USS Huron (1875)

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Alert class gunboat
An Alert class gunboat, possibly Huron, under construction at the shipyard of John Roach & Sons, c. 1874-75.
United States
Name: USS Huron
Namesake: Lake Huron
Builder: John Roach & Sons
Laid down: 1873
Launched: 1875
Commissioned: 15 November 1875
Fate: Wrecked 24 November 1877
Notes: 98 of crew lost;34 saved
General characteristics
Class and type: Gunboat
Displacement: 1,020 long tons (1,040 t)
Length: 175 ft (53 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Depth of hold: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Armament: 1 × 11 in (280 mm) Dahlgren gun, 2 × 9 in (230 mm) Dahlgren guns, 1 × 60 pdr (27 kg) Parrott rifle, 1 × 12 pdr (5.4 kg) howitzer, 1 × Gatling gun
USS Huron
Nearest city Nags Head, North Carolina
Area 1.6 acres (0.65 ha)
Built 1877
Architect Delaware River Shipbuilding Co.
Architectural style Other, Alert-class Sloop of War
NRHP reference # 91001625[1]
Added to NRHP 15 November 1991

USS Huron was an iron-hulled gunboat of the United States Navy. She was a screw steamer with full-rig auxiliary sail, built by John Roach & Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania from 1873–75 and commissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 15 November 1875, with Commander George P. Ryan in command.

Service history

Huron arrived on 11 December 1875 for duty at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and spent the next two years cruising in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. She stopped at Veracruz and Key West on her first cruise, returning to Port Royal on 4 August 1876 and visited many Caribbean and Venezuelan ports from March–June 1877.

1881 engraving of the wreck of the USS Huron.
Huron graves at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis Maryland


After repairs at New York Navy Yard in August, the ship sailed to Hampton Roads, and departed on 23 November 1877 for a scientific cruise on the coast of Cuba. Soon after her departure, Huron ran aground[2] off Nags Head, North Carolina in heavy weather, and was wrecked shortly after 1 a.m. next morning. For a time, her crew worked in relatively little danger, attempting to free their ship, but she soon heeled over, carrying 98 officers and men to their deaths. Of the fatalities 83 remains were recovered and buried; of which the remains of 8 officers and 61 men were identified while 14 others who could not be identified.[3]

Today, the Huron wreck can be dived (Scuba or free dived) from shore.

The bow of the wreck GPS coordinates are 35.97751, -75.63092 which is around 250 yard swim from shore. The wreck is often marked with a buoy during the summer months.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Proceedings of Court of Inquiry on the Loss of the Huron
  3. ^ Proceedings of Court of Inquiry on the Loss of the Huron

External links

  • Contemporary Newspaper accounts of the loss of the USN Huron
  • Proceedings of Court of Inquiry on the Loss of the Huron,
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