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|At the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, circa 1917-1919
U.S. Navy photo NH 100578
|Naval Historical Center
A variant spelling of Astraea, the Greek and Roman goddess of Justice. She has been identified by some classical writers as the daughter of Astraeus, the king of Arcadia and by others as the child of Titan by Aurora, and still others as the offspring of Jupiter and Themis. Astraea supposedly lived on earth where she befriended men during the mythical golden age; but human wickedness drove her to the heavens during the bronze age. There, she became one of the constellations of the zodiac under the name Virgo. She has been represented in art as a stern young woman who holds the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in the other.
Astrea-a wooden-hulled motorboat built in 1916 by Rood and Benner, boatbuilders-was enrolled by the Navy for use as a section patrol craft on 7 June 1917. Delivered to the Navy by her owner, Ralph DeConta of East Boston, Mass., on 17 June 1917, Astrea-classified as SP-560-was, according to one source (Ship's Data, 1 October 1918) commissioned on 27 June 1917. Records indicate that the craft served as the engineer officer's boat at Boston Navy Yard into the spring of 1918.
Shipped thence to France as deck cargo on board the transport Leviathan (Id. No. 1326) in May 1918, Astrea performed "transport tender" duty as the busy port of Brest through the armistice of 11 November 1918. Sources are in conflict regarding what followed next in her career. While one source indicates that she was returned to the United States as deck cargo on board the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) freighter Teresa [ID 4478] in June of 1919, another, (Ship's Data, 1 October 1919) lists the craft's duty station as of that date as "aviation, aboard." In any event, the Navy sold Astrea to S. P. Greenlee of Baltimore, Md., on 31 March 1920. Presumably, her name was simultaneously struck from the Navy list.
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