This portrait by an anonymous Chinese port painter shows the ex-British steam screw yacht BERLIN after she had been acquired by the U.S. army quartermaster corps and renamed U.S.S. Meade for service in the Spanish American war. In April, 1899, after the close of hostilities the MEADE carried homeward-bound occupation troops from Matanzas, Cuba before proceeding to the south China sea and duty in the newly acquired U.S. possessions in the Phillippines.
Built of iron in 1874 at GREENOCK, Scotland, the 5641 ton BERLIN/MEADE would have been one of the largest steam yachts of her time. Her length overall was 488.6' with a beam of 44.2' and a draught of 34.9'. As an army transport the MEADE carried a crew of 138 men and 11 officers. She served during World War I and was listed as an army transport until 1921. She sold to a San Francisco doctor from the army at fort mason in march 1934.
The artist shows the MEADE flying the flag and wearing the funnel livery of the U.S. army quartermaster corps designating her a troop ship. In contrast, her yachting pedigree is evident in the graceful clipper bow and decorative figurehead. Note the MEADE’s added defensive 3" gun batteries being manned on the fore deck.
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