Built as schooner Hermes by W.F. Stone & Co., Oakland, California for Wiliams- Diamond Co. agents for Jaluit Gesellschaft of Hamburg, Germany and launched in 1914.

[ USS Lanikai undersail ]As Hermes engaged in inter-island copra trade in the German held Pacific Islands until being interned in Hawaii at the outbreak of World War I.

Commissioned as USS Hermes April 1, 1918. Hermes engaged in patrolling the westernmost Hawaiian islands until the end of World War I.

Decommissioned January 23, 1919 and laid up at Pearl Harbor where it was used variously as an Air Detachment, Pacific Fleet depot ship and yacht until being stricken from the Navy List July 1, 1926.

Sold to Lanikai Fish Co. and renamed Lanikai in 1926. Converted to fishing trade purposes by installation of new diesel engine and a 40-ton capacity freezer room.

Sold to Hawaiian Sea Products Co. in 1929 and used in the pearling and fishing industries in Hawaiian waters. Laid up in 1931 due to poor economics of the fishing industry.

Sold to Northrup Castle in late 1933. He used Lanikai as a commercial charter yacht based at Honolulu.

Sold to Harry W. Crosby in early 1936 and homeport shifted to Seattle, Washington. Engaged in Alaskan salmon fishery trade during the summer of 1936.

Cruise of the Lanikai Cover - LanikaiCvr.gifSold in early 1937 to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios for use in making Hurricane, starring Jon Hall and Dorothy Lamour. Following completion of the film Lanikai was used as the MGM yacht.

Sold April 6, 1939 to George W. Simmie acting as agent for E.M. Grim, an American resident of Manila, Philippine Islands. Assigned to Luzon Stevedoring Co. and used as Mr. Grim's yacht and inter-island trading ship.

Chartered to the U.S. Navy on or about December 4, 1941 for an indefinite period for $1 per year with the ship to be returned in the same condition as when chartered.

Commissioned as USS Lanikai, an auxillary schooner, December 5, 1941, at Cavite, P.I., Lt. Kemp Tolley commanding. Lanikai detailed to patrol the vicinity of Camranh Bay, French Indo-China with a mixed crew of U.S. Navy ratings and Philippine Insular Force seamen. Departed Manila Bay December 7, 1941. Recalled the morning of December 8 while still in the vicinity of Corregidor I. and assigned to the Inshore Patrol. Detached from Inshore Patrol December 26, and with passengers, ordered to attempt transit to the nearest friendly port.

USS Lanikai, a 67 ton wooden hulled motorized schooner rigged ship. Armament: one 3" 1898 Spanish iron sighted rifle, one .50 AA and one .30 machine gun. Complement on commissioning was one officer and 18 crew.


Phil Abbey's Library - Yangtze Patrol - Kemp Tolley - NAVSOURCE
Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships

Source: Kemp Tolley, Cruise of the Lanikai, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1982).

Created by Phil Abbey April 27, 1998. Comments to sdys@geocities.com