USS Florence (SP-173)

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USS Florence World War I.jpg
Florence (American Steam Yacht, 1903) photographed prior to her World War I era Naval service.
Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Florence
Namesake: Name retained
Owner: James W. Alker of New York City
Builder: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island
Laid down: date unknown
Christened: as yacht Quickstep; later renamed Florence
Completed: 1903
Acquired: 28 April 1917
Commissioned: 29 August 1917 as USS Florence (SP-173)
Decommissioned: 22 February 1919
Struck: 22 February 1919
Homeport: New York City
Fate: returned to her owner
General characteristics
Type: Yacht
Tons burthen: 104 gross tons
Length: 124'
Beam: 18' 3"
Draft: 5' 3"
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 12 knots
Complement: 17 officers and enlisted
Armament: One 6-pounder gun
Two 3-pounder guns

USS Florence (SP-173) was a yacht leased from her owner by the U.S. Navy during World War I. She was outfitted as an armed patrol craft, and her owner, Ensign James W. Alker, was named as commanding officer of the yacht and its crew of sixteen. Florence, based out of New York City, was assigned various duties in the Long Island Sound. Post-war she was reconfigured to her original civilian condition, and was returned to her owner.

A yacht built in Rhode Island

Florence (No. 173) was built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island, as the yacht Quickstep. She was free leased by the Navy for wartime service in late April 1917 and placed in commission on 29 August of that year as USS Florence (SP-173), commanded by her owner, Ensign James W. Alker, USNRF, of New York City.

World War I service

Florence was assigned to the 3d Naval District for patrol duty in Long Island Sound. During 1918 she also conducted drills, acted as guardship, convoyed submarines out for operations, and set up target ranges for the ships of the fleet.

Post-war decommissioning and disposal

On 22 February 1919 Florence was placed out of commission and returned to her owner.

See also