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The Special Service Squadron was a component of the United States Navy during the earlier part of the 20th century. The squadron patrolled the Caribbean Sea as an instrument of gunboat diplomacy. It was headquartered in Balboa, Panama Canal Zone.

Records of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet have correspondence from the Special Service Squadron in 1907.[1] The Special Service Squadron was stood up as a separate command from the fleet in 1920. Its purpose was to protect the Canal and American interests both in the Caribbean and on the Pacific coast of Central America (and it remained a separate command when the Atlantic and Pacific fleets were combined as the United States Fleet in 1922). The squadron consisted mostly of small, older ships and was abolished in 1940 as part of the consolidation of U.S. naval commands in the early 1940s.[2][3]


Captain Julian L. Latimer. Photo taken while serving as Commandant of the Pelham Bay Naval Training Station, 1919.

Also see


  1. ^ "Letters sent by Rear Adm. C.H. Hockson, Special Service Squadron, 1907". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. ^ Allen, Keith. "Notes on U.S. Fleet Organisation and Disposition, 1898-1941". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. ^ Watson, Graham. "THE UNITED STATES NAVY: ITS RISE TO GLOBAL PARITY 1900-1922". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  4. ^ "U.S.S. ERIE (PG-50)". Ship History. USS Retrieved April 16, 2015.