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Patrol Yacht Photo Archive

Tourmaline (PY-20)

Call sign:
Nan - Able - Sugar - Yoke

Patrol Yacht:

  • Laid down 9 January 1930 as the yacht Sylvia by Bath Iron Work, Inc., Bath, Maine
  • Launched, 24 May 1930
  • Delivered 2 July 1930
  • Acquired by the Navy, 16 May 1941
  • Entered Marine Basin Co. yard, Brooklyn, NY, 23 June 1941 for conversion to Naval service
  • Commissioned USS Tourmaline (PY-20), 19 September 1941 at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn
  • Rescued eight survivors 18 March 1942 along with USCGC Cuyahoga (WPC 157) from British tanker San Demetrio, sunk by German submarine U-404 on 16 March 1942
  • Decommissioned, 18 July 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 13 August 1945
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 3 January 1946 for disposal
  • Sold 23 January 1946 to Andrew M. Embiricos and Manuel E. Kulukndis of the Greek War Relief Association and renamed Sylvia
  • Sold in 1947, worked as a passenger ship and renamed Kyknos
  • Laid up at Volos, Greece between 1974/1979
  • Scrapped in 1979.


  • Displacement 750 t.
  • Length 154'
  • Beam 26' 6"
  • Draft 10' 6"
  • Speed 13 kts.
  • Complement 161
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts, four .50 cal. machine guns and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 850hp Cooper Bessemer 8-JRDR diesel engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Motor Yacht Sylvia
    Tourmaline 64k
    Tourmaline 30k
    Tourmaline 89k
    Tourmaline 251k
    USS Tourmaline (PY 20)
    Tourmaline 140k Namesake: Tourmaline is a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gemstone comes in a wide variety of colors Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 24 September 2019
    Tourmaline 204k Tourmaline at the New York Navy Yard, New York. Wearing Measure 1 camouflage scheme; with ship's designator (PY-20) in black on bow. A British cruiser is dimly visible in the left background
    National Archives photo 19-N-25370
    Mike Green
    Tourmaline 231k Original photo: Tourmaline at Brooklyn [NY] in August 1941, in dark early-wartime camouflage
    National Archives photo 19-N-25372 from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Replacement photo: Tourmaline off the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, in August 1941. A "4-piper" under refit at right, in background
    National Archives photo 19-N-25372
    Original photo: Robert Hurst
    Replacement photo: Mike Green
    Tourmaline 28k c. 1943
    U.S. Navy photo
    Joe Radigan
    Tourmaline 60k 23 November 1944 Robert Hurst
    MV Kyknos
    Tourmaline 183k . Harris Alexandris

    View the Tourmaline (PY-20)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command Website
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    This page created by Gary P. Priolo and maintained by Joe Radigan
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