USS Ionita (SP-388)

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Ionita (U.S. Motor Boat, 1914) underway circa 1914-17, probably in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan.
Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Ionita
Namesake: A former name retained
Owner: R. A. Newman of Detroit, Michigan
Builder: Church Boat Works, Trenton, Michigan
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Completed: in 1914
Acquired: by the Navy 16 August 1917
Commissioned: 23 September 1917 as USS Ionita (SP-388)
Struck: 1919 (est.)
Homeport: Detroit, Michigan
Fate: Sold 20 November 1919
General characteristics
Type: Yacht
Length: 55’
Beam: 8'
Draft: 2' 2"
Propulsion: not known
Speed: 19 knots
Complement: 5
Armament: not known

USS Ionita (SP-388) was a yacht acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War I. Ionita was outfitted by the Navy as a patrol craft and reported to the Commander, 9th Naval District, headquartered at Lake Bluff, Illinois. Ionita patrolled the Detroit River and was struck by the Navy at war’s end.

Built in Michigan

Ionita (SP-388), a 55-foot-long motor yacht, was built by Church Boat Works, Trenton, Michigan, in 1914 for use as a pleasure craft on the Great Lakes. She was acquired by the Navy from her owner, R. A. Newman of Detroit, Michigan, 16 August 1917; and commissioned as USS Ionita (SP-388) 23 September 1917, with William W. Ford, USNRF, in command.

World War I service

Ionita was assigned to the 9th Naval District as a section patrol craft and spent the war on patrol in the Detroit River.

Post-war service

After the World War I Armistice, she was transferred to the Naval Training Camp, Detroit, Michigan.


Ionita was later decommissioned by the Navy and was sold to William Thewes, Cleveland, Ohio, on 20 November 1919.

See also