Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

USS Ossipee II (WPR-50)

A river in eastern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine flowing from Ossippe Lake and emptying into Saco River.

(WPG-50: dp. 908; l. 165'10"; b. 32'; dr. 11'9"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 60; a. 4 3")

Ossipee, built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation, Newport News, Va., as a cruising cutter, was launched in 1915. Accepted by the Government 10 July, she commissioned 28 July. She arrived Portland, Me. 17 August and commenced coastal patrol and rescue operations in a cruising district from Eastport, Me. to Cape Ann, Mass.

Transferred to the Navy by Executive Order of 6 April 1917, she was assigned to Squadron Two, Division Six, Atlantic Patrol Forces. She arrived Gibraltar 30 August and assumed convoy escort duty between Gibraltar and Great Britain. She also took part in anti-submarine operations in the Mediterranean Sea. The cutter cruised in the war zone from 23 August 1917 until 11 November 1918, during which time she assisted in the escort of 596 merchant ships, only five of which were lost to submarine action.

Ossipee returned to the Treasury Department in accordance with Executive Order of 28 August 1919. Upon return to the U.S., she resumed patrol and rescue operations out of Portland, Me. She also helped to reinaugurate the cruises of the International Ice Patrol in the winter of 1920-21. During the effective life of the 18th Amendment the cutter was called upon to serve as an occasional unit of the Coast Guard's seagoing force that battled the rum-runners.

She continued coastal patrol, rescue, and navigational aid service operations out of Portland, Me. through 1935. Transferred to Great Lakes duty in 1936, she was assigned to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. By the time of her second transfer to the Navy 1 November 1941, she was carried on the Coast Guard Register as a miscellaneous cutter. Her wartime operations consisted of Lake Erie patrols out of Cleveland, Ohio. [She was used for ice-breaking during this period. On 2-3 December 1942, Ossipee, along with cutter Crocus, rescued survivors and recovered bodies from the barge Cleveco.]

Ossipee decommissioned 12 June 1945 and was sold 18 September 1946 to Harold H. Neff of East Cleveland, Ohio.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey (patrick@akamail.com)