Revenue Cutter, Mohawk, was built in 1902 in Richmond, Virginia. She was
commissioned on May 10, 1904, and was owned by the Treasury Department. The
Mohawk was 205 feet, six inches long, 32 feet wide, powered by steam and
displaced 980 tons. On April 6, 1917, she was temporarily transferred to the
Navy. The Mohawk served coastal duty for convoy operations.
October 1, 1917, the single screw cutter was sunk due to a collision with the
British tanker, SS Vennachar. According to the Navy's report of the incident," The British vessel struck the Mohawk nearly at right angles, her
stem cutting into the side amidships, abreast the engine room, between the
launch davits, smashing the surf boat and cutting into the ship's side to such
an extent that the use of a collision mat was out of the question.... Pumps were
started at once, the general alarm sounded and all hands called to take stations
for abandoning ship". The ship filled rapidly and began settling by the
stern. She took one hour to go down which left plenty of time for all 77 crew
members to be rescued by the USS Mohigan and USS Sabalo. The USS Bridge arrived
on the scene and attached a cable to the Mohawk's bow bit. She then attempted to
tow the Mohawk into shallow water. Before rescuers were able to generate any
forward movement, it was noticed that the Mohawk had begun to sink rapidly and
list heavily to port. The commanding officer of the Bridge was forced to cut the
tow line and throw both engines into full speed ahead to get clear. " With
her bow high in the air, the Mohawk settled slowly emitting quantities of
of the RC Mohawk by Byron A.Nilsson. Byron is the son of one of the RC's crew
members. Copyright 2004
the R.C. Mohawk rests on a silty bottom, ten miles south of Debs Inlet, 12.5
miles from Sandy Hook in 105 feet of water. Her bow sits upright, amidships is
broken down. Her boilers are recognizable, while her engine remains upright and
her stern lies on its starboard side and is now collapsed flat. For many years, her location was not too
suitable for divers or fishermen, since its was almost directly under a sewage
dump location, but this is changing with the new offshore dumping laws. In fact,
the wreck has been cleaning up, visibility is better, and the bottom is becoming
less silty. Just as an example, I have made many visits to this wreck over the
past few years and have never until this year had more than two feet of
visibility. On two trips this year, I've seen visibility upwards of 15 feet. As
a side note, I would still not recommend eating any lobsters from this site due
to the previous years of dumping, but she is definitely recommendedto divers looking for artifacts.
The above painting was done by Byron
Nilsson who's father served aboard the Mohawk from 1909-1915. Mr. Nilsson also
sent me this picture which depicts his father and crew. His father is top
row, second from the left, holding kitten.
This photo of the USRC Mohawk was
taken in dry dock after the vessel ran aground in Hells Gate.
Above image courtesy
Byron Nilsson. Photo is of
the crew of the RC Mohawk ,
lined up and ready to march in the 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration.
This is actually a post card that was sold during the event. This was
a colossal (never to be repeated) event with navy ships from all
maritime nations and activities on the Hudson River from NYC to Albany.
In the parade, on Fifth Ave, the Mohawk crew marched behind the Spanish
seamen. The Mohawk monitored activities such as crew (rowing)
races. Mr Nilsson's dad is in this photo he is in the second line; his head is
between the heads of the first two men in first line.... left side
Above image courtesy Byron Nilsson.
On original photo with a magnifying glass you can read Mohawk on Crew members
Nilsson's cap. He's sitting, left side of photo; the other guy has his
hair bunched in front of cap.
Crew photo courtesy Byron Nilsson.
Mr Nilsson writes "Part of the crew aboard ship; cook sprawled on the deck. This
appears to be near the elevated stern. Note one boat swung in and
davit near the crew appears swung out. I don't think that we are
seeing the landing for the boat. I believe the person taking the photo is
standing on the boat landing and the boat crew is merely holding the boat for
Expo Free Newsletter
Sign up for our free e-mail shipwreck, diving and Treasure
Hunting newsletter. Capt. Dan Berg has designed this e-mail
service for all wreck divers, maritime historians and