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USS Jamestown (AGP-3) circa July 1944
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Class:        JAMESTOWN (AGP-3)
Design:        Yacht
Displacement (tons):        1,730 light, 2,250 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        294.0' oa, 280.0' pp x 38.2' x 16.0' lim
Original Armament:        1-3"/50 (Mar 42)
Later armaments:        2-3"/50 4-20mm (Jul 42); 2-3"/50 6<8-20mm (1944-45)
Complement:        119 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        15
Propulsion (HP):        3,000
Machinery:        Diesel, 2 screws

Construction:
AGP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
3 JAMESTOWN 6 Dec 40 Pusey & Jones, Wilmington -- 12 Sep 27 26 May 41

Disposition:
AGP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
3 JAMESTOWN 6 Mar 46 20 Mar 46 30 Jun 46 MC/D 16 Dec 46

Class Notes:
FY 1941. The 294' diesel cruising yacht SAVARONA was designed by Henry J. Gielow and built by Pusey & Jones at Wilmington, Del., for Mrs. Emily Roebling Cadwallader, granddaughter of John Roebling, the engineer who built the Brooklyn Bridge. Mrs. Cadwallader spent part of her considerable fortune building between 1926 and 1931 three successively larger yachts (185', 294', and 446'), each named SAVARONA after a long-necked black-feathered African swan. She briefly operated this, the second, and then sold her in 1929, around the time she ordered the third in Germany, to Col. William Boyce Thompson, a copper millionaire and flora expert, who renamed her ALDER after his birthplace, Alder Gulch, Montana. Thompson used the ship briefly before he died in 1930. The Navy purchased her from "W. B. Thompson," most likely a reference to his widow, and classified her as a gunboat (PG-55).

At first the Navy seemed to be unsure what to do with this yacht. She was sent to the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Hoboken, N.J., (formerly W. & A. Fletcher Co.) for conversion, but as of late April 1941 work had not begun. Sometime between April and June 1941 the Navy decided to exchange her for the Coast and Geodetic Survey's salvage ship DISCOVERER (ex AM-38, later ARS-3). In the meantime, JAMESTOWN was given an austere conversion (without armament) and commissioned in May. Between June and September the former yacht cruised in Chesapeake Bay as a training ship for the Naval Academy. In July the Navy decided to exchange a smaller vessel, YP-96, for DISCOVERER, and it soon decided to use JAMESTOWN as a MTB tender. On 6 Sep 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board considered two options for her conversion to a MTB tender, either "a complete conversion at excessive cost" or no further conversion except to provide one torpedo charging air compressor--the Board recommended the latter. The ship then returned to New York, first to tend PT boats at the Navy Yard and then to undergo conversion to a tender--probably more like the extensive conversion given HILO than the austere one recommended by the Board--which was completed in March 1942. JAMESTOWN received additional modifications at New York in July 1942 before moving to the Pacific. She was reclassified AGP-3 on 13 Jan 43 when the AGP classification was created. She was rated in May 44 as having capacity for 88 passengers or troops (probably mainly PT boat personnel) in addition to her crew of 119.

Ship Notes:
AGP Name Notes
3 JAMESTOWN Ex private yacht ALDER, ex SAVARONA (completed Jan 28). Acquired as PG-55, reclassified AGP-3 13 Jan 43. Sold by MC for further operation, became JAMESTOWN in 1947 and MAROSANNA in 1953, both under British registry. While serving the Cayman Islands Co. as a banana carrier she sprang a leak and sank on 1 Aug 61 off the west coast of Colombia on a voyage from Ecuador to Tampa, Fl.

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