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Patrol Yacht Photo Archive

USS Southern Seas (PY 32)

Call sign:
Nan - Baker - Xray - Tare

ex-USAT Southern Seas

Southern Seas served both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy

Sunk 9 October 1945

Patrol Yacht:

  • Laid down 4 August 1920 as the motor-yacht Lyndonia by Consolidated Shipbuilding Co., Morris Heights, NY for Mrs. Cyrus Curtis (wife of Cyrus H. K. Curtis, owner of the Saturday Evening Post)
  • Sold to Pan American Aviation Co. and renamed Southern Seas
  • Acquired by the Army 30 December 1941 for the fee of $1.00, for use as a troop transport
  • Struck an uncharted reef 22 July 1942 at Tauria Pass, Cook Islands en route to Penrhyn Atoll, Cook Islands
  • Salvaged by U.S. Navy and repaired at Auckland, New Zealand
  • Officially acquired by Navy 23 November 1942
  • Commissioned USS Southern Seas (PY-32), 23 December 1942
  • Sunk 9 October 1945 during Typhoon Louise at Buckner Bay, Okinawa
  • Struck from the Naval Register 24 October 1945.


  • Displacement 1,116 t.(fl)
  • Length 228'
  • Beam 31' 3"
  • Draft 14' 3"
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 47
  • Armament: Undetermined, 20mm mounts or smaller guns
  • Propulsion: Two 750shp William Cramp and Sons diesel engines (Replaced by two 6-cylinder Burmeister Wain diesel engines [Serial Nos. 508 and 509]), two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    MV Lyndonia
    Southern Seas 286k Bar Harbor, ME
    Sheandoah (ZR 1) flying overhead
    Jonathan Eno
    Southern Seas 84k Camden, ME
    A tranquil 1920s scene showing a schooner yacht, yawl, and three luxury steam yachts moored off Shermanís Point. The large steam yacht in the middle is Cyrus H. K. Curtisís 228-foot Lyndonia, built in 1920 after its predecessor [Vega (SP 734), ex-Lyndonia] had been acquired by the U.S. Government and converted to Navy use
    Photo from Penobscot Marine Museum
    Robert Hurst
    MV Southern Seas
    Southern Seas 339k Serving as the Pan American station ship in New Caledonia in 1940-41, before being acquired by the Army
    Pan American World Airways photo
    Photo and text from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover
    Robert Hurst
    USS Southern Seas (PY 32)
    Southern Seas 32k National Archives photo 80-G-266771 Bob Daly/PC-1181

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Albert Lawrence McMullan, USNR23 December 1942 - 25 January 1943
    02LT Leroy George Elwell, USNR25 January 1943 - 14 October 1943
    03LTJG Rupert A. Triplitt, USNR14 October 1943 - 15 June 1944
    04LTJG Charles H. Alexander, USN15 June 1944 - 31 March 1945
    05LT Thomas George Thompson, USNR31 March 1945 - 5 August 1945
    06LT Charles F. McMichael, USNR5 August 1945 - 9 October 1945 (Died during sinking)
    07ENS William A. Howard, USNR9 October 1945 - 1 December 1945 (Closed out logs)
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Joe Radigan and Dave Wright

    View the Southern Seas (PY-32)
    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 Yacht (PY) Photo Index

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