From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Marcus Junius Brutus (85?-42 B. C.) was a Roman politician and one of Caesar's assassins.

(AC-15: dp. 2000; l. 332'6"; b. 41'6"; dr. 22'11"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 80; a. 4 6-pdr.)

Brutus (AC-15) was built in 1894 by J. Readhead and Sons, South Shields-on-Tyne, England, as Peter Jebsen; purchased by the Navy at San Francisco 21 April 1898; and commissioned 27 May 1898, Lieutenant V. L. Cottman in command.

Having towing equipment, Brutus took the monitor Monterey in tow and departed San Diego 11 June 1898. Having towed that vessel more than 3700 miles, Brutus arrived at Manila 4 August after brief stops enroute. On 9 March 1899 she returned to Mare Island Navy Yard and was assigned to the Pacific Station. Leaving Mare Island 2 April 1899 she made her way across the Pacific, via Samoa and Honolulu, to Guam where she served at times as station ship (13 August 1899-28 March 1901). Returning to the Atlantic, via the Orient and Mediterranean, Brutus reached New York 6 August 1901 and went out of commission there 29 August 1901.

Commencing 1 November 1901 she operated under contract as a fleet auxiliary fuel ship for special service having a merchant complement (Naval Auxiliary Service). Her services were assigned to the Asiatic Fleet, 1903-07, and during 28 December 1905-9 July 1906 she towed the Dewey Drydock to the Philippines. She was attached to the Atlantic Fleet between 1907 and 1916. In 1913-14 she supplied vessels patrolling in Mexican waters. In 1915 she loaded cargo and stores to service the vessels of the Navy in the Mediterranean and Near East and served as a towing vessel for target practice while there.

In April 1916 Brutus was transferred to the Pacific Station, based at Mare Island Navy Yard. At the beginning of World War I her officers and crew were taken into the Naval Reserve. On 24 April 1917, bound for Mexican waters, she was stranded on Cerros Island during a fog. She was floated after ten days; towed to San Diego for temporary repair, and was later towed to Mare Island Navy Yard for permanent repairs. When ready for service, in addition to her special duties, she convoyed a subchaser flotilla in Mexican waters and patrolled there. Late in 1918 Brutus participated in the Alaska Red Cross Influenza Relief Expedition, returning with passengers and cargo in January 1919. Thereafter, she served with the Train, Pacific Fleet, until dispatched a year later with coal and supplies to the Naval Station, Tutuila, Samoa. In March 1920 she departed Samoa enroute to Honolulu with MS Oregon in tow. Returning to base, she continued her duties during another year, making several calls at Puget Sound Navy Yard to load ammunition for delivery to the Fleet. She was decommissioned 17 August 1921 and sold 29 July 1922.