned her guns, anchors, cables, boats, and spare spars in a valiant but futile effort to escape from the British 74-gun ship of the line
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 240 t.
    Length 94' 3½"
    Beam 27' 9"
    Depth of Hold 12' 5"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 120
    sixteen 24-pdr carronade
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Argus 129k Bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804
    Oil by Michael Felice Corne, depicting Commodore Edward Preble's squadron engaging the Tripolitan gunboats and fortifications during the afternoon of 3 August 1804. U.S. Navy vessels shown in the foreground are, from left to right:
    schooner USS Enterprise,
    schooner USS Nautilus,
    brig USS Argus,
    brig USS Syren,
    schooner USS Vixen,
    mortar boat Dent,
    gunboat Somers,
    frigate USS Constitution (Preble's flagship),
    mortar boat Robinson, and
    gunboat Blake.
    Attacking the enemy flotilla in the center background are LT.Stephen Decatur's three gunboats and a gunboat commanded by LT. James Decatur, who was killed in this action.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65536-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Syren
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Documents, Official and Unofficial, Relating to the Case of the Capture and Destruction of the Frigate Philadelphia"
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 31 March 2017