USS Margaret (SP-527)

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USS Margaret (SP-527) leaving Bermuda for the Azores in November 1917.
Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Margaret
Namesake: Name retained by the Navy.
Builder: John Roach & Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania
Laid down: date unknown
Christened: as the yacht Eugenia, later as Marjorie and Margaret
Completed: 1899 at Chester, Pennsylvania
Acquired: by the Navy in August 1917
Commissioned: 16 October 1917 as USS Margaret (SP 527)
Decommissioned: November 1918
Struck: not known
Fate: sold 30 September 1921; fate unknown
General characteristics
Type: Yacht
Tonnage: 245 gross tons
Length: not known
Beam: not known
Draft: not known
Propulsion: steam engine
Speed: not known
Complement: not known
Armament: not known

USS Margaret (SP-527) was a yacht acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War I. The yacht was outfitted as an armed patrol craft and was assigned to escort and patrol duty in the North Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, the vessel had numerous mechanical problems and her captain -- Lieutenant Commander Frank Jack Fletcher of World War II fame – and was not an effective fighting ship.

A yacht built in Pennsylvania

USS Margaret, a 245 gross ton patrol vessel, was built at Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1899 by the firm of John Roach & Sons as a private steam yacht. Named Eugenia, Marjorie, and Margaret during the years prior to World War I, she was taken over by the Navy in August 1917 for overseas service in that conflict. Following conversion, the ship was placed in commission in mid-October 1917, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Frank Jack Fletcher, who would lead U.S. carrier task forces during critical phases of the next World War.

World War I service

Early in November Margaret began a voyage to the European war zone, towing a French submarine chaser and accompanied by several other converted yachts. This trip, accompanied by many troubles, ended in the Azores early in December. Margaret's mechanical difficulties were apparently so serious that she remained in the Azores for several months, and perhaps for the rest of the war. A humorous account of the misadventures of the ship and its crew, "Maggie of the Suicide Fleet" by Prosper Buranelli, was published by Doubleday, Doran & Co. in 1930.

Post-war dispositioning

She returned to the United States following the November 1918 Armistice and, some two years after being decommissioned, was sold at the end of September 1921.

See also