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NavSource Online: Eagle-Class Patrol Craft
Photo Archive


Call sign:
Nan - Item - Charlie - Jig

ex-Eagle No. 56

Call sign (1919):
George - Have - King - Sail

PE-56 sank 23 April 1945

Eagle Class Patrol Craft:

  • Laid down 25 March 1919 by the Ford Motor Co., Rouge Plant, Detroit, Michigan
  • Launched 15 August 1919
  • Commissioned USS Eagle No. 56, 26 October 1919
  • Designated PE-56, 17 July 1920
  • Torpedoed 23 April 1945 by the German submarine U-853 off Portland, ME.


  • Displacement 710 t.
  • Length 200' 9"
  • Beam 25' 9"
  • Draft 13' 6"
  • Speed 18.32 kts.
  • Complement 68
  • Armament: One 4"/50 gun mount and two .50 cal. machine guns
  • Propulsion: Two Thorny-Croft Bureau Model 250 psi boilers, one 2,500 shp Poole geared turbine, Ford single reduction gear, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PE-56 Model
    PE-56 338k Office of the Curator of Navy Ship Models, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, Bethesda, MD
    Photo by Dan Treadwell
    Dan Treadwell
    USS PE-56
    PE-56 91k Bob Canchola
    Photos added 3 October 2019
    PE-56 128k The officers and crew of the USS Eagle muster on deck in a Maine harbor a month before (March 1945) the submarine chaser was sunk by a German U-boat in the closing days of World War II
    Associated Press photo
    Read the story on the loss of PE-56 - "Historian Brings Honor in Tragedy"-
    Stanley C. Svec
    PE-56 50k Headline from the 3 May 1945 edition of the Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME Bob Canchola
    Photos added 3 October 2019
    PE-56 60k Photo from the March 2003 edition of Sea Classics Bob Daly/PC-1181
    PE-56 198k A memorial plaque on the grounds of the Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, describes the loss of U.S.S. Eagle-56 Bob Canchola
    Photos added 3 October 2019
    PE-56 80k A diver inspects one of the guns mounted on the Eagle 56
    Photo from the Smithsonian Channel/Nomad Exploration Team
    Tommy Trampp
    PE-56 111k A shoe lies among the wreckage of the Eagle 56
    Photo from the Smithsonian Channel/Nomad Exploration Team

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Edward William Wunch, USN - USNA Class of 191826 October 1919
    02LTJG Charles Joseph Starkus, USN - USNA Class of 19271936
    03LTJG Robert Nicholson Scott Clark, USN - USNA Class of 1929
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    04CDR Frank W. Parsons, USNRNovember 1940 - 3 April 1943
    05LT James W. Roddy, USNR3 April 1943 - March 1944
    06LCDR John L. Barr, Jr., USNRMarch 1944 - 23 January 1945
    07LT James G. Early, USNR23 January 1945 - 23 April 1945
    08LTJG John P. Scagnelli, USNR (Senior Surviving Officer)23 April 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the PE-56
    DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Eagle-Class Patrol Craft (PE) Photo Index

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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