USS Williamsburg (AGC-369)

USS Williamsburg (AGC-369)

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USS Williamsburg (AGC-369)

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USS Williamsburg was a US Navy gunboat, a former private yacht, that served as a presidential yacht from 1945 to 1953.

Private yacht

The steel-hulled, diesel-powered yacht Aras was laid down on March 19, 1930 by the Bath Iron Works; launched on December 8, 1930; and delivered to wood-pulp magnate Hugh J. Chisholm on January 15, 1931.

Aras displaced 1,805 tons fully loaded; with a length of 243 feet; 9 inches long; a beam of 36 feet; and a draft of 14 feet. Her two Winton diesels generated 1,100 bhp, with a speed of 13.5 knots

The U.S. Navy acquired Aras on April 24, 1941, and renamed her Williamsburg. The former pleasure craft entered the Brewer Drydock and Repair Co., of Brooklyn, New York, on June 23 for conversion into a gunboat.

U.S. Naval Service

USS Williamsburg (PG-56) was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on October 7, 1941, with Lt. Commander Frederick S. Hall as her commanding officer. Williamsburg was ordered to the Norfolk Navy Yard to complete fitting-out, arriving on November 5.

As a gunboat, Williamsburg was armed with two 3-inch gun mounts, six .50 caliber machine guns, two .30 caliber Lewis machine guns, two dct, one "Y" gun, 16 rifles, and 10 pistols. Her crew complement was 81.

After final alterations, the gunboat departed Norfolk on December 2, touched briefly at Washington, D.C., and eventually arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 6, the day before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

World War II

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