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Gunboat Photo Archive

Plymouth (PG-57)

Sunk 5 August 1943

Patrol Gunboat:
  • The fourth Plymouth was laid down as Alva in 1931 by the Krupp Germania Werft, Kiel, Germany for William K. Vanderbilt, II
  • Used in expeditions to the South Pacific, Mediterranean and South America from 1931 to 1935
  • Given to the Navy, 4 November 1941
  • Placed in reduced commission, 29 December 1941
  • Placed in commission in ordinary for conversion to a Patrol Gunboat, 23 January 1942 at the Norfolk Navy Yard
  • Placed in full commission as USS Plymouth (PG-57), 20 April 1942
  • Torpedoed 5 August 1943 off Cape Henry, VA by the German Submarine U-566
  • Struck from the Navy Register 19 August 1943.


  • Displacement 1,500 tons
  • Length 264' 5"
  • Beam 46' 2"
  • Draft 19'
  • Speed 15 knots
  • Complement 155
  • Armament: one 4"/50 mount and two 3"/50 mounts
  • Propulsion: Two 1,050hp diesel engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Motor Yacht Alva
    Plymouth 68k Photo courtesy of the State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library, Australia Maunsel White
    Alva/Plymouth 144k Photographed prior to World War II
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 42629
    Mike Green
    Plymouth 78k c. 1931 Maunsel White
    Plymouth 123k
    Plymouth 125k
    Plymouth 317k 21 August 1934
    W.K. Vanderbilt's million dollar yacht Alva in Boston for Hay Fever cruise
    Courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones collection
    Boston Public Library
    Plymouth 113k 15 September 1934
    Alva seen transporting a Douglas Dolphin 1 Special aeroplane [NC 14208]. The aeroplane on her stern was a Wilmington-Catalina Airlines wtih triple tails, customized for the Vanderbilt family.
    Mystic Seaport, Seaport Website Rosenfeld Collection, Mystic, CT
    Mystic Seaport Website
    Plymouth 46k Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum photo from the October 2005 edition of Naval History magazine Joe Radigan
    USS Plymouth (PG 57)
    Plymouth 400k 30 April 1942
    Wearing Measure 12 camouflage, at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia
    Norfolk Navy Yard photos 2985(42) and 2986(42) from National Museum of the U.S. Navy
    Michael Mohl
    Plymouth 501k
    Plymouth 334k 1 May 1942
    Wearing Measure 12 camouflage, at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia
    Norfolk Navy Yard photo 2992(42) from National Museum of the U.S. Navy
    Plymouth 51k 1 May 1942 Gunter Krebs
    Plymouth 305k 1 May 1942
    Starboard quarter view entering Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA
    Norfolk Navy Yard photo 2994(42)
    David Buell
    Plymouth 49k 17 February 1943 Joe Radigan

    View the Plymouth (PG 57)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command 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

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