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USS Eagle 2 (PE-2) on builder’s trials in 1918
Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC (Apr. 15, 2003) This is the USS Eagle 2 (PE-2) on builders trials in 1918. An identical sister ship, USS Eagle 56 (PE-56), was lost due to a mysterious explosion April 23, 1945. Although Eagle 56 survivors stated they had spotted a submarine during the sinking, the official Navy Investigation declared it lost due to a boiler explosion. Through the work of a dedicated researcher and the Naval Historical Centers senior archivist the Navy changed this to a combat loss in 2002. Both ships were members of 60 Eagle Boats built by automaker Henry Ford for World War I. None of them were completed in time to see service in that war due to the Armistice, November 11, 1918. They were not very popular due to poor sea-keeping characteristics. The Navy discarded all but eight, before World War II. The term Eagle Boat came from a 1917 editorial in the Washington Post that called for an eagle to scour the seas and pounce upon and destroy every German submarine. U.S. Navy photo.

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