USS Cushing (TB-1)

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Career (U.S.) 100x35px
Ordered: 3 August 1886 (authorised)
Laid down: April 1888
Launched: 23 January 1890
Commissioned: 22 April 1890
Decommissioned: 8 November 1898
Fate: sunk as target, 24 September 1920
General characteristics
Displacement: 116 tons
Length: 140 ft (43 m)
Beam: 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)
Draft: 4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Propulsion: 2 Thornycroft boilers, 1-shaft vertical quadruple expansion engine, 1,600 ihp (1,178 kW)
Speed: 23 kn
Complement: 22 officers and enlisted
Armament: 3 × 6-pounder guns
3 × 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Cushing (Torpedo Boat #1 / TB-1) was a torpedo boat in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War. She was named for William Barker Cushing.

Cushing was launched 23 January 1890 by N. G. Herreshoff of Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, Rhode Island; sponsored by Miss K. B. Herreshoff; and commissioned 22 April 1890, Lieutenant C. M. Winslow in command.

The first torpedo boat built for the Navy, Cushing was attached to the Squadron of Evolution and equipped for experimental work to complete the development of torpedo outfits and to gather data for the service. On 8 September 1891 she reported to Newport, Rhode Island for duty at the Naval Torpedo Station, and except for a brief period out of commission, 11 November 1891-11 January 1892, Cushing continued her torpedo experiments in this area until 1893.

Cushing arrived at Hampton Roads 31 March 1893 for temporary duty with the Naval Review Fleet, and in April she escorted HMS Blake and HMS Caravels to New York. Cushing returned to duty at Newport 6 May, working with the Whitehead torpedo. Based on Key West from 31 December 1897, Cushing reported to the North Atlantic Fleet's Blockading Force for picket patrol in the Florida Straits and courier duty for the Force. On 11 February 1898 while making a passage to Havana, Cushing lost Ensign Joseph C. Breckinridge overboard in heavy seas. For their heroic efforts to save him, Gunner's Mate Third Class John Everetts and Ship's Cook First Class Daniel Atkins were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Upon the declaration of war between the United States and Spain, Cushing was assigned to patrol the Cays, and on 7 August captured four small vessels and towed them to her anchorage at Piedras Cay. Four days later armed boats from Cushing and Gwin captured and burned a 20-ton schooner. Returning north in August, 1898, Cushing resumed her operations at the Newport Torpedo Station 14 September until decommissioned 8 November 1898. From 1901 to 1911 she was attached to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla at Norfolk, and was sunk 24 September 1920 after use as a target.


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