USCGC Kangaroo (1917)

USCGC Kangaroo, later USCGC AB-6, was United States Coast Guard patrol boat in commission from 1919 to 1932.

Kangaroo in 1917 just after her completion and prior to her U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard service.
United States
  • USCGC Kangaroo (1919-1923)
  • USCGC AB-6 (1923-1932)
Namesake: The kangaroo (previous name retained)
Builder: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, Rhode Island
Completed: 1917
Acquired: 22 November 1919
Renamed: USCGC AB-6 6 November 1923
Fate: Sold 1 October 1932
Notes: Operated as private motorboat Kangaroo 1917 and as U.S. Navy patrol boat USS Kangaroo (SP-1284) 1917-1919
General characteristics
Type: Patrol vessel
Displacement: 29 tons
Length: 62 ft 4 in (19.00 m)
Beam: 10 ft 11 in (3.33 m)
Draft: 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)
Installed power: 120 brake horsepower
Propulsion: 2 x 4-cylinder gasoline engines, twin screws[1]
Speed: 13 knots[2]
Complement: 5

Construction and United States Navy service

Kangaroo was built as the private motorboat Herreshoff Hull # 316 in May 1917 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company at Bristol, Rhode Island, one of nine identical motor boats built in anticipation of eventual acquisition by the United States Navy from their private owners. The U.S. Navy purchased her for World War I service later that year, and she was in commission as USS Kangaroo (SP-1284) from 1917 to 1919.

United States Coast Guard service

USS Kangaroo had been out of commission for six months when the U.S. Navy transferred her to the United States Department of the Treasury at Key West, Florida, on 22 November 1919, for use by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard commissioned her as USCGC Kangaroo.

The Coast Guard used Kangaroo for customs and coastal surveillance patrols. She served at Key West until assigned to Charleston, South Carolina, on 1 January 1923. She was renamed USCGC AB-6 on 6 November 1923, and later served at Norfolk, Virginia.

AB-6 was sold at Norfolk on 1 October 1932 to John H. Curtis for $200 (USD).


  1. The United States Coast Guard Historican's Office (at reports this propulsion plant and that Kangaroo had a top speed of only 13 knots. The Dictionary of Naval Fighting Ships (at and NavSource Online (at do not mention Kangaroo's propulsion plant, but credit her with a top speed of 21 knots in U.S. Navy service. It is not clear whether or how her propulsion plant differed in U.S. Navy service from that of her Coast Guard service, or why her top speed would have dropped so much during her U.S. Coast Guard service unless her propulsion was changed in some unreported way.
  2. See note (1)


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