Apache, 1891; ex-Galveston

April 15, 2020

Apache, 1891; ex-Galveston

A Native-American Indian tribe of the southwestern portion of the United States.

Builder: Reeder & Sons, Baltimore, Maryland

Commissioned: 22 August 1891

Decommissioned: 31 December 1937

Displacement: 416 tons

Length: 190'

Beam: 29'

Draft: 10'

Propulsion: Compound-expansion steam engine; twin screw with one propeller to each cylinder; replaced with triple-expansion steam engine with a single propeller.

Maximum speed: 12.0 knots

Complement: 41

Armament: 3 guns


The second Apache -- an iron-hulled twin screw cutter built in 1891 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Reeder & Sons--was commissioned in the Revenue Cutter Service as Galveston on 22 August 1891. After temporary duty at Wilmington, North Carolina, Galveston moved on to her permanent assignment along the gulf coast in October. During the Spanish-American War, the revenue cutter was not transferred to the Navy but instead was ordered to New Orleans to cooperate with the military authorities there in the defense of the city. After hostilities ended in the summer of 1898, the cutter resumed her former duties enforcing customs laws, patrolling regattas, serving as a "V.I.P." transport on the Potomac for government officials, and providing assistance to ships in distress and to victims of natural disasters such as the hurricane and high tide that struck Galveston, Texas, between 27 August and 8 September 1900. Galveston operated in the Gulf of Mexico until the summer of 1906. During that time, on 30 December 1900, her name was changed to Apache. In 1904 her unique power-plant was replaced with a standard triple expansion steam engine and a single propeller replaced her twin-screw set up.

In July 1906, the cutter was reassigned to the Chesapeake Bay area. Steaming via Key West, Florida, Apache arrived in Baltimore on 21 July 1906 and spent the rest of her government service operating in the Chesapeake water system. At the start of World War I in 1914, she was given the additional duty of enforcing the nation's neutrality laws. When the United States entered World War I, the Coast Guard -- established in 1915 with the amalgamation of the Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service -- was transferred to Navy jurisdiction and Apache was assigned to the 5th Naval District. She continued to patrol the waters of Chesapeake Bay through the end of the war. Jurisdiction over the Coast Guard was returned to the Treasury Department on 28 August 1919. She returned to her peace-time duties in Chesapeake waters for the remainder of her Coast Guard career. She was decommissioned on 31 December 1937. During World War II, the U.S. Army reactivated her and she served as a radio transmitter ship in the Pacific Theatre. She broadcast GEN Douglas MacArthur's "I have returned" speech in 1944. She was scrapped in 1950. 2 USRC Galveston; no caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. USRC Apache; no caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Cutter File, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office.

Donald Canney. U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I, Part A, p. 328. 3