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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Sappho (SP 1427)

Civilian call sign (1919):
King - Dog - Jig - Fox


  • Built in 1886 by the New England Shipbuilding Co., Bath, ME
  • Acquired by the Navy 10 August 1917
  • Commissioned 20 August 1917
  • Decommissioned 18 February 1919
  • Struck from the Navy Register 19 February 1919 and returned to her owner
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 275 t.
  • Length 180"
  • Beam 28' 9"
  • Draft 8' 9"
  • Speed 15 kts.
  • Complement 30
  • Propulsion: One Two single ended boilers, one 600hp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Ferry Sappho
    Sappho 105k Photographed prior to her World War I Navy service
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102193
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Sappho (SP 1427)
    Sappho 113k In port during World War I
    U.S. Navy photo NH 42443
    Naval Historical Center

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:


    A sixth-century B. C. Greek lyric poetess.

    The first Sappho was built during 1886 by New England Shipbuilding Co., Bath, Maine, as a wooden passenger vessel acquired by the Navy on 6 August 1918 from William C. Sproul of Chester, Pa.; and commissioned on 20 August 1918, Boatswain D. Sullivan USNRF, in command.

    Assigned to the 4th Naval District for local transport duty, Sappho was accidentally rammed by the S.S. Delaware on 25 August 1918. Necessary repairs were completed by 20 October, allowing Sappho to resume transport service between Philadelphia Navy Yard and nearby ports in New York and New Jersey.

    Sappho was decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pa., on 18 February 1919, and returned to her owner the same day. Sappho's Navy crew was returned to the Navy Yard by the tug Triton.

    DANFS courtesy of Ramon Jackson

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