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(Tug: dp. 187; 1. 85'8" (bp.); b. 18'10"; dr. 7' (mean); dph. 8' (mean); s. 8.5 k.)
The first Rocket, built at Mystic, Conn., in 1862 as the wooden harbor tug J. P. Billard, was purchased for the Navy 12 October 1863 From Copeland & Howe at New York and renamed the same day.
Rocket served as an ordnance tug carrying weapons and ammunition in New York Navy Yard during and after the Civil War. Reboilered in 1884, Rocket was subsequently transferred to Boston Navy Yard to perform yard tuz duties. Thoroughly overhauled at Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard in 1889, Rocket's last service was as a fireboat and tug in Boston Navy Yard through the Spanish American War. Stricken from the Navy list 27 October 1899, Rocket was sold 28 December 1899 to Carrie I. Hall at Newport, R.I.