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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Gold Shell (ID 3021)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Fox - Sail - Boy


  • Built in 1916 by Harlan and Hollingsworth, Wilmington, DE
  • Struck a mine 10 July 1916, and damaged in the Bay of Biscay
  • Acquired by the Navy 8 August 1917 and commissioned USS Gold Shell the same day
  • Assigned registry number ID-3021 in 1918
  • Decommissioned, 5 March 1919 at the New York Navy Yard and transferred to the United States Shipping Board for return to her owner
  • Renamed Willy in 1929
  • Renamed Itamaraty in 1942
  • Exploded in 1949 and scrapped.


  • Displacement 12,000 t.
  • Length 411' 6"
  • Beam 53' 5"
  • Draft 24' 8"
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: Two 4"/40 mounts
  • PropulsionL Three single-ended boilers, one 3,500ihp verticle triple-expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Gold Shell 48k Possibly photographed on 10 August 1917, when she was inspected by the Third Naval District
    U.S. Navy photo NH 104071
    Naval Historical Center

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR David R. Fleming, USNRF8 August 1917
    02LCDR Daniel Brown, USNRF1918
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Gold Shell was built in 1916 by Harlan and Hollingsworth, Wilmington, Del.; chartered from Shell Oil Co.; and commissioned 8 August 1917, Comdr. David R. Fleming in command.

    Gold Shell departed Philadelphia 26 August 1917 for Plymouth, England, and until 10 December 1918 carried fuel oil to various European ports in support of Allied forces She made a total of nine voyages to such ports as Spithead, Scapa Flow, Tobermory, and Brest, arriving at New York after her last crossing 10 December 1918. Gold Shell entered the New York Navy Yard to be simultaneously decommissioned and returned to her former owner 5 March 1919.

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