Type and Characteristics: Barquentine-rigged steam cutter built by Alexander Stephen & Son, Dundee, Scotland as a whaler and sealer for W Grieve of Greenock, Scotland, hull reinforced for light ice, launched and completed 1874, 703 tons displacement, 198ft 4in long x 30ft beam x 17ft 11in draft, compound-expansion steam, 25-5/8in and 50in diameter x 30in stroke, 101 nominal hp.

Log Period and Area of Service: 1884, Greely Arctic rescue mission.

Summary of Service

1874 - Sealing ship operating off Newfoundland.

1884 - Purchased by the US Navy for Greely Arctic rescue mission. The 1881-83 Expedition commanded by First Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, US Army was one of two whose purpose was to set up meteorological observation stations in the Arctic. Greely's party was left stranded in the Arctic over the winter of 1883-84. The US Navy organized a fleet consisting of USS Bear, USS Thetis and HMS Alert, who together rescued the survivors of the expedition.

Fate: Transferred in 1885 to the Revenue Cutter Service of the Treasury Department for service in Alaskan Waters and the Arctic Ocean with the Alaskan Patrol. Finally sank in tow off Nova Scotia in 1963.

Follow the link to logs while in US Revenue Cutter Service as USRC Bear.

Links: DANFS, USCG Historian's site


A general note on the sources.