Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online:
Motor Gunboat/Patrol Gunboat Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Molinski

Grand Rapids (PG-98)

Tacoma Class Motor Gunboat:

  • The second Grand Rapids was laid down at Tacoma Boatbuilding Co., Tacoma, WA
  • Launched 4 April 1970
  • Commissioned USS Grand Rapids (PG-98), 5 September 1970
  • Decommissioned 1 October 1977 at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Norfolk, VA
  • Transferred to the Naval Sea Systems Command, Carderock Division, converted to a Research Vessel and renamed R/V Athena II
  • Scrapped in 2016.


  • Displacement 250 t.
  • Length 165'
  • Beam 24'
  • Complement 28
  • Speed 13 kts. on diesel and 40 kts. on turbine
  • Armament: One 3"/50 gun mount, one 40mm gun mount and two twin .50-cal machine guns
  • Propulsion: Two 725hp Cummins VT12-875-M diesel engines and one General Electric LM 1500 gas turbine; two shafts, controllable pitch propellers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Grand Rapids (PG 98)
    Grand Rapids 53k Under construction
    Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Library
    Tommy Trampp
    Grand Rapids 59k c. 1970
    Under construction
    Tacoma Boat Building Co. photo 32965
    Grand Rapids 397k Original photo: 4 April 1970
    Tacoma, WA
    Photo caption: NAVY GUNBOAT LAUNCH - The Grand Rapids, named for the Michigan city, was launched in a christening ceremony Saturday. Susan Ford, 12, daughter of the Michigan congressman Gerald Ford, smashed the bottle of bubbly to send the boat on its way. The boat is the 11th of a series of 12 to be built by Tacoma Boat Building Co.
    Associated Press wirephoto
    Replacement photo: Being launched, as crowds watch, at the Tacoma Boatbuilding Marine View Dr. facility. Launched on 4 April 1970, the Grand Rapids is the 11th of 12 gunboats built under contract for the U.S. Navy
    Tacoma Public Library, Richard Studios photo D158074-2
    Original photo: Ron Reeves
    Replacement photo: Mike Green
    Grand Rapids 52k c. 1970
    Sea trials
    Tacoma Boat Building Co. photo 33218
    Tommy Trampp
    Grand Rapids 69k
    USS Grand Rapids (PG 98)
    Grand Rapids 138k Photo from Grand Rapids Welcome Aboard Brochure Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 23 February 2020
    Grand Rapids 61k BMCS Richard Miller, USNR, Ret.
    Grand Rapids 81k
    Grand Rapids 104k c. 1970
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Grand Rapids 285k 2 June 1976
    Naples, Italy
    © Richard Leonhardt
    Grand Rapids 304k 2 June 1976
    Naples, Italy
    Grand Rapids with Douglas (PG 100) in the background
    PG-86/87/98/100 68k Barcelona, Spain 6 December 1976. Ready (PG 87) in foreground, inboard with Grand Rapids outboard. Background inboard is Douglas (PG 100) with Antelope (PG 86) inboard. Antelope and Ready are fitted with Mk-87 fire control systems, with antenna inside domes, whereas Grand Rapids and Douglas have a Mk-63 fire control system, with an SAG-50 radar antenna on the gun mounts. Fabio Peņa
    PG-86/87/98/100 48k
    Grand Rapids 377k 10 December 1976
    Genoa, Italy
    Carlo Martinelli
    Antelope 143k Decommissioning program Tom Langford
    R/V Athena II
    Athena 35k Seen here in foreground as R/V Athena II with R/V Athena, ex-Chehalis (PG 94) in background
    U.S. Navy photo
    Naval Sea Systems Command
    Athena II 71k Seen here as R/V Athena II
    U.S. Navy photo

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Robert Francis Grace, USN5 September 1970 - 29 February 1972
    02LT Charles Frank Votava, III, USN - USNA Class of 196629 February 1972 - 9 February 1973
    03LT Gordon Harkness Rheinstrom, USN9 February 1973 - 9 August 1974
    04LT Vernon Edward Clark, USN - Awarded three Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Navy Distinguished Service Medals and two Legions of Merit
    Retired as Admiral
    9 August 1974 - 15 September 1976
    05LT Bruce Edward Holdt, USN15 September 1976 - 1 October 1977
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Bill Gonyo and Joe Radigan

    View the Grand Rapids (PG-98) History entry located on the Patrol Gunboat Reunion Association Website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Patrol Gunboat Reunion Association
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Gunboat (PG) Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster

    This page created by Gary P. Priolo and maintained by Tom Bateman
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History