Uncommon Warrior

200 Years of the Most Unusual American Naval Vessels

Hardcover $6.99
Book: Cover Type


The book examines all of the nearly 500 of the Navy's unique miscellaneous auxiliary (AG) and unclassified miscellaneous (IX) vessels. It provides individual histories, specifications and illustrations for more than 40 of these ships in 32 chapters, as well as concise directory listings for another 400 vessels. The main text is supplemented with a glossary of terms and abbreviations, bibliography and three apprendices, and is further reinforced with a useful detailed index.

The focus of the book is on a heterogeneous and little-known grouping of Navy ships that includes both celebrated men-of-war (past their prime) and hundreds of very diverse ships with fascinating stories, missions, achievements and roles.

Conclusion: The AG and IX "fleet" constitutes the most novel, unique and uncommon aggregation of naval vessels in more than two centuries of American history.

Beyond the usual carriers, submarines, cruisers and destroyers, the U.S. Navy has also deployed over the years a vast flotilla of diverse vessels to serve in specialized roles and unusual missions. Uncommon Warriors spotlights these unique “miscellaneous” ships and boats, and provides individual histories, specifications and illustrations of many of them. Some began their careers as powerful warships with impressive pedigrees and achievements; others started out as prosaic commercial vessels but after joining the fleet, helped the Navy to win a war. This uncommon group includes iconic and historic men-of-war -- such as “Old Ironsides,” Farragut’s Hartford and Dewey’s Olympia -- as well as such novel vessels as coal-burning side-wheeler aircraft carriers, presidential yachts, Q-ships, “spy ships” and an amazing array of other types from battleships to tugs. In all, this book furnishes for the first time a comprehensive account of some of the most interesting -- but often little-known -- naval ships and boats spanning more than two centuries of U.S. history.

About the Author