USS Conestoga (AT-54)
|Builder:||Maryland Steel Company, Sparrows Point, Maryland|
|Acquired:||by purchase, 14 September 1917|
|Commissioned:||10 November 1917|
|Reclassified:||AT-54, 17 July 1920|
|Fate:||Declared "Lost at Sea", 30 June 1921|
|Displacement:||420 long tons (430 t)|
|Length:||170 ft (52 m)|
|Beam:||29 ft (8.8 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft (4.6 m)|
|Speed:||13 kn (15 mph; 24 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 × 3 in (76 mm) gun|
Originally built as the civilian ship Conestoga in 1904 by Maryland Steel Company, Sparrows Point, Maryland, she was purchased on 14 September 1917 for the World War I duty and designated SP-1128. She was commissioned on 10 November 1917, Lieutenant (junior grade) C. Olsen, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the Submarine Force, Conestoga carried out towing duties along the Atlantic coast, transported supplies and guns, escorted convoys to Bermuda and the Azores, and cruised with the American Patrol Detachment in the vicinity of the Azores. At the end of the war she was attached to Naval Base No. 13, Azores, from which she towed disabled ships and escorted convoys until her arrival at New York on 26 September 1919. She was then assigned to harbor tug duty in the 5th Naval District at Norfolk, Virginia.
Conestoga (which had received the hull number AT-54 in July 1920) went to the Pacific in late 1920. She was at San Diego, California and Mare Island, California, during the first three months of 1921. On 25 March of that year the tug steamed out of Mare Island, with a barge of coal sailing via Pearl Harbor planning to take up an assignment as station ship at Tutuila, American Samoa.
Commanded by Lt. Ernest Larkin Jones, Conestoga was never seen again and her fate remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Despite an extensive search, the only trace found of her was a lifeboat bearing the initial letter of her name.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.