and Geodetic Survey Ship SIALIA. In service 1919-1920. Atlantic
service. Many mechanical problems led to returning vessel to
Navy in 1920.
(SP-543: Length, 207 feet, beam 27 feet, draft 11.3 feet. Built in
Sialia (SP-543), a steam yacht built in 1914 by Pusey and Jones, Wilmington,
Del., Ex USS SP-543 was acquired by the Navy in June 1917. The SIALIA
saw a little patrol duty but spent most of the war tied up at the
Philadelphia Navy Yard and then, from 15 April 1918 to 5 May 1919,
she served as flagship in Hampton Roads for Commander Division Four,
Cruiser Force, and Newport News Division, Transport Force. The ship
was transferred to the Coast and Geodetic Survey on 6 October 1919
and returned to the Navy on 6 February1920 after an attempted cruise
to the West Coast which resulted in numerous breakdowns. It was sold
by the Navy to Henry Ford later that year and renamed the YANKEE CLIPPER.
Possibly named for the genus Sialia, the bluebirds, or as a geophysical
reference to the sima (dense mantle material) and sial, the sial (continental
material) being less dense floats on top of the sima.