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The first USS Growler (1812) was a 53-ton wooden schooner of 5 guns, which served in the War of 1812, changing hands three times.

Growler was purchased as Experiment on Lake Ontariomarker during 1812, and was first commanded by Sailing Master M.P. Mix. She was actively employed with Chauncey's squadron on Lake Ontario from 1812 to 1814. Growler took part in attacks on Kingstonmarker, Yorkmarker, and Fort George and the engagement with the Britishmarker squadron 7–11 August 1813.

She was captured by the British on 10 August 1813, and recaptured on 5 October 1813 by , Growler was libelled and purchased by the United States Navy, rejoining the squadron.

The British captured her again 5 May 1814 at Oswego, New Yorkmarker, and she was taken into the Royal Navy as .

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