USS Aphrodite (SP-135)

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USS Aphrodite at sea during World War I.
Career (United States) 100x35px
Name: USS Aphrodite
Namesake: Aphrodite, The goddess of love and fertility in Greek mythology (previous name retained)
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Completed: 1899
Acquired: 11 May 1917
Commissioned: 5 June 1917
Decommissioned: 12 July 1919
Fate: Returned to owner 12 July 1919
Notes: Operated as private yacht Aphrodite 1899-1917 and from 1919
General characteristics
Type: Patrol vessel
Displacement: 1,500 tons
Length: 302 ft (92 m)
Beam: 35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)
Draft: Approximately 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m) (aft)
Speed: 15 knots
Complement: 68
Armament: 4 x 3-inch (76.2-millimeter) guns
2 x machine guns

USS Aphrodite (SP-135) was an armed yacht that served in the United States Navy as a patrol vessel from 1917 to 1919.

File:SS Aphrodite (1899).jpg
SS Aphrodite as a private yacht sometime between 1899 and 1917.

Aphrodite was built as a civilian yacht in 1899 by Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine. The U.S. Navy acquired her from her owner, Colonel O. H. Payne of New York City, on 11 May 1917 for use as a patrol vessel during World War I. She was commissioned at New York City on 5 June 1917 as USS Aphrodite (SP-135) with Lieutenant Commander Ralph P. Craft in command.

On 14 June 1917, Aphrodite set out for Europe in the escort of the first convoy carrying elements of the American Expeditionary Force to the battlefields in France. She arrived at St. Nazaire, France, on 27 June 1917.

File:USS Aphrodite (SP-135) astern.jpg
USS Aphrodite photographed astern of another converted yacht while escorting a convoy during World War I.

Aphrodite then began patrol duties in the Bay of Biscay, escorting coastwise convoys and meeting in-bound convoys from the United States and seeing them into the French ports of Brest, Le Verdon-sur-Mer, or St. Nazaire. On 16 February 1918, she was reassigned to the base located at Rochefort, France, from which she served as an offshore escort until March 1918.

On 28 March 1918, Aphrodite was assigned to Division 7, Squadron 3, Patrol Force, based at Le Verdon-sur-Mer. She served as a convoy escort along the French coast for the remainder of the war.

After the Armistice with Germany of 11 November 1918 ended hostilities, Aphrodite served as a station ship at Harwich and Portland in England, and later at Hamburg, Germany.

Aphrodite returned to the United States at New York City on 29 June 1919. She was decommissioned at the Fleet Supply Base at Brooklyn, New York, on 12 July 1919 and returned to her owner the same day.