Galveston, 1891

Jan. 18, 2021

Apache, 1891

(originally named Galveston)

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

Builder:  Reeder & Sons, Baltimore, Maryland

Length: 190'

Beam: 29'

Draft: 8'

Displacement: 416 tons

Cost: $95,650

Commissioned: 22 August 1891

Decommissioned: 31 December 1937

Disposition: Transferred to the U.S. Army during World War II

Machinery: Compound-expansion steam engine; twin propellers; later replaced with triple-expansion engine and a single propeller.

Performance & Endurance:
        Max: 12 knots

Complement: 41

Armament: 3 guns

Cutter History:

The Apache was built in 1891 at Baltimore, Maryland by Reeder & Sons.  She was commissioned in the Revenue Cutter Service as Galveston on 22 August 1891.  After temporary duty at Wilmington, North Carolina, Galveston moved to her permanent assignment along the gulf coast in October, 1891.  Here she enforced Customs and quarantine laws, patrolled regattas, participated in Mardi Gras and other celebrations, and conducted search and rescue patrols when needed. 

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 and providing assistance to ships in distress and to victims of natural disasters including the flood of 1899 and 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.  On 16 July 1904 she arrived at William Cramp and Son at Philadelphia where she underwent a full refit that cost $74,000.  During that time, on 30 December 1904, her name was changed to Apache.  The refit was completed and she was put back in commission on 11 December 1905 at Arundel Cove, Maryland.

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.  In addition to her regular duties, she also served as a VIP transport.  When the United States entered World War I, the Coast Guard (established in 1916 with the amalgamation of the Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service) was transferred to Navy jurisdiction.  She 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.  The cutter remained active with the Coast Guard until 1937.  During World War II she saw service with the U.S. Army where she first served as a troop transport for service in the Pacific Theatre.  She was converted into a radio transmitter ship at Sydney, Australia in mid-1944 and it was from her decks that General Douglas MacArthur's "I Have Returned" speech was first broadcast.  The Apache was also present in Tokyo Harbor for the Japanese surrender ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Missouri.

She was scrapped in 1950.


Cutter History File, Coast Guard Historian's Office.

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

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

Stephen H. Evans.  The United States Coast Guard, 1790-1915: A Definitive History (With a Postscript: 1915-1950).  Annapolis: The United States Naval Institute, 1949.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).