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Submarine Chaser Photo Archive

Gilmer (PC 565)

Call sign:
November - Echo - Papa - Uniform

Gilmer served the Navies of the United States and Venezuela

PC-461 Class Submarine Chaser:

  • Laid down 14 August 1941 at Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX
  • Launched 27 February 1942
  • Commissioned USS PC-565, 25 May 1942
  • Decommissioned 26 April 1946 at Green Cove Springs, Florida and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as January 1947
  • Named Gilmer 15 February 1956
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 July 1960, sold to Venezuela and renamed Alcatras (P 03)
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 280 t.(lt), 295 t.(fl)
  • Length 175'
  • Beam 23'
  • Draft 10' 10"
  • Speed 20 kts.
  • Complement: 59
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, one 40mm gun mount, three 20mm guns, two rocket launchers, four depth charge projectors, and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 1,440bhp Fairbanks Morse 38D8 1/8 diesel engines (Serial No. 832229 and 832230), Westinghouse reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PC-565 133k Thomas Walker Gilmer
    Secretary of the Navy, 19 February 1844 - 28 February 1844
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 54751 from a 19th Century engraving
    Bill Gonyo
    PC-565 49k Original photo from Patrick Ward via E. J. Comeau, PC 553/1228
    Replacement photo from CAPT Jerry Mason, USN U-Boat Archive
    PC-565 37k Bob Daly/PC-1181
    PC-565 83k c. 1943
    Bridge Watch
    PC-565 56k 9 August 1943
    Ship's commander officer, LT Walter T. Flynn, USNR, looks out from a pilot house porthole. His ship sank German submarine U-521 off the U.S. East Coast on
    2 June 1942
    National Archives photo 80-G-78422
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    PC-565 292k

    That's all the time it took for gallant little USS Patrol Chaser-565 to send a Nazi marauder to the bottom of the Atlantic recently. Four minutes after the first contact was made with the submarine, the patrol chaser had loosed its fatal depth charges. Only one man escaped from the enemy craft--the U-boat commanding officer, a Lieutenant Commander in the Nazi Navy. He was dazed by the precipitate sinking of his vessel, which fell away from under his feet as he climbed out of the conning tower. The patrol chaser is under the command of Lt. Walter T. Flynn, USNR, of Canandaigua, New York.

    DEALT 'COUP DE GRACE'---Deadly depth charges dropped from the stern of the patrol chaser finished off the underwater killer in jig time. A second round was dropped, but that was only 'insurance'--the first did the trick.
    U.S. Navy photo GE-DB-28-78406. Released: 7 September 1943

    Tommy Trampp
    PC-565 75k Photo caption: PC-565 with crossed-out swastika. A 170-foot United States Patrol Chaser destroyed a German U-boat so swiftly in the Atlantic recently that the underseas craft didn't have a chance to fight back. PC-565 was guarding a convoy when her sound apparatus picked up the hum of a sub's motors. Depth charges brought the raider to the surface, eventually sank her
    U. S. Navy photo from the October 1943 edition of All Hands magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Chadron 144k On the right, USS Ancon (AGC-4), command ship for the Omaha Beach landings, stands offshore on 7 June 1944. USS PC-564 is in the foreground with PC-565 off her port quarter
    National Archives photo80-G-257287
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Photo added 6 March 2021

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:


    Thomas Walker Gilmer, born 6 April 1802 in Albemarle County, Va., served for many years in the Virginia House of Delegates, became Governor of Virginia in 1840, and was elected to Congress in 1841. He was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Tyler 15 February 1844 but was killed 28 February 1844 by the bursting of a gun while on board USS Princeton.

    [PC-565 was named after the city of Gilmer in Upshur County, Texas which was named for two former Secretaries of the Navy; Abel Parker Upshur, SECNAV 1841 - 1843 and Thomas Walker Gilmer, SECNAV 1844]

    The second Gilmer (PC 565) was laid down as PC-565 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex., 14 August 1941 ; launched 27 February 1942 ; sponsored by Miss Jacqueline B. Perry ; and commissioned 25 April, Lt. Walter T. Flynn in command.

    After shakedown off Florida, PC-565 engaged in ASW training, then performed convoy escort and patrol duty in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. On 2 June while escorting a southbound convoy from New York to Cuba, she made an underwater sound contact and immediately attacked. After PC-565 dropped a depth charge barrage the submarine U-521 surfaced to be met with 20mm. gunfire. Several hits were scored and the enemy U-boat went under only to be met with another depth charge barrage. Large oil slicks and debris resulted, proving the destruction of the German U-boat. A survivor of the submarine was rescued and his testimony substantiated PC-565s victorious encounter.

    Departing New York 25 March 1944, PC-565 sailed en-route to England where she joined the amphibious forces in preparation for the landing in Northern France. On 4 June she sailed from England arriving off the Normandy beaches 2 days later. There she effectively performed ASW patrols, antiaircraft defense, and shuttle control duties.

    Throughout the rest of the war, PC-565 remained in Europe on escort and patrol missions in the North Sea-English Channel area. Departing Bremerhaven 4 October 1945. the submarine chaser steamed for the United States arriving Norfolk on the 22d. Two months later she arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., and decommissioned 26 ApriL 1946, joining the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. PC-565 was named Gilmer 15 February 1956. She was stricken from the Navy List 1 July 1960, and sold to Venezuela.

    PC-565 received two battle stars during World War II service.

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Patrol Craft Sailors Association
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Type Index Back to the Submarine Chaser (PC) Photo Index

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