S. S. Tasco: New London's Plucky Salvage Ship
The screw steamship Tasco was built in New London in 1907. In 1908 it was registered to the T.A. Scott Company (hence its name: TASCO), as a rescue and salvage vessel, based in New London. From 1908 to 1914 the Tasco took part in the rescue or salvage of nearly 150 wrecked ships along the east coast of the United States from as far north as Maine and south to Key West.
In 1914, it was sold to Mr. J. Shewan of Brooklyn, New York. In 1917, it was purchased from Mr. Shewan by the U.S. Navy and commissioned as the USS Tasco, SP502, a minesweeper and patrol vessel. It was decommissioned in 1919 and returned to Mr. Shewan. There are no further records of the Tasco after 1919.
The Tasco Collection in the Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library contains a variety of documents and photos related to the service of the Tasco. The collection was donated to the Custom House Maritime Museum in 2001 by Mr. David A. Allen of Groton, Connecticut. The collection includes about 190 photographs and postcards, the log book of the Tasco from December 15, 1908 to March 2, 1914, an edited version of the the log, and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other documents relating to the activities of the Tasco.
The records of the T. A. Scott Company, from 1889 to 1927, including many documents relevant to the Tasco, are held at the G.W. Blunt Library at Mystic Seaport.
To see all of the scanned images from the Tasco photograph album, click on S.S. Tasco Photographs.
--Laurie M. Deredita, Librarian