USS Christabel (SP-162)
USS Christabel prior to World War I
|Namesake:||A name retained|
|Owner:||Irving T. Bush of New York City|
|Builder:||D. and W. Henderson, Glasgow, Scotland|
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Acquired:||30 April 1917|
|Decommissioned:||19 May 1919|
|Struck:||circa 19 May 1919|
|Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan was awarded the Medal of Honor for securing live depth charges that had come loose during combat with a German U-Boat|
|Fate:||Sold at Savannah, Georgia on 30 June 1919|
|Class and type:||Yacht|
|Tons burthen:||248 tons gross|
|Complement:||55 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||two 3” guns|
USS Christabel (SP-162) was a civilian yacht purchased by the U.S. Navy during the start of World War I. She was outfitted with military equipment, including heavy 3” guns, and was then assigned to patrol duty in the North Atlantic Ocean. She served as a patrol craft with honor during the war, surviving an attack on a German U-Boat. Post-war she was stripped of her military hardware and sold in 1919.
Built in Scotland
Christabel (No. 162), an iron yacht, was built in 1893 by D. and W. Henderson, Glasgow, Scotland; purchased by the Navy 30 April 1917 from Irving T. Bush; commissioned at New York Navy Yard 31 May 1917, Lieutenant H. B. Riebe in command; and assigned to U.S. Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters.
World War I service
For the remainder of the conflict, Christabel was employed on escort and patrol work off western France, and took part in at least two actions with German U-Boats. One of which was the Action of 21 May 1918 when she was credited with sinking a German submarine off Spain. However, later it was found that the U-boat was only damaged but had to be interned by Spain a few days later.
Service as a training ship
Awards and honors
As an officer on board the Christabel, Ensign Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan was awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary heroism" during combat action on 21 May 1918. He exhibited "extraordinary heroism" in securing live depth charges that had come loose during combat with a German U-Boat. For this act, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Officer of the Deck Lt. j.g. Howard Rutherford Shaw was awarded the Navy Cross for "promptly heading for the submarine with the intent to ram, with the result that it was possible to drop depth charges at the right time and place, damaging the submarine so severely that she was obliged to intern at Santander, Spain, for the remainder of the war."
Decommissioned 19 May 1919, Christabel was sold at the end of June to the Savannah Bar Pilots Association, of Savannah, Georgia on 30 June 1919.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images: U.S. Navy Ships": USS Christabel (SP-162), 1917-1919
- NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive Christabel (SP 162)