USS Flying Fish (1838)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Flying Fish.
USS Flying Fish (1838).jpg
The Flying Fish as drawn by Alfred Thomas Agate
Career (USA)
Name: USS Flying Fish
Namesake: Flying Fish
Acquired: 3 August 1838
In service: 12 August 1838
Out of service: February 1842
Fate: Sold
General characteristics
Displacement: 96 tons
Length: 85 ft 6 in (26.06 m)
Beam: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Complement: 15
Armament: 2 guns
The Flying Fish in a gale, as drawn by Alfred Thomas Agate

USS Flying Fish (1838), a schooner, was formerly the New York City pilot boat Independence. Purchased by the United States Navy at New York City on 3 August 1838 and upon joining her squadron in Hampton Roads 12 August 1838 was placed under command of Passed Midshipman S. R. Knox.

Assigned as a tender in the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–42 commanded by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, Flying Fish sailed with her squadron 19 August 1838 to visit Madeira and Rio de Janeiro while bound for Tierra del Fuego, where the squadron arrived early in 1839. From this point, the squadron made its first cruises toward the Antarctic Continent, which it was to discover later the same year after surveys among Pacific islands and a visit to Australia.

After the second penetration of the Antarctic, the squadron rendezvoused in New Zealand in April 1840 to survey Pacific islands northward toward the Hawaiians, where the ships were repaired late in the year. Flying Fish sailed with USS Peacock to resurvey some of the Samoan, Ellice, Kingsmill, and Pescadore Islands before joining the main body of the squadron on the northwest coast of America in July 1841. Flying Fish made surveys in the Columbia River and around Vancouver, then proceeded to San Francisco, from which the squadron sailed 1 November for the south Pacific. Arriving in the Philippines in mid-January 1842 Flying Fish and the other ships separated to cruise the Sulu Seas, then make a planned rendezvous at Singapore in February. Found unfit for further service, Flying Fish was sold there before the squadron sailed for home 26 February.

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