Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Wolverine (IX 31)

Call sign (1912):
Nan - Watch - Nan

Call sign (1919):
George - Rush - Nan - Watch

ex-Gunboat Michigan

Wolverine served both the U. S. Navy and the Pennsylvania Naval Militia.


  • The Navy's first iron-hulled warship was built in 1842 by Stackhouse and Tomlinson of Pittsburgh, PA, in parts, and carried overland to Erie, PA where she was assembled
  • Launched 5 December 1843
  • Completed in 1844
  • Commissioned USS Michigan 2 September 1844
  • Renamed Wolverine 17 June 1905 to clear the name Michigan for Battleship No. 27 and reclassified as an Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary, IX-31
  • Decommissioned 6 May 1912 and turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia as a training ship
  • Mechanical problems ended her active career on 12 August 1923
  • Loaned to the city of Erie as a relic in 1927
  • Sold 19 July 1948 to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Original USS Michigan, Inc.
  • Sold for scrap in 1949.


  • Displacement 686 t.
    1911 - 685 t.
    1921 - 900 t.
  • Length 164' 11"
  • Beam 27'
  • Draft 9'
    1921 - 12' 2"
  • Speed 8 kts.
    1911 - 9.8 kts.
    1918 - 10.5 kts.
  • Complement 88
    1911 - 82
  • Armament: One 18-pounder
    1911 - Six 6-pounder rapid fire mounts and two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts
    1918 - Six 3-pounders
  • Propulsion: Two single ended cylinderical boilers, one 365ihp inclined simple steam engines, twin side wheeler.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Michigan
    Michigan 49k Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
    Michigan 70k U.S. Navy photo from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Naval Historical Center
    Michigan 128k Fully assembled wooden model of Michigan
    Thanks to American Model Ships
    Tommy Trampp
    Michigan 78k c. 1844 National Archives
    Wolverine 208k Original photo: Port broadside view of the gunboat Michigan sometime between between 1890 and 1901
    Detroit Photographic Co. photo 07358 from the Library of Congress (Photo LC-D-4-7358)
    Replacement photo: Library of Congress photo
    Original photo: Mike Green
    Replacement photo: Bill Gonyo
    Michigan/Wolverine 483k 1993-1996 Atlas Editions American Civil War Card Tommy Trampp
    Michigan/Wolverine 483k The side-wheel gunboat USS Michigan, before she was rebuilt. Date/location unknown. Unknown author. Robert Hurst
    Michigan/Wolverine 483k The side-wheel gunboat USS Michigan in Marquette, MI, before she was rebuilt. Robert Hurst
    USS Wolverine (IX 31)
    Wolverine 50k Wolverine, anchored in Pine Lake. She was the only U. S. gunboat to patrol the Great lakes Sam Inman
    Wolverine 483k Wolverine and her crew while at Pelham Bay Park Naval Station, [Bronx, NY] Robert Hurst
    Wolverine 291k Undated Post Cards Arnold A. Putnam
    Wolverine 155k
    Wolverine 235k
    Wolverine 128k Tommy Trampp
    Wolverine 271k Post Card dated 1908
    © L. C. Schaube
    Arnold A. Putnam
    Wolverine 62k c. Early 1900s Robert Hurst
    Michigan/Wolverine 133k c. 1913
    Post card celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Commandant Perry's victory on Lake Erie
    Tommy Trampp
    Wolverine 104k Photo probably taken while serving with the Pennsylvania State Naval Militia
    Photo from the 1914 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships
    Robert Hurst
    Michigan 285k Post card dated 21 April 1915, Erie, PA David Wright
    Photo added 28 May 2021

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR William Inman, USN29 September 1844
    02CDR John C. Carter, USN1863
    03CDR Francis Asbury Roe, USN - USNA Class of 1848
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    1865 - 1866
    04CDR George Henry Wadleigh, USN - USNA Class of 1863
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    1889 - 1891
    05ENS Arthur Lewis McCobb, USNRF1918
    06LT Henry Vanderwerp, USNRF1918 - 1919
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo and Joe Radigan

    View the Wolverine DANFS History
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Gunboat (PG) Ship Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary (IX) Ship Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster

    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History