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TB-11 Farragut

The USS Farragut was the first American Torpedo Boat Destroyer [T.B.D.], launched on 16 July 1898 and commissioned 05 June 1899. Soon thereafter Farragut was reclassfied from T.B.D. to Torpedo Boat as [TB-15], along with TB-19 Stringham, TB-20 Goldsborough, TB-21 Bailey, all of which displaced between 235 and 340 tons [that is, less than other Destroyers, but more than other Torpedo Boats]. Along with 16 other remaining Torpedo Boats [of an original total of 35], Farragut was renamed a Coast Torpedo Boat [No. 5] in August 1918, so that the name would be available for a new destroyer.

The Farragut, which was one of the fastest of her class, was built at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, and was 213 feet on the water-line, with a beam of twenty and one-half feet, and draft of six feet, and has twin screws and triple expansion engines of 5600 horse-power. Her armament consisted of two long eighteen-inch Whitehead torpedo-tubes and four six-pounder rapid-fire guns. Six torpedoes were carried stowed away forward under the turtle-back.

The contract for this 240 ton boat was signed October 5th, 1896, and the keel of the vessel was laid July 26th, 1897. She was launched July 16th, 1898, and delivered to the Government December 31st. The contract price for the hull and machinery was $227,500. On trial the Farragut showed an average rate of speed of 30.6 knots. This first torpedo-boat destroyer has been launched at the Union Iron Works at San Francisco, and in honor of the famous admiral she was called the Farragut. This vessel was built by the same builders who built the Oregon, and it is believed that she will give as good an account of herself, if opportunity offered, as has that famous vessel. The launching was most successful ; as the vessel slid into the water she was christened by Miss Betty Ashe, a near relative of the late Admiral Farragut. The boat is contracted to make thirty knots, but these builders had done so well that it will not be surprising if this speed is exceeded.

There is a small conning tower forward and another aft. She is fitted with twin-screw engines of the four-cylinder, four-crank, triple-expansion type, with cylinders 20 inches, 29 inches and two 30 inches diameter and 18 inches stroke. The air pumps are driven direct from the crank shafts by an extension at the forward end of each. The engines are of course designed with a view to getting the maximum power on the minimum weight. Hollow forgings are extensively used, including the crank shafts, each of which is in one piece with the eccentrics forged on. Very complete arrangements for oiling are provided, including centrifugal oilers for the crank pins, and large tubes down the sides of the connecting rods. The main condenser has a copper shell and is placed between the engines with scoops at both ends connected with openings in the bottom, through which the circulating water is forced by the motion of the vessel when steaming. A small circulating pump in the form of a two-bladed propeller is placed in the after scoop to start the circulation when the destroyer is starting out or lying at anchor. The boilers are three in number, of the Thornycroft type, each rated at 2000 horse-power with 240 pounds pressure. The Farragut also carried a distilling plant in the engine-room.

The propellers are three-bladed, of solid bronze, and are carried by forged steel struts far below the keel line, the vessel being cut away tremendously aft for this purpose. They are 6 feet 9 inches in diameter and 8 feet 9 inches pitch, and they turn up 420 revolutions when the boat is going full speed.

The torpedo-boat destroyer Farragut was a case of a vessel in which, relatively speaking, the team and the freeboard are both high. It also has, for such a small vessel, a good metacentric height. It will be observed that the range of stability is very great indeed, the righting arm remaining in all cases very considerable, even at an inclination of 70.

Renamed Coast Torpedo Boat No. 5 on 1 August 1918, she completed her service in the Canal Zone 30 December, and arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard 18 January 1919. There she was decommissioned 13 March 1919 and sold 9 September 1919.

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