Missing Tugboat Found after 95 Years

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 23, 2016

  • USS Conestoga at San Diego, January 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)
  • USS Conestoga officers and crew in 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)
  • USS Conestoga at San Diego, January 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph) USS Conestoga at San Diego, January 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)
  • USS Conestoga officers and crew in 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph) USS Conestoga officers and crew in 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)

The USS Conestoga (AT 54) mysteriously vanished without a distress call nearly 100 years ago, with 56 officers and sailors on board. The nation was gripped by the puzzling disappearance.

 
Now, NOAA and the U.S. Navy announced the Navy seagoing fleet tugboat has been found in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, 95 years after its disappearance.
 
Conestoga left San Francisco on March 25, 1921 en route to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but never reached its destination.
 
The Navy, unable to locate the ship or wreckage, declared Conestoga and its crew lost on June 30, 1921. Conestoga was the last U.S. Navy ship to be lost in peacetime without a trace.
 
The case remained cold until NOAA's Office of Coast Survey documented a probable, uncharted shipwreck around the Farallon Islands in 2009. Further investigation, including a two-year study to document historic shipwrecks in and near the sanctuary by NOAA and the Naval History and Heritage Command, confirmed the wreckage as Conestoga, solving the 95-year old mystery.
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