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NavSource Online: Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Photo Archive

Amber (PYc 6)

Call sign:
Nan - Baker - Fox - Love

Coastal Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1930 as the yacht Infanta by Lake Union Dry Dock Co., Seattle, WA
  • Renamed Polaris
  • Purchased by the Navy 23 December 1940
  • Renamed Amber and designated a Coastal Patrol Yacht, PYc-6, 10 January 1941
  • Commissioned USS Amber (PYc-6), 3 March 1941 at Seattle
  • Decommissioned 18 October 1944
  • Struck from the Naval Register 13 November 1944
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration 13 June 1945 and sold back to her f0ormer owners
  • Acquired in 1950 by the Foss Towing Co., Seattle (now Foss Maritime) and renamed M/Y Thea Foss
  • As of 2003 she was still operating out of Seattle.


  • Displacement 260 t.
  • Length 120'
  • Beam 21' 5"
  • Draft 10' 6"
  • Speed 12.5 kts.
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 275bhp Atlas Imperial diesel engines, two shafts.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    MY Polaris
    Amber 305k c. 1940/1941
    Yacht Polaris prior to conversion into a Naval ship
    Photo by the Bainbridge Studio, Port Blakely, Washington
    National Archives photos 19-N-24223 and 19-N-24224 from the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Robert Hurst
    Photos added 15 August 2021
    Amber 185k
    USS Amber (PY 6)
    Amber 94k

    Amber - A hard, translucent fossil resin which is normally yellowish to brownish in color. Since it can be highly polished, amber is used as a gem

    Tommy Trampp
    Amber 67k Off Seattle, WA in No. 5 "Navy gray" in 1941. Amber had been built originally for actor John Barrymore. Note her 3-inch gun forward, and two depth charge tracks aft, as well as her designation PYc 6, at the bow
    National Archives photo 80-G-456631 from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Original photo: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Amber 137k Photographed circa March 1941, by the Bainbridge Studio, Port Blakely, Washington
    National Archives photos 19-N-24225 and 19-N-24227
    Mike Green
    Amber 194k
    MY Thea Foss
    Amber 74k c. 2003
    In West Sound, off San Juan Island, WA
    Jim Rogers

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:

    Polaris—a yacht built in 1930 at Seattle, Washington, by the Lake Union Dry Dock Co.—was purchased by the Navy from Edward and Kathryn Lowe on 23 December 1940, converted for naval service by the Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co. Inc., Winslow, Washington; renamed Amber on 10 January 1941 and simultaneously designated PYc-6, and placed in commission at Seattle on 3 March 1941, Lt. W. B. Combs in command.

    Amber was assigned to the Inshore Patrol of the 13th Naval District and, from May until early August, operated around Seattle, Tacoma, and Port Townsend, Wash. The patrol craft left Seattle on 6 August on a cruise to Alaska, and visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka, before returning to Seattle early in September.

    In November, the ship was assigned to patrol duty at Astoria, Oregon., and patrolled the Strait of Juan de Fuca off Neah Bay, Washington, under the control of the Northwest Sea Frontier Patrol Group.

    Amber was decommissioned on 18 October 1944 and her name was struck from the Navy list on 13 November 1944. The ship was sold back to her former owners on 13 June 1945.

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