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Gunboat Photo Archive

Paducah (PG 18)

Call sign:
Nan - Easy - Sugar - Charlie

ex-Gunboat No. 18

Dubuque Class Gunboat:

  • Laid down 22 September 1903 by the Gas Engine and Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co., Morris Heights, Long Island, NY
  • Launched 11 October 1904
  • Commissioned USS Paducah (Gunboat No. 18), 2 September 1905
  • Decommissioned 2 March 1919
  • Reclassified as a Miscellaneous Auxiliary, AG-7 in 1919
  • Recommissioned 16 August 1920
  • Decommissioned 9 September 1921
  • Reclassified as an Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary, IX-23, 22 April 1922
  • Recommissioned 2 May 1922
  • Reclassified as a Patrol Gunboat, PG-18, 4 November 1940
  • Decommissioned 7 September 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register 17 September 1945
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission 19 December 1946 and sold to Maria Angelo of Miami, FL
  • After she was sold in Miami, the ship was obtained by the Israeli group Haganah and renamed Geulah, meaning "Redemption," was taken by a volunteer American crew to Bayonne, France, and from there to Bulgaria. One thousand three hundred eighty eight Jewish refugees were embarked and the ship tried to run the British blockade and bring the refugees to Palestine. She was intercepted on 2 October 1947 and brought to Haifa, where she was left with other captured "illegal" immigrant ships. Because she was a former naval vessel the newly formed Israeli Navy examined her in 1948 for possible service, but she was not in good shape and was not accepted for service. She was refurbished sufficiently to sail as an Israeli merchant vessel and made one trip in late 1948 from Haifa to Naples, Italy. There she was tied up and eventually sold for scrap in 1951.


  • Displacement 1,237 t.
  • Length 200' 5"
  • Length between perpendiculars 174'
  • Beam 35'
  • Draft 12' 3"
  • Speed 12 kts.
    1921 - 12.85 kts.
  • Complement 162
    1921 - 161
  • Armament: Six 4" mounts, four 6-pounders and two 1-pounders
    1905 - Six 4" rapid fire mounts, four 6-pounder rapid fire mounts, two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts and one .30 cal. Colt machine gun
    1911 - Six 4"/50 rapid fire mounts, four 6-pounder rapid fire mounts and two 1-pounder rapid fire mounts
    1918 - Four 4"/50 mounts and four 6-pounders
    1921 - Four 4"/50 mounts and one 3"/23 mount
    World War II - One 5"/38 dual purpose mount, two 4"/50 gun mounts and one 3"/50 dual purpose mount
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two 500ihp Gas Engine Power Co. vertical triple-expansion engines, two shafts
    1921 - Two 623.5ihp vertical triple-expansion engines.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Paducah
    Paducah 110k Gibraltar David Smith
    Paducah 111k c. May 1912
    Library of Congress photo LC-B2-11-14
    Mike Green
    USS Paducah (PG 18)
    Paducah 48k . Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
    Paducah 170k . Robert Hurst
    Paducah 126k Paducah tied up at Miami, Florida in early 1947 after her partial refit, and sale to the Weston Trading Company for $77,500.
    Photo from "The Jews' Secret Fleet" by Murray S. Greenfield and Joseph M. Hochstein, Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem and New York
    Robert Hurst
    Paducah 110k Fitting out as a Palestine immigrant blockade runner, probably at a Florida port on March 5, 1947
    Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1983
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 94973
    Mike Green
    Paducah 174k c. 1947
    Geulah being intercepted by HMS Mermaid [U 30] off the coast of Palestine
    Photo for the collection of the late Eric Wheatley, formerly of HMS Mermaid
    Colin Yarwood
    Paducah 473k Geulah being boarded by British troops after she had been towed into the port of Haifa, during the night of 2 October 1947.
    Photo from "The Jews' Secret Fleet" by Murray S. Greenfield and Joseph M. Hochstein, Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem and New York
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Albert Gustavus Winterhalter, USN - USNA Class of 1873
    Awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1920) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    2 September 1905 - 21 September 1906
    02LT John Wills Greenslade, USN - USNA Class of 189921 September 1906
    03CDR John Lewis Purcell, USN29 December 1908
    04CDR William Wirt Gilmer, USN - USNA Class of 189511 January 1910 - 16 May 1910
    05CDR George Grant Mitchell, USN16 May 1910
    06LCDR Edward Constant Southworth Parker, USN8 March 1916
    07LT Frank Caspar Fechteler, USN18 July 1917 - 2 March 1919
    08LCDR John Treadwell Bowers, USN - USNA Class of 189916 August 1920 - 9 September 1921
    09LCDR Joseph Carhart, Jr., USNRF1929 - 1931
    10CDR Antoine Oliver Rabideau, USNRF - Retired as Rear Admiral1931 - 6 July 1942
    11CDR Francis David Hurd, USNR6 July 1942 - August 1944
    12LCDR Robert Edward Seltzer, USNRAugust 1944 - 7 September 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Paducah (PG 18) DANFS History
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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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