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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Savannahs have long naval history
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Roger Allen

    The first naval warship named the Savannah was a "Galley" built on the Savannah River in 1798. Fifty-two feet long and armed with seven deck guns, she patrolled the Savannah coast between 1799 and 1802.
    The frigate U.S.S. Savannah was begun in 1820 but not finished until 1842. During the Civil War, the U.S.S. Savannah captured the Confederate blockade-runners E.J. Waterman and the Cheshire.
    The first C.S.S. Savannah was built in 1856 as the 406-ton steamer Everglade. The State of Georgia bought the ship in 1861, and renamed her the Savannah. Dispatched in 1863 to England to obtain supplies, she sank in bad weather.
    The second C.S.S. Savannah began as Charleston's 53-ton pilot boat Number 7. Armed with one 18-pound pivot gun, she was the first Charleston privateer to take a prize in the war, but that very same day, she was captured.
    The third C.S.S. Savannah was an 850-ton ironclad ram. Built in 1862, the Savannah was armed with four large deck guns. Capturing the USS Water Witch in June of 1864, the Savannah was burned on Dec. 20 when Savannah fell.
    The next "U.S.S. Savannah" started off as the 1,200-ton Confederate blockade runner the “Hope.” Captured by the U.S.S. Eolus in October of 1864, the Hope was renamed the “Savannah” and patrolled the Georgia coastline.
    The armored “tin clad” ship U.S.S. Savannah, built in 1864, patrolled Georgia's coastal waterways. After the war, she crashed into the steamer Mayflower at Hickory Bend on her way up the Savannah River to Augusta and was declared a total loss.
    The sub-hunter U.S.S. Savannah started off as a 248-ton yacht built in 1893 in Scotland. In 1917, the U.S. Navy bought her and renamed her the “Christabel" (SP-162). Sold to the Savannah Bar Pilots Association in 1919, she was renamed the “Savannah."
    The next U.S.S. Savannah was built in Germany in 1899 as the 10,800-ton passenger liner "Saxonia." Seized by the U.S. government, she was converted into the submarine tender Savannah (AS-8). Decommissioned on Dec. 16, 1926, she was sold to the Japanese for scrap in 1954.
    The next U.S.S. Savannah was a "Light" cruiser built by the New York Shipbuilding yards in New Jersey in March 1938. Weighing 9,475 tons, while supporting the invasion of Sicily in 1943, the Savannah was hit by a German “Wireless Guided Gliding Bomb" and 197 men died.
    Later, after being repaired, the Savannah escorted President Roosevelt to meet with Churchill and Stalin at the famous "Yalta Conference." Decommissioned Feb. 3, 1947, she was sold for scrap in 1966.
    The next U.S.S. Savannah was 40,100-ton "Replenishment Oiler." Built at the General Dynamics Shipbuilding yards in Massachusetts in 1970, she did two tours of duty off the coast of Vietnam. Decommissioned in 1995, she was sold for scrap in January 2009.
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at

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