Home Port of the West Indian Piracy Squadron
N 24° 33.423 W 081° 48.399
17R E 418310 N 2716140
Quick Description: Avast mates, this be the base for Commidore David Porter's Mosquito Fleet that defeated Diabolito.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 10:48:38 AM
Waymark Code: WM703F
In 1823, Commodore David Porter Headquartered the West Indian Piracy Squadron here. The Naval Station was active through two World Wars and the Cuban Missile Crisis frm 1946-1957.
Commodore David Porter established a Naval Station here on April 3, 1823 as a supply Base for his 17-ship Anti-Pirate Squadron. The Station remained in constant operation from that date until its disestablishment on March 31, 1974. Although its function has varied over the years it has operated through seven conflicts with its personnel reaching from a low of 17 military in 1932 to over 15,000 military and 3000 civilians in 1945.
1822 -“Mosquito Fleet” in operation and Commodore David Porter begins cruising Caribbean waters and the Gulf of Mexico in search of pirates.
1823, April - Commodore David Porter defeats Cuban pirate known as Diabolito.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Diabolito or Little Devil (d. July 1823) was a 19th century Cuban pirate. One of the more violent of the era, he actively engaged the United States Navy and was one of the main fugitives pursued during later American naval expeditions in the Caribbean during the 1820s.
The Cuban-born Diabolito became known as a particularly dangerous pirate operating from his home island during the early 1800s. He among others including Charles Gibbs, Pedro Gilbert and Roberto Cofresí were identified as key figures in piracy when President James Monroe authorized the formation of an anti-piracy squadron to combat attacks on American shipping and naval forces occurring off the Florida coast. Based in Key West under Commodore David Porter, a veteran of the Barbary expedition and the War of 1812, the Mosquito Fleet soon began patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Diabolito and other Cuban-based pirates were easily able to escape from American vessels, either escaping into the back country of the Florida Keys or retreating to Cuba where Porter's forces were unable to pursue. As the years past however, Cuban ship owners and other businessmen petitioned for authorities to cooperate with The United States. Spanish officials were unable to continue turning a blind eye to piracy, which often amounted to attacks on lone merchant vessels and fishing boats, and agreed to assist in hunting down Diabolito and others.
In April 1823, Diabolito encountered Porter and cornered off the northern coast of Cuba. After a brief fight, he and his crew abandoned their ships and fled inland.  Out of his 70-man crew, 30 were either killed during the fighting or drowned while trying to swim to land. He managed to elude authorities and, acquiring another ship, he set sail for the Yucatan. He again encountered the Mosquito Fleet when the USS Gallinipper and the USS Mosquito, commanded by Lieutenant William H. Watson and Lieutenant William Inman respectively, pursued him upon finding him in Cuba once again. Although outnumbering the Americans, whose total force numbered 31 men compared to the 70 or 80 pirates, Watson gave the order to attack and sailed towards the pirates driving them into the sea. The men began abandoning their ship, the 4-gun schooner Catalina, and the American vessels were "soon in the midst of the swimmers, and, laying about right and left, exterminated dozens of them". All of his men were either killed or were captured by local authorities, Diabolito himself being killed in the water when he refused to surrender.