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NavSource Online:
Motor Gunboat/Patrol Gunboat Photo Archive

Left patch courtesy of the Patrol Gunboat Association, right patch courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Benicia (PG 96)

Benicia served the Navies of the United States and South Korea

Asheville Class Motor Gunboat:

  • The second Benicia was laid down 14 April 1969 at Tacoma Boatbuilding Co., Tacoma, WA
  • Launched 20 December 1969
  • Ships sponsor was Mrs. W. F. Petrovic, wife of the Commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
  • Commissioned USS Benicia (PG-96), 20 April 1970
  • Decommissioned 2 October 1971 at San Diego, CA, transferred to South Korea and renamed Paek Ku (Translation Seagull) 51 (PGM 351)
  • Decommissioned and returned to U.S. Navy custody in 1991
  • Struck from the Navy Register 30 August 1996
  • Scrapped in Korea in 1998.


  • Displacement 237 t.
  • Length 164' 5"
  • Beam 23' 8"
  • Draft 9' 5"
  • Speed 40 kts.
  • Armament: One 3"/50 gun mount, one 40mm gun mount and two twin .50 cal. machine guns
  • Propulsion: Two 725hp VT-12 875M Cummins diesel engines, one 1,500nhp General Electric model LM 1500 gas turbine engine, two controllable pitch propellers, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Benicia (PG 96)
    Benicia 38k 20 December 1969
    Prior to launching
    Tacoma Boatbuilding
    Benicia 84k 20 December 1969
    Associated Press photo
    Dale Hargrave
    Benicia 26k 20 December 1969
    After launching
    Tacoma Boatbuilding
    USS Benicia (PG 96)
    Benicia 82k Replacement photo: c. 1971
    Off Port Hueneme, CA
    Test firing a Standard Missile
    Original photo: Robert W. Robb
    via Patrol Gunboat Association
    Terry W. McManuels, ETCM(SW), Ret.
    Replacement photo: Mike McClelland
    Replacement photo added 9 June 2021
    Benicia 98k U.S. Navy photo Joe Radigan
    Benicia 486k c. 1970
    Petty Officer Robert Kuettel and LCDR James Turnbull (Commanding Officer) on the bridge of Benicia
    Photo 47XX2-4-70 TH from the files of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker
    Benicia 237k 17 April 1970
    National Archives photo USN 1144354
    Mike Green
    Benicia 282k 23 April 1970
    Photo PG 96 977X1-4-70 from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker
    Benicia 380k 4 October 1970
    Refueling from the USS Ranger (CVA 61)
    Photo PG 1000X1-10-70 from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Benicia 109k 9 December 1970
    Los Angeles, CA
    "NEW IN THE NAVY--The turbine powered USS Benicia a new gunboat that is 164 feet long, smaller than a minesweeper but with many capabilities of a destroyer, moves through Los Angeles harbor Tuesday. The Navy says Benicia is a forerunner of tomorrow's Navy. It can go from zero to 35 knots in 60 seconds. Each of the crew of only 28 persons in trained to perform a variety of functions. Benicia was commissioned eight months ago
    AP Wirephoto
    Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Benicia 534k c. 17 May 1971
    Mayor James Lemos of Benicia, CA is talking with LCDR James Turnbull during the ship's visit to the city of Benicia
    Photo 1041X1-5-71 TH from the files of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker
    Benicia 220k c. 1971
    Launching a Standard RIM-66 surface-to-air missile
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Benicia 184k U.S. Navy photo from the April 1987 edition of All Hands magazine Joe Radigan
    Paek Ku 51 (PGM 351)
    Benicia 82k Joe Radigan

    Commanding Officers
    01LT James Laverne Turnbull, USN25 April 1970 - 2 October 1971
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Darryl Baker

    View the Benicia (PG 96)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    USS Benicia (PG 96)
    "Commissioning Program"
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Patrol Gunboat Association
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Motor Gunboat (PGM) Photo 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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