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Revenue Cutter Photo Archive

USCGC Unalga (WPG 53)

Call sign (World War II):
Nan - Roger - Charlie - Uncle

ex-USRC Unalga

Call sign (Early 1919):
George - Vice - Have - Sail

Call sign (Late 1919):
Nan - Rush - Xray

Unalga served the Revenue Cutter Service, the U. S. Navy and the Coast Guard

Miami Class Revenue Cutter:

  • Built in 1912 by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA
  • Launched 10 February 1912
  • Commissioned USRC Unalga 23 May 1912 at Arundel Cove, MD
  • Transferred to the Navy 6 April 1917
  • Returned to the Coast Guard 28 August 1919 and struck from the Naval Register
  • Decommissioned 16 February 1931 at Arundel Cove
  • Recommissioned 23 April 1932
  • Transferred to the Navy in September 1933
  • Returned to the Coast Guard 1 November 1933
  • Transferred to the Navy again 1 November 1941
  • Designated WPG-53 in 1942
  • Decommissioned 10 October 1945 and transferred to the War Shipping Administration
  • Sold 19 July 1946
  • Sold 17 October 1946 to the Western Trading Co. for the Jewish Aliyah Bet organization to smuggle what the British termed illegal Jewish refugees into British controlled Palestine and renamed Ulua
  • Renamed Chaim Arlosoroff 27 February 1947and ran aground at Bat Galim Reefs, Palestine
  • Chaim Arlosoroff lay abandoned until after Israel became independent in 1948, when the wreck was sold for scrap.


  • Displacement 1,180 t.
    1919 - 1,181 t.
  • Length 190'
  • Beam 32' 6"
  • Draft 14' 1"
    1919 - 25' 1"
  • Speed 7.9 kts. (cruising), 13 kts. (maximum)
  • Complement 73
    1918 - 92
    1919 - 69
  • Armament: Three 6-pounder rapid-fire guns
    1943 - Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts, two 20mm mounts and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, one 1,260hp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USRC Unalga
    Unalga 72k National Archives photo 26-G-10-23-40(01) from the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships Robert Hurst
    USCGC Unalga (WPG 53)
    Unalga 53k At San Juan, PR, circa 1943, with two 3"/50 guns fore and aft. In 1941 the two 3"/50s were mounted abreast on the forecastle. The decks could not support a centerline gun, so in 1944 the forecastle was strengthened
    Photo "U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II" by Robert L. Scheina
    Robert Hurst
    Unalga 54k Anchored off the coast of Unalaska, Alaska
    Photo by John E. Thwaites, c. 1906 - 1932. Image Identifier ASL-PCA-18-262. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections
    Unalga 31k In calm water off the coast of Unalaska
    Photo from the Robert N. DeArmond Photograph Collection, c. 1890-1920. Image Identifier ASL-P314-303-7. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections
    Unalga 33k Unalga and Northland [WPG 49] (center) tied up dockside at downtown Juneau, Alaska; government buildings visible on hillside behind
    Photo from the Winter and Pond Photo Collection, 1893-1943. Image Identifier ASL-PCA-87-1762. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections
    Unalga 36k Tied-up dockside at Juneau, Alaska on 12 July 1930, with the 4-stack destroyers USS Hamilton (DD-141), USS Tattnall (DD-125) and USS Twiggs (DD-127) nested in the background
    Photo from the Winter and Pond Photo Collection, 1893-1943. Image Identifier ASL-P87-1763. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections
    Unalga 457k The blockade-runner Ulua tied-up pier side at Marseille, France, December 1946. The photo shows Ulua probably after being refitted to accommodate up to 2,500 passengers. On the quayside to the left of the wooden barrels are some of the 500 drums full of extra fuel carried for her journey to Palestine
    Photo from the book "The Jews' Secret Fleet" by Murray S. Greenfield and Joseph M. Hochstein, Published by Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem and New York
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT(T) Frederick G. Dodge, USCG1918 - 1919
    02CDR John Boedeker, USCG1924
    03CDR E. S. Addison, USCG1929
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    View the Unalga
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website

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