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USS Hilo (AGP-2) on 8 September 1944
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Class:        HILO (AGP-2)
Design:        Yacht
Displacement (tons):        1,534 light, 2,350 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        278.9' oa, 274.6' wl, 235.5' pp x 38.3' e x 17.3' lim
Original Armament:        1-3"/50 (Jun 42)
Later armaments:        1-3"/50 8-20mm (Oct 42)
Complement:        116
Speed (kts.):        14.5
Propulsion (HP):        3,000
Machinery:        Diesel, 2 screws

Construction:
AGP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
2 HILO 28 Nov 41 Bath IW 18 Aug 30 18 Jul 31 11 Jun 42

Disposition:
AGP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
2 HILO 7 Mar 46 20 Mar 46 30 Jun 46 MC/D 25 Nov 47

Class Notes:
FY 1942. The twin screw diesel yacht CAROLINE was built at Bath Iron Works (their hull 141) for Eldridge R. Johnson, president of the Victor Talking Machine Co., and delivered on 23 Sep 31. Her original measurements were 278.8' oa x 38.0' x 15.0'. In 1938 William B. Leeds, son of a founder of the American Can Co., bought her and renamed her MOANA.

On 13 Nov 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board discussed the need to furnish a tender for the MTBs recently transferred to the Asiatic Fleet, and it recommended that MOANA, "recently acquired for other purposes," be assigned duty as a MTB tender at Pearl Harbor to relieve NIAGARA, which would then proceed to the Asiatic Fleet. The Navy purchased the yacht through the Maritime Commission on 28 Nov 41, gave her a gunboat designator (PG-58), and had her converted between December 1941 and June 1942 to a MTB tender at the Craig Shipbuilding Co., Long Beach, Cal. To serve one MTB squadron she was fitted with machine shops to repair PT engines and torpedoes; a torpedo air compressor; administrative spaces and quarters for a MTB squadron commander; storage space for spare parts, provisions, and gasoline; and berthing for her own crew of 109 and another 126 men from the MTB squadron. HILO received additional modifications in October 1942 before proceeding to the Southwest Pacific. She was reclassified AGP-2 on 13 Jan 43 when the AGP classification was created. She was rated in May 1944 as having capacity for 87 passengers or troops in addition to her crew of 116. She is known to have towed a pontoon drydock during movements between bases in February and March 1944 and probably used such a dock at other times as well to lift PT boats clear of the water for repairs, because she (and the other two converted yachts) had no lifting capability of their own.

Ship Notes:
AGP Name Notes
2 HILO Ex private yacht MOANA, ex CAROLINE (ID-4887, delivered 23 Sep 31). Acquired as PG-58, reclassified AGP-2 13 Jan 43. Sold by MC for further operation, became HILO under the American flag, later to Panamanian registry. BU 1958.

Page Notes:
AGP        1941
Compiled:        23-Feb-2006
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2006