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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

USLHT Poinsettia
ex-USS SP-263
ex-USS Niagara (SP 263)

Niagara served both the U. S. Navy and Lighthouse Service


  • The fifth Niagara was built in 1915 by E. A. Fonda, Miami, FL
  • Commissioned USS Niagara (SP 263), 1 May 1917
  • Purchased by the Navy 5 July 1917 from General H. N. Creel of Miami, FL
  • Renamed SP-263, 11 April 1918
  • Transferred to the Lighthouse Service 29 May 1919 and renamed USLHT Poinsettia
  • Decommissioned 21 April 1922 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and sold
  • Destroyed by fire on 27 December 1928.


  • Displacement 33 t.
    Poinsettia 50 t.
  • Length 50'
  • Beam 16'
  • Draft 2' 9"
  • Speed 10.4 kts.
  • Complement: Five
  • Armament: One 1-pounder and one machine gun
  • Propulsion: One 50hp 4-cylinder Twentieth Century gasoline engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Niagara
    Niagara 101k Hauled out of the water, circa 1915-1917. Note her shallow draft, recorded as 2 feet forward and 3 1/2 feet aft
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 103546
    Robert Hurst
    Niagara 194k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken circa 1915-1917
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 103547
    USS Niagara (SP 263)
    Niagara 66k Photographed circa 1917-1918
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102065
    Naval Historical Center
    USS SP-263
    Niagara 55k SP-263 and USS Satellite (SP-1012) moored with other unidentified Section Patrol Craft at the Key West (Florida) Naval Station (circa 1918). Both vessels were assigned to the 7th Naval District and were probably awaiting disposal at the end of WWI
    Photo courtesy of State Archives of Florida - Records Collection RC06510
    Don Wagner
    USLHT Poinsettia
    Niagara/Poinsettia 76k National Archives photo from U.S. Lighthouse Society website John Spivey
    Photo added 3 January 2022

    View the Niagara (SP 263)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    View the USLHT Poinsettia
    DANFS history entry located on the USCG Historian's Office website
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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by David Wright
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