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NavSource Online: Patrol Craft Escort
Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Amherst (PCE[R]-853)

Amherst call sign:
November - Xray - Lima - Golf


Amherst served the Navies of the United States, South Vietnam and the Philippines.

Datu Marikudo call sign:
Delta - Uniform - Papa - Foxtrot

PCE(R)-848 Class Patrol Craft Escort (Rescue):

  • Originally planned as PCE-853 but reclassified PCE(R)-853 in June 1943
  • Laid down 16 November 1943 by Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Illinois
  • Launched, 18 March 1944
  • Commissioned USS PCE(R)-853, 15 June 1944 at New Orleans, LA
  • Decommissioned in October 1945 at Green Cove, FL and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Placed in service in July 1947 as a Naval Reserve training ship assigned to the 4th Naval District (Philadelphia)
  • Recommissioned, 28 November 1950
  • Named Amherst 15 February 1956
  • Decommissioned, 6 February 1970
  • Struck from the Navy Register 3 June 1970, transferred to South Vietnam and renamed Van Kiep II (HQ 14)
  • Escaped to the Philippines in 1975 after fall of South Vietnam and renamed BRP Datu Marikudo (PS 23)
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 903 t.
  • Length 184' 6"
  • Beam 33' 1"
  • Draft 9' 5"
  • Speed 15.7 kts.
  • Complement 99
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 40mm gun mounts, two depth charge tracks and two depth charge projectors
    1970 - Depth charge projectors and tracks removed and replaced by four 20mm mounts and one 81mm mortar
  • Propulsion: Two 900bhp General Motors 12-567A diesel engines, Falk single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS PCE(R)-853
    PCE(R)-853 109k After launching William Boynton
    PCE(R)-853 109k Commissioning pamphlet
    PCE(R)-853 109k
    PCE(R)-853 109k
    PCE(R)-853 109k Photo caption reads: "Lt. Boynton coaches Rear Admiral Anderson on operating the blinker signal on the bridge"
    Photo from a Pullman Company magazine
    PCE(R)-853 66k
    PCE(R)-853 274k U.S. Navy photo. Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 12 December 2020
    PCE(R)-853 63k c. 1944 Tom Kermen
    PCE(R)-853 110k PCE(R)-853 approaches the USS Nevada (BB 36) and LCT-1405 to receive casualties on 30 March 1945 off Kerama Retto during the Okinawa campaign
    National Archives photo from the October 2009 edition of Naval History magazine
    Joe Radigan
    PCE(R)-853 67k Drawing by J. M. Caiella from the October 2009 edition of Naval History magazine
    PCE(R)-853 108k c. March/June 1945
    Kerama Retto, Okinawa
    Photo from the book, "The Escort Carriers in Action"
    William Boynton
    USS Amherst (PCE[R] 853)
    PCE(R)-853 102k Ships plaque Tommy Trampp
    PCE(R)-853 88k Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    PCE(R)-853 264k At Norfolk, during the 1950s
    Courtesy of William H. Davis, 1977
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85421
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    PCE(R)-853 64k c. 1960s Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
    PCE(R)-853 83k Welcome Aboard pamphlet. Russ Padden
    PCE(R)-853 131k
    PCE(R)-853 128k
    PCE(R)-853 165k Detroit, MI. c. 1963 Harold Pfrender
    PCE(R)-853 93k Welcome Aboard pamphlet Russ Padden
    PCE(R)-853 105k
    PCE(R)-853 211k
    PCE(R)-853 183k c. 1966
    Photo from the 1966/1967 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships
    Robert Hurst
    Van Kiep II (HQ 14)
    PCE(R)-853 90k Bill Toohey
    RR1 Box 240
    Clinton, Illinois 61727
    PCE(R)-853 163k Line drawing of starboard side and overhead view of Van Kiep II. She is armed with one 3"/50 gun, one 81mm mortar right aft, two single 40mm guns, and four single 20mm guns. No sonar or ASW weapons are carried. The radar is an SPS-5. She has berths for forty-five passengers at the after end of the extended forecastle, portside
    Line drawing by A. D. Baker III from U.S. Small Combatants: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman
    Robert Hurst
    Datu Marikudo (PS 23)
    G-63 257k c. October 2007
    Cavite City, Philippines
    Romblon (PG 63), ex-PGM-41 inboard of Agusan (PG 61), ex-PGM-39. Datu Marikudo is in the background
    Edison Sy

    Commanding Officers
    01LT W. W. Boynton, USN16 June 1944
    02LT Billy Charles Brooks, USN1965 - October 1967
    03LTJG John Ralph Maynard, USN (Acting)October 1967 - December 1967
    04LT Billy Charles Brooks, USNDecember 1967 - 5 March 1968
    05LT Robert Frederick Beckham, USN - USNA Class of 19635 March 1968 - 6 February 1970
    ??LT Walter Raymond Beck, USN
    ??LT Frederick Chester Caswell, Jr., USN
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Joe Radigan

    View the Amherst (PCE[R]-853)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command Website.
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    Patrol Craft Sailors Association
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Craft Escort (Rescue) - (PCE[R]) Photo Index

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