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Gunboat Photo Archive

HMS Dittany (K 279)
ex-Beacon (PG 88)
ex-HMS Dittany (K 279)

Beacon served only in the Royal Navy.

British Flower Class Corvette/Action Class Patrol Gunboat:

  • Laid down as HMS Dittany (K 279) by the Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Launched 31 October 1942
  • Assigned to the Royal Navy 31 January 1943
  • Reassigned to the U.S. Navy 7 March 1943
  • Renamed and reclassified as a Patrol Gunboat, Beacon (PG 88)
  • Reassigned again to the Royal Navy 31 May 1943
  • Returned to U.S. Navy custody 20 June 1946
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration in September 1947
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 1375 t.
  • Length 205'
  • Beam 33'
  • Draft 14' 7"
  • Speed 16.5 kts.
  • Complement 90
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts, two 20mm guns, two depth charge tracks, four depth charge projectors, and one hedgehog depth charge projector
  • Propulsion: Two 3-drum express boilers, one 2,750ihp vertical triple expansion Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Flower Class Corvette 168k "Escort Vessel (Corvette) - (Flower Class) - With Extended Forecastle, Increased Sheer, & Fuller Lines Fwd."
    U.S. Navy preliminary design plan, copied from Smith Dock Co., Ltd., Drawing No. 232. This plan, dated April 1941, is for a modification of the British "Flower" class corvette. Scale of the original drawing is not given, but appears to be 1/16" = 1'.
    The original plan is in the 1939-1944 "Spring Styles Book" held by the Naval Historical Center.
    U.S. Navy photo S-511-30
    Naval Historical Center

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History:


    A town in Dutchess County, N.Y., located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, that drew its name from Mount Beacon, a nearby promontory from which American observers signaled reports of British ship movements during the War for Independence. Beacon was selected as the name for patrol gunboat PG 88 as an “action” name; PG 99 was selected to honor the town.

    On 14 August 1942, the name Beacon was approved for PG 88, a modified “Flower” class corvette being built at Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. Records indicate that Beacon was to have been accepted under “reverse lend lease,” commissioned in Canada and then taken to the Boston Navy Yard for outfitting. Assigned, first, to the United Kingdom on 30 January 1943 but reassigned to the U.S. Navy on 7 March 1943, she was reassigned again to the Royal Navy on 31 May 1943 and commissioned as HMS Dittany, her original British name. She served under that name for the rest of the war.

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