USS Sabalo (SP-225)
|Namesake:||The sabalo, another name for the tarpon, a large, silvery game fish of the herring group, found in the warmer parts of the western Atlantic Ocean (Previous name retained)|
|Builder:||George Lawley and Sons, Neponset, Massachusetts|
|Commissioned:||20 July 1917|
|Decommissioned:||3 March 1919|
|Fate:||Returned to owner 3 March 1919|
|Notes:||Operated as civilian yacht Sabalo 1916-1917 and 1919-1931 and as Breezin' Thru 1931-1940|
|Namesake:||The cougar, a large, solitary cat native to the Americas|
|Commissioned:||11 September 1940|
|Decommissioned:||23 November 1945|
|Identification:||pennant number: Z 15|
|Fate:||Returned to owner 1946; sank September 1950|
|Notes:||Breezin' Thru 1946-1950|
|Tonnage:||204 gross tons|
|Length:||141 ft (43 m)|
|Beam:||19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)|
|Draft:||7 ft (2.1 m) mean|
The first USS Sabalo (SP-225) was a United States Navy patrol vessel in commission from 1917 to 1919. Following World War I, Sabalo was sold to private interests before returning to service as a patrol vessel in World War II, this time with the Royal Canadian Navy. Returning to private ownership following the war, the vessel sank in a hurricane in 1950.
Construction, acquisition, and commissioning
Sabalo was built as a civilian motor yacht in 1916 by George Lawley and Sons at Neponset, Massachusetts. The U.S. Navy acquired her from her owner, Mr. W. Earl Dodge of New York City, in May 1917 for World War I service as a patrol vessel. She was commissioned on 20 July 1917 as USS Sabalo (SP-225).
Sabalo was decommissioned on 3 March 1919 and returned to Dodge the same day.
Dodge kept Sabalo in use as a pleasure yacht until 1921, when he sold her to Van Lear Black of Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin Roosevelt piloted the yacht as a guest of Black. Black fell to his death off the aft deck in 1930. Black's estate in turn sold her in 1931 to the Albert Pack Corporation of Chicago, Illinois, which renamed her Breezin' Thru. In 1937, Leila Y. Post Montgomery of Battle Creek, Michigan, bought Breezin' Thru.
After failing to acquire any British vessels at the outset of the war for auxiliary purposes, the Royal Canadian Navy discreetly searched the American market for suitable ships. However, American law prevented the sale of ships for possible use in the war to any of the belligerents. The Canadian Navy, requisitioned unsuitable Canadian yachts and had their respective owners go the United States and buy those ships the Navy wanted as replacements. Once the ships arrived in Canada, the navy then returned the original yachts and requisitioned the new ones. The Royal Canadian Navy acquired Breezin' Thru in 1940 after she was sold to Bearl Sprott Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Once the vessel had arrived on the west coast of Canada, she was rearmed with 1 6-pounder gun at the bow. The ship was renamed Cougar and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 11 September 1940 with the pennant number Z 15. After commissioning, Cougar had a quiet career on the west coast, initially placed on antisubmarine patrol out of Esquimalt, British Columbia. In May 1942 she was transferred to Prince Rupert Force, based at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. She returned to Esquimalt in June 1944, where she served as an examination vessel.
- Rollins, p.179
- Macpherson & Barrie, p.204
- Macpherson & Barrie, p.206
- Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron. (2002) Warships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002. 3rd Edition. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing Limtied. ISBN 1-55125-072-1
- Rollins Jr., Alfred Brooks (2002). Roosevelt and Howe. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0765808560.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy: Navy History and Heritage Command: Online Library of Selected Images: Civilian Ships: Sabalo (American Motor Yacht, 1916). Served as USS Sabalo (SP-225) in 1917-1919
- NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive: HMCS Cougar (Z 15) ex-USS Sabalo (SP 225)