The Guardian of the Mouth of the Mississippi

Here we see the mighty 55-foot powerboat-turned-patrol craft, USS Wendy (SP-448), underway during the Great War, likely around the Mississippi Sound to Venice, Louisiana area.

The original print is in the National Archives’ Record Group 19-LCM. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 102519

Note Sailor manning her bow gun, a 1-pounder. Wendy’s stern weapon is a Colt M1895 Potato Digger style machine gun. She is flying a 48-star Jack on her starboard signal halliard. Powered by a 40hp 4-cylinder Murray and Tregurtha gasoline engine, she could make 9 knots.

The former pleasure craft was built in 1913 by the Jahncke Navigation Co., New Orleans. Acquired by the Navy on 1 July 1917 and placed in commission on 3 August. She was decommissioned and returned to her owner on 9 December 1918.

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