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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Mary Alice (SP 397)

Sunk 5 October 1918

Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1897 as Bernice at Robins Dry Dock and Repair Co. Brooklyn, NY
  • Renamed Oneta in 1907 and Mary Alice in 1910
  • Acquired by the Navy 10 August 1917 and commissioned USS Mary Alice (SP 397) the same day
  • Rammed by O-13 (SS 74), 5 October 1918 and sank in Long Island Sound, off Bridgeport, CT, 1,800 yards south of Penfield Reef Light.


  • Displacement 180 t.
  • Length 174'
  • Beam 18' 6"
  • Draft 9' 9"
  • Speed 20 kts.
  • Complement 51
  • Armament: Two 3-pounders and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Steam, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full sSize Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Mary Alice
    Mary Alice 70k Underway with a large number of people on board, prior to her World War I era Naval service
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99481
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Mary Alice (SP 397)
    Mary Alice 250k Maunsel White

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Mary Alice (SP-397), a steam yacht built in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1897, was purchased by the Navy from William J. Conners of Buffalo, N.Y., and commissioned 10 August 1917, Lt. (jg.) Grant Campbell, USNRF, in command.

    As a unit of the Naval Coast Defense Reserve, Mary Alice operated in the 3d Naval District patrolling Long Island Sound and the approaches to New York Harbor. Early in October, 1918, Mary Alice joined O-13 [SS-74] to serve as a patrol boat during the submarine's precommissioning acceptance trials in Long Island Sound. With Capt. William A. Gill, President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, embarked, Mary Alice cruised off Bridgeport, Conn., as the recently built submarine conducted a submerged circular run 5 October. Suddenly, O-13 rammed Mary Alice amidships and holed her. She sank within a few minutes, and O-13 rescued her entire crew from the water shortly afterwards.

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