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Submarine Chaser Photo Archive

Olney (PC 1172)
ex-PC-1172



Call sign:
November - Papa - November - Papa

PC-461 Class Submarine Chaser:

  • Laid down, 29 March 1943 at Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.
  • Launched, 5 June 1943
  • Commissioned USS PC-1172, 6 October 1943
  • Decommissioned in February 1955 at San Diego, CA
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Columbia River Group
  • Named Olney 15 February 1956
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 July 1960
  • Sold 20 May 1961 to Hatch and Kirk Inc. of Astoria, Oregon
  • They removed the General Motors 16-278A engines, overhauled and sold the engines along with the gears, shafts and propellers to the Luzon Stevedores of Manila, Philippines for new construction tugs. The hull was towed up to
    Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island across from Seattle, WA. Around 1969 the hull was cut down to a kind of landing barge configuration with a bow ramp, and the stern section was scuttled by the Bainbridge Flounder
    Pounders for use as a fish habitat. Bobtailed, it was re-powered with a pair of Navy surplus Murray & Tregurtha "Z" drives powered with 6-71 Detroit Diesels. The hull became the 120 foot M/V Gleaner. She worked in the
    high Arctic for 3 years chartered to the Western Geophysical, Inc. for seismic work at Prudhoe Bay during the Alaskan pipe line job. Around 1975 she wintered in a lagoon behind Kotzebue, Alaska. The following spring she
    was towed to Seward, Alaska and sold to the Peninsula Packing Company. They made her into a clam digger which ended up a total failure. She then did seismic work in the Cook Inlet and finally ended up on the beach across
    from Seward, Alaska in Resurrection Bay. Her new owner installed a pair of 8V71 Detroit Diesels with 3:1 reduction gear ratio, conventional shafts and propellers. He built two keels under the hull for new rudders and was
    replating the bottom. His plan was to load her up with all his worldly goods and head south for Costa Rica.
  • Fate unknown.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 280 t.(lt) , 450 t.(fl)
  • Length 173' 8"
  • Beam 23'
  • Draft 10' 10"
  • Speed 20.2 kts.
  • Complement 65
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, one single 40mm gun mount; three 20mm guns, two rocket launchers, four depth charge projectiles, two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 2,880bhp General Motors 16-278A diesel engines (Serial No. 14247 and 14278), Farrel-Birmingham single reduction gear, two shafts.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS PC-1172
    Olney 51k . J. Connell
    PC-1172 141k c. September 1943.
    Sea Trial, Lake Michigan.
    Preparing for escort duty in the gulf & Caribbean, later Atlantic.
    Gary Neidhardt
    Olney 39k - R. G. Floyd, crewmember 1954-55
    Olney 60k . Bob Daly/PC-1181
    PC-1172 133k c. 1943.
    Crew of the PC-1172. Paul Woodrow Neidhardt, Executive Officer, second from left and James “Jimmy” J. Watson, Ships Cook 3/c front row on the right
    PC-1172 407k c. Early 1944.
    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
    Officers and Crew, USS PC-1172. Paul Woodrow Neidhardt, Executive Officer, third from the right; Robert C. Gillette, Electrician's Mate 2/c, fourth from right and James “Jimmy” J. Watson, Ships Cook 3/c, kneeling second from right in back
    Gary Neidhardt
    M/V Gleaner
    Gleaner 93k . Bob Daly/PC-1181

    Below photos from the collection of LT Paul W. Neidhardt, USNR
    Executive Officer
    USS PC-1172

    Contributed by Gary Neidhardt

    (If you know the identity of any of these crew members, please send an email with their names)

    Click on thumbnail for full size photo.


    Here's the ice story of PC-1172 and the accompanying letter my Dad sent to my mother describing the event. The approximate date of the letter is February 6, 1944. He was "at sea," thus, as you know, he had to obey censorship rules and not date nor state locations. He was able to describe New York City in other ways to his wife, who received her masters from Columbia in 1939. Here's what he wrote:

    "We certainly got it in the neck finally. As we left the warm water and hit the cold (30 degree drop in temperature in 4 hours) the wind came up and we found ourselves bucking a real winter gale. Nobody slept much last night and practically everyone was doubting that the hull would stand the pounding. This was particularly true of the boys who bunk in the lower compartments. They felt the full shock and the ship went up, up, then zoom down & crash!

    Nobody ate for 24 hours because it was too tough to get back to the mess quarters or to bring food forward. We had to bring in all lookouts & gun crews etc. to keep them from freezing. I had more warm clothes than most - I loaned a sweater & gloves to one of my signalmen who had never been north before in wintry time and didn't know what to expect. He nearly froze his hands this morning trying to handle a signal searchlight without gloves. I finished his message for him and nearly caught pneumonia in doing it.

    The entire upper surface of the ship rigging, antennas, decks etc. were covered in ice when we arrived, like you've seen in photos.

    I don’t want you to worry, honey, but I figure you want to know what I am doing. We will make out better after we get proper clothing. We were never in any danger – it was just nasty weather. Our hull remained 100% watertight despite all the pounding."



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    View the Olney (PC-1172)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
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