Morgan's yacht CORSAIR
famous J.P. Morgan's yacht Corsair was built in
1891. She employed both sail and steam for propulsion.
The Corsair served eight years for J.P. Morgan
before she was purchased for $225,000 by the US Navy
for service in the Spanish-American War. She
was renamed USS Gloucester. Lt. Richard
Wainright, the last commander of the famous USS
Maine, commanded her.
USS Gloucester was classified as a gunboat. She was
armed with four 6-pounder and four 3-pounder guns as
well as two Colt machine guns. At the battle
of Santiago Bay, Cuba, July 3, 1898, when the
Spanish fleet was bottled up inside the bay by the
US Navy and about to exploit a break in the lines of
the US Navy's dreadnaughts in order to escape, the
USS Gloucester dove through the breech with its guns
blazing, disrupting the Spaniards long enough for
the dreadnaughts to maneuver back into position.
At the onset of the battle, as the Spanish
destroyers appeared, USS Indiana sent out a signal
stating "Torpedo boats coming out". However,
Wainwright claimed he read the signal as "Gunboats
close in" as an excuse to cover the Gloucester's
disregard of orders. The Gloucester attacked,
crossing the battleship USS Indiana's line of fire,
causing her to stop firing.
Gloucester fiercely attacked the Spanish destroyer
Furor and jammed her rudder, rendering her unable to
continue the fight. When the major battleships
engaged, the small Gloucester changed her role.
She launched boats to rescue 45 of the crewmen from
Spanish destroyer Pluton that had been blown up.
She bravely steamed to the burning hulks of the
Infanta MariaTeresa and the Almirante Quendo and
picked up more Spanish survivors. Gloucester
lost no men in the engagement.
On July 25, 1898, Gloucester attacked and captured
the Spanish port of Guanica in Puerto Rico. On
August 1, 1898, she and USS Wasp took the port of
Arroyo in Puerto Rico and held it until the army
arrived a day later.
Beginning on November 15, 1902, Gloucester served as
tender for the Commander in Chief of the South
Atlantic Squadron. She steamed in the West
Indies and off the coast of South America.
USS Gloucester was decommissioned on February 8,
1905 at Pensacola. On April 7, 1917, USS
Gloucester was recommissioned. She patrolled
harbors around New York during WWI. On August
12, 1919, she was struck from the Navy List and sold
on November 21, 1919.
32" long x 19" tall x 4 wide (34"
long x 6" wide base) $1,600
S & H is $130
The smaller model was
built for JPMorgan Chase Historical
Collection and is not for sale.
For display case, click here:
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