USS Preble (1839)

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The sloop-of-war USS Preble
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Name: USS Preble
Builder: Portsmouth Navy Yard
Launched: 13 June 1839
Commissioned: 1840
Fate: Exploded and sunk, 27 April 1863
General characteristics
Type: Sloop-of-war
Displacement: 556 long tons (565 t)
Length: 117 ft (36 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Depth of hold: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Armament: 16 × 32-pounder guns

USS Preble was a United States Navy sloop-of-war with 16 guns, built by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, launched June 13, 1839 and commissioned in 1840. She was named after Commodore Edward Preble (1761–1807).

Preble first sailed for Labrador, and then went to cruise in the Mediterranean Sea in 1843. She was attached to the African Squadron in 1845. In 1846, Preble sailed for New York and joined the Pacific Squadron on the West Coast, where she participated in the Mexican–American War. In 1848, Captain James Glynn took her first to Hong Kong and then to Japan, where he became the first American to negotiate successfully with the "closed country." In November 1850, she returned to the east coast of the United States, where she became a practice ship for midshipmen until 1857, when she was placed in ordinary. During the Civil War, in July 1861, she joined the Gulf Blockading Squadron, and participated to the blockade of the Mississippi River.

Preble was serving as a guard ship when, on April 27, 1863, moored in Pensacola Bay, she caught fire due to the carelessness of a crewman. The vessel was abandoned and exploded. In 1963, the wreck of the Preble was discovered by Navy divers, who retrieved a number of artifacts.

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