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Submarine Chaser Photo Archive

Carlinville (PC 1120)

Call sign:
November - Golf - Kilo - Uniform

PC-461 Class Submarine Chaser:

  • Laid down 19 June 1942 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI
  • Launched 24 August 1942
  • Commissioned USS PC-1120, 18 January 1943
  • During World War II, PC-1120 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and took part in the following operations:
    Bismark Archipelago operations-Arawe, New Britain, 15 December 1943 and 4 - 13 January 1944
    Eastern New Guinea operations-Saidor occupation, 2 - 4 June 1944
    Western New Guinea operations-Biak Island operation, 18 - 21 June 1944
    Noemfoor Island operation, 2 - 4 July 1944
    Cape Sansapor operation, and
    the Morotai operations, 15 September 1944
    Leyte landings, 15 - 25 October 1944
    Borneo operations-Tarakan Island operations, 27 April - 5 May 1945, and
    the Consolidation of the Southern Philippines-Palawan Island landings, 28 February - 3 March 1945
  • Decommissioned in January 1947 and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Columbia River Group
  • Named Carlinville 15 February 1956
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 April 1959
  • Sold in 1975, renamed Island Transport and operated in Hawaiian waters
  • Sold to Greenpeace in 1977 and renamed M/V Ohana Kai, (i.e., Family of the Sea)
  • Sold to Clause Von Wendel, who lived aboard her at Berkley, CA
  • Sold for scrap in early 1991 at Alameda, CA.


  • Displacement 295 t.(lt), 450 t.(fl)
  • Length 173' 8"
  • Beam 23'
  • Draft 10' 10"
  • Speed 20.2 kts.
  • Complement 65
  • 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 General Motors 16-258S diesel engines (Serial No. 7796 and 7797), Farrel-Birmingham single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS PC-1120
    Carlinville 46k - E. J. Comeau
    PC 553/1228
    Carlinville 30k 31 July 1944
    Off Sansapor, Dutch New Guinea.
    Bob Daly/PC-1181
    and Edward R. Middleton, S-1/C, USNR
    Crew Member 1946
    M/V Ohana Kai
    Ohana Kai 68k c. 1977
    Honolulu, HI
    Bob Daly/PC-1181

    There is no DANFS history available for Carlinville (PC-1120)
    History of PC-1120

    The sub chaser was built by the Defoe Shipbuilding Corporation of Bay City, Michigan. Her keel was laid down as Defoe hull #205 on Friday, 19 June 1942 and launched as the PC-1120 on Monday, 24 August 1942. After fitting out at the company docks, she was delivered to the Naval Base in New Orleans where her crew came aboard. She was commissioned on Monday, 18 January 1943 with Carl S. Moliter, LCDR, USNR in command. After eight weeks of intense training at the Subchaser Training Center (SCTC) in Miami and ASW instruction in Key West, Florida, the subchaser was assigned to Western Pacific duty. Underway by convoy, they transisted the Panama Canal, headed north to San Diego and then west to Pearl Harbor. They arrived in the Solomon Island area in mid-1943. They spent the rest of 1943, all of 1944 and most of 1945 with the 7th Fleet and the 7th Amphibious force performing escort, convoy and patrol work during the many island landings.

    They were involved with the landings on Arawe on New Britain on 15 December 1943 and the 4th and 13th January of 1944. This was followed with the Eastern New Guinea Operations with the landings on Saidor. Next came the Western New Guinea operations with the landings at Biak Island, Noemfoor Island, the Cape Sansapor Operations and the Morotai landings between 18 June 1944 and 15 September 1944.

    They participated in the landings on Leyte between 15 thru 25 October 1944 and the Borneo Operations with the landing at Tarakan Island.

    With the consolidation of the Southern Philippines they were involved in the Palawan Island landings from 28 February thru 3 March 1945. On V-J Day they were at the Subic Bay Naval Base on Luzon in the Philippines. During this tour of duty they shot down three Japanese aircraft. A twin engined Mitsubishi "Betty" bomber and two Mitsubishi "Zero" fighter aircraft.

    The ship was awarded six battle stars for its service in the Asiatic/Pacific Theater and the Navy Occupation Service (Asia) medal for service between 8 October 1945 thru 14 April. The subchaser returned to the CONUS (Continental limits-USA) arriving at Portland, Oregon in July of 1946.

    By January of 1947 she had been decommissioned and put in the Reserve Fleet at the Columbia River Fleet Anchorage, Tongue Point, Astoria, Oregon.

    On February 1, 1956 she was given the name Carlinville. In April of 1959, she was turned over to the Maritime Commission to be sold to a Carl Swanson who sold it to an Alaskan fisherman. He reactivated it and put some fish machinery aboard and drove her up to Kodiak Island and went fishing with her. Things didn't work out and he ended up with financial problems.

    In 1975, the ex-subchaser was owned by the Diesel Electric Company of Seattle and working in the Hawaiian Islands as the M/V Island Transport.

    In 1976 she was seized by the U.S. Marshal in a bankruptcy ruling and sold to the Greenpeace Organization for $70,000 to be used to harass the Russian whaling fleet which was operating south of the Hawaiian Islands. She was cleaned up and painted white. Registered in Panama, she was renamed the M/V Ohana Kai (Hawaiian for "Children of the Sea").

    Crew member Dick Dillman stated that they were told that the Ohana Kai would do 22 knots. "With her badly fouled bottom and worn out General Motors diesels, she could hardly make 14 knots. We left a trail of black smoke that could be seen for miles and had to shut down one engine because of a major mechanical failure of its supercharger blower. We finally found the whaling fleet but all we did was to hove to and watch the Zodiac boats harass the Russian ships."

    The Ohana Kai returned to San Francisco in late 1979 and was anchored out. For a few years it became a eco-hippie floating flophouse before it was sold to a group that wanted to take it crab fishing. This never happened and the ship was tied up to a wharf in the east bay for quite some time. Finally a December storm tore it from its moorings and it ended up on the mud flats off Emeryville.

    The city of San Francisco took over the jurisdiction of the vessel and sold her to Claus Von Wendel, a veteran of the German Merchant Marine. The engine room equipment was removed and sold. The hulk was towed to Berkeley and moored in the North Marina Basin.

    Von Wendel and his family used it as a "live-aboard." His daughter Anne was born aboard this vessel. Von Wendel has been described as a water front character and had a commune of derelict ships at the Marina. It became sort of a "hippie" hang-out with Claus as their leader. He became a bishop in his own religion and sold charters in his religion as a tax write-off scam.

    1991 - After many years of court orders and law suits, the city of Berkeley and the owners of the marina had Von Wendel and his navy evicted. In April of 1991, the ex-PC-1120 was towed to a scrap yard in Alameda
    for disposal.

    R. W. Daly/PC-1181
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Patrol Craft Sailors Association
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