From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I p 79-80


An Aztec is an Indian of the Nahuatlan tribe which founded the Mexican Empire conquered by Cortez in 1519.

(PY: dp. 576 1. 260' ; b. 30' ; dr. 13' ; s. 15.9 k. cpl. 96 ; a. 2 3'')

Aztec (SP-390) was launched 22 April 1902 by Lewis Nixon Co., Elizabethport, N. J. ; free leased to the Navy 29 June 1917 commissioned 30 June 1917, Lieutenant J.H. M. Hilton, USNRF, in command; and designated flagship of the 1st Naval District.

As flagship, Aztec made inspection tours of the naval bases within the 1st District. She also convoyed submarines from Boston to New London and British troopships from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia. During the latter part of the war she patrolled the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. On 24 December 1918 she proceeded to New York and on the 26th, with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt embarked, took part in the Naval Review honoring the return of the battleships from European waters.

Aztec continued duty in the 1st Naval District until 15 March 1919 when she went out of commission. She was returned to her owner 7 August 1919.