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NavSource Online:
Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

ex-Virginia (SP 274)

Patrol Yacht:

  • The first Virginia was built in 1910 as Paula by the Elco Co., Bayonne, NJ for J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith of New York
  • Acquired in 1914 by Daniel W. Smith of Detroit, MI and renamed Virginia
  • Acquired by the Navy 5 May 1917
  • Commissioned USS Virginia (SP 274), 10 August 1917
  • Renamed SP-274 in early 1918 to avoid confusion with the battleship Virginia (BB 13)
  • Struck from the Navy list 12 August 1919
  • Sunk at the Detroit Dock 18 March 1920
  • Sold 1 April 1920
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 91 t.
  • Length 98' 4"
  • Beam 16'
  • Draft 5' 6"
  • Speed 13 kts.
  • Complement 14
  • Armament: Two 3-pounders and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Two 4-cylinder 75ihp Standard gasoline engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SP-274 82k Underway, prior to World War I.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102357
    Naval Historical Center

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: Virginia—a yacht constructed in 1910 by the Elco Co. at Bayonne, N.J.—was purchased by the Navy on 5 May 1917 from Mr. Daniel W. Smith of New York City [Mr. Smith was from Detroit, MI but was a member of the New York City Yacht Club] and delivered to the Government on 2 July. To avoid the confusion of having several ships of the same name, the Navy discarded her name and referred to her simply as SP-274, though references to her as Virginia (SP-274) in the Navy Directory for 1918 indicate that she probably retained her name informally. Commissioned on 10 August 1917, SP-274 was assigned to the 9th Naval District section patrol; and, although the records are unclear, she probably operated out of Detroit, conducting patrols on Lake Michigan. She served until 12 August 1919, at which time her name was struck from the Navy list; and, by 18 March 1920, she had sunk at the Detroit Dock. Here again, the records are unclear with regard to whether she sank before or after being struck from the Navy list. In any event, her sunken hulk was sold to J. A. Nicholson of Morris Heights, N.J., on 1 April 1920.

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