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Patrol Yacht Photo Archive

USS Zircon (PY 16)

Call sign:
Nan - Uncle - Fox - Charlie

Patrol Yacht:

  • Built in 1929 as Nakhoda, hull number 229321, by Pusey and Jones, Wilmington, DE for Fred J. Fisher of Detroit, MI
  • Acquired by the Navy 9 December 1940, renamed Zircon and designated as a Patrol Yacht, PY-16
  • Commissioned 25 March 1941 under the command of LCDR Cornelius M. Sullivan, USNR
  • The tanker R. P. Resor was torpedoed by the German submarine U-578, 26 February 1942, five miles off Sea Girt, DE at 3947'N, 7326'W. Zircon converged on the scene and searched for survivors
  • Came to the aid of Freight Lighter YF-415, 11 May 1944 just outside Boston Harbor, which was dumping condemned ammunition, ordnance and pyrotechnics from the Hingham Ammunition Depot into
    deep water when it caught fire, exploded and sank. Zircon rescued 14 survivors, one of whom died the following day
  • Decommissioned 10 May 1946 at Charleston, SC
  • Struck from the Navy Register 5 June 1946
  • Transferred 17 October 1946 to the Maritime Commission for disposal
  • Transferred by the War Shipping Administration 24 April 1947
  • Sold and renamed Nakhoda
  • Acquired in 1951 by the United New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association of Staten Island, NY and renamed New York
  • Acquired in 1973 by the Polymer Engineering Corp. of Houston, TX
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 1,220 t.
  • Length 235' 4"
  • Beam 34'
  • Draft 13'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 108
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts, six .30 cal. machine guns and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 1,100bhp Winton diesel engines, two shafts.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Steam Yacht Nakhoda
    Zircon 54k
    USS Zircon (PY 16)
    Zircon 125k Namesake: Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate, and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4. Zircon forms in silicate melts with large proportions of high field strength incompatible elements. For example, hafnium is almost always present in quantities ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue and green. Colorless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as "Matura diamond". The name derives from the Persian zargun, meaning "gold-hued". This word is corrupted into "jargoon", a term applied to light-colored zircons. The English word "zircon" is derived from Zirkon, which is the German adaptation of this word. Yellow, orange and red zircon is also known as "hyacinth", from the flower hyacinthus, whose name is of Ancient Greek origin Tommy Trampp
    Zircon 79k Underway, during World War II
    Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1974
    U.S. Navy photo NH 81385
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Zircon 191k
    Zircon 347k 22 August 1943
    Gulf of Guinea
    Photo taken from a ZP-14 airship out of NAS Weeksville, Elizabeth City, NC
    National Archives photo 80-G 80037
    National Archives
    Photos replaced 19 August 2020
    Zircon 164k 23 November 1944
    National Archives photo 80-G-179811

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Cornelius Martin Sullivan, USN - USNA Class of 192525 March 1941 - December 1941
    02LCDR Thomas S. Dunstan, USNRDecember 1941 - 5 April 1943
    03LCDR William D. Stevens, USNR5 April 1943 - 30 August 1943
    04LT Douglas C. Bird, USNR30 August 1943 - 12 August 1944
    05LCDR James Loren Cook, Jr., USNR12 August 1944 - 10 May 1946
    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Wolfgang Hechler

    View the Zircon (PY 16)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command Website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Yacht (PY) Photo Index

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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