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Gunboat Photo Archive

Williamsburg (AGC 369)
ex-PG-56



Call sign:
November - Alpha - Sierra - Mike

Williamsburg served both the U. S. Navy and the National Science Foundation.


Patrol Gunboat:

  • Laid down 19 March 1930 as Aras II by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, ME
  • Launched, 8 December 1930
  • Acquired by the Navy, 24 April 1941 and renamed Williamsburg
  • Designated a Patrol Gunboat, PG-56, 23 June 1941 and converted for Naval service at the Brewer Drydock and Repair Co., Brooklyn, NY
  • Commissioned USS Williamsburg (PG-56), 7 October 1941 at New York Navy Yard
  • Redesignated as a General Communications Vessel, AGC-369, 10 November 1945 and designated as the Presidential Yacht
  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1953 at the Washington Navy Yard
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 April 1962
  • Transferred to the National Science Foundation for oceanographic service and renamed Anton Bruun
  • Damaged beyond economical repair in 1968 in a drydock sinking
  • Sold at auction later in 1968 and renamed Williamsburg
  • Offered for sale by the Maritime Administration and acquired by a commercial concern for use as a combination hotel-restaurant-museum
  • Ownership transferred to the Presidential Yacht Trust
  • Transferred to the USS Williamsburg Corp. 15 April 1993
  • Currently owned by Navalmare and is for sale at La Spezia, Italy.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 1,820 t.(fl)
  • Length 224'
  • Beam 36'
  • Draft 16'
  • Speed 16 kts.
  • Complement 81
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts, six .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. Lewis machine guns, two dct, one "Y" gun, 16 rifles, and 10 pistols
  • Propulsion: Two 2,200bhp Winton diesel engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Aras II
    Williamsburg 77k c. 1930
    Soon after her completion
    Robert Hurst
    Williamsburg 80k c. 1931
    The yacht Aras II
    U.S. Navy photo from the June 2005 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    USS Williamsburg (PG 56)
    Williamsburg 93k . Tommy Trampp
    Williamsburg 107k At the New York Navy Yard on 11 October 1941 a few days after commissioning as a gunboat. The two large guns in the tubs fore and aft are 4"/50 weapons, they were quickly replaced by 3"/50s
    National Archives photo 19-N-25719 from the Naval History and Heritage Command
    Robert Hurst
    Williamsburg 137k c. May 1945
    Wearing Navy gray, the Williamsburg steams near the end of her tour as flagship for Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command, Atlantic Fleet, by which time her displacement had risen to 2,102 tons full load
    U.S. Navy photo from the June 2005 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    USS Williamsburg (AGC 369)
    Williamsburg 283k 13 September/10 November 1945
    Associated Press articles on Williamsburg
    Ron Reeves
    Williamsburg 687k
    Williamsburg 1043k Naval Yacht For The President article
    Williamsburg 267k Painting by David Harrison Wright
    Key West Maritime Historical Society photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Williamsburg 105k At Charleston, South Carolina, on 13 November 1945 a week after becoming the Presidential yacht and three days after being reclassified AGC. President Truman was not embarked on this initial trip
    National Archives photo 80-G-701721 from the Naval History and Heritage Command
    Robert Hurst
    Williamsburg 112k Seen here as Presidential Yacht Williamsburg (AGC 369) on the Potomac sometime after WW II
    U.S. Navy photo
    Haze Gray & Underway website
    Williamsburg 48k U.S. Navy photo Robert Hurst
    Williamsburg 144k President Truman boarding Williamsburg (AGC-369) in 1946
    U.S. Navy photo
    Haze Gray & Underway website
    Williamsburg 62k c. February 1948
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    U.S. Navy photo from the June 2005 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Williamsburg 215k U.S. Navy photo from the July 1950 edition of All Hands magazine
    Williamsburg 117k c. 1948/1951
    Key West, FL
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Robert Hall
    Williamsburg 105k
    Williamsburg 146k Crew's mess
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 113k BMC Roy Driver and ENC Ralph Hamilton
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 326k c. 1947/48/49
    Part of the crew in the Mess Hall at Camp Shangri-la (now Camp David)
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 337k c. 1948
    Cover of Christmas menu and crew list
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 330k
    Williamsburg 124k
    Williamsburg 193k President Truman (far right on the 01 level) observing the crew at "Swim Call" in the Potomac River
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 210k President Truman (leaning on rail, no shirt) observing the crew at "Swim Call" in the Potomac River
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 171k President Truman coming aboard
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 198k President Truman coming aboard
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 178k 15 June 1950
    Key West, FL
    President Truman inspecting Marine Corps MPs
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 102k President Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard Williamsburg
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 237k President Truman and Winston Churchill aboard Williamsburg
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 90k British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, President Truman and Winston Churchill aboard Williamsburg
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 332k c. 1950
    Cover of Christmas menu and crew list
    From the collection of LT Peter Stamer courtesy of his daughter Linda Whealton
    Williamsburg 385k
    Williamsburg 157k
    Williamsburg 103k c. March 1951
    Naval Base Key West, Florida
    National Archives photo NLT-AVC-PHT-(77)
    Robert Hurst
    Anton Bruun
    Anton Bruun 56k Seen here as the Anton Bruun Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
    Anton Bruun 70k Seen here as the Anton Bruun. Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy
    Williamsburg
    Williamsburg 70k c. 1990s
    Moored behind the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC
    U.S. Navy photo from the June 2005 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Williamsburg 333k 15 April 1994
    La Spezia, Italy
    Carlo Martinelli
    Williamsburg 230k 10 May 1994
    La Spezia, Italy
    Williamsburg 122k c. June 1998
    La Spezia Italy
    Haze Gray & Underway website
    Williamsburg 118k c. 1998
    ex-Williamsburg had deteriorated to this sad state, gutted and awaiting scrapping, at La Spezia, Italy
    Williamsburg 297k 18 December 2004
    La Spezia, Italy
    Carlo Martinelli
    Williamsburg 244k c. 2008
    La Spezia, Italy
    Photo by HdK
    Robert Hurst
    Williamsburg 307k
    Williamsburg 234k
    Williamsburg 530k 8 October 2009
    La Spezia, Italy
    Carlo Martinelli
    Williamsburg 531k 18 November 2010
    La Spezia, Italy
    Williamsburg 844k 16 December 2010
    La Spezia, Italy
    Williamsburg 447k 26 July 2011
    La Spezia, Italy
    Williamsburg 428k 19 January 2012
    La Spezia, Italy
    The ship in the background is the Italian Aircraft Carrier Cavour (CVH 550)

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Frederick S. Hall, USN7 October 1941
    02CDR Howard Carlton Duff, USNJuly 1943 - September 1944
    04CDR John Herbert Kevers, USN18 November 1945 - 11 March 1946
    05CDR William A. Bartos, USN11 March 1946 - 13 August 1946
    06CAPT Charles Lawrence Freeman, USN13 August 1946 - August 1948
    07CAPT Donald J. MacDonald, USN - Retired as Rear AdmiralAugust 1948 - 1950
    08CDR Edwin Swain Miller, USN - Retired as Rear AdmiralSeptember 1951 - December 1952
    09CDR Julian Thompson Burke, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1940
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    December 1952 - 30 June 1953
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Williamsburg (PG-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 Patrol Gunboat (PG) Photo Index Back To the Amphibious Ship Index Back to the General Communications Vessel (AGC) Photo Index

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    This page created by Gary P. Priolo and maintained by Joe Radigan
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