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USS Black Douglas (IX-55) on 30 March 1943
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        Small IX: Auxiliary Schooners etc. (1)
Design        Small acquired. These specifications are for IX-55.
Displacement (tons):        395 light, 371 gross
Dimensions (feet):        153.0' oa, 118.0' wl x 32.0' x 12.0'
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 4-.50 cal AA (1942: IX-55)
Other armaments:        1-3"/50 2-20mm (1943: PYc-45, ex IX-55);
Small or none (others)
Complement        --
Speed (kts.):        9.5
Propulsion (HP):        450
Machinery:        1 screw, Cooper-Bessemer diesel

IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
55 BLACK DOUGLAS 2 Jan 42 Bath IW 22 Nov 29 9 Jun 30 18 Apr 42
57 ARANER 27 Jan 42 A. D. Story -- 1926 26 Feb 42
58 DWYN WEN 4 Feb 42 Philip & Son -- 1906 19 Feb 42
59 VOLADOR 2 Feb 42 Wm. Muller -- 1926 19 Feb 42
60 SEAWARD 31 Jan 42 Adams, E. Boothbay -- 1920 19 Feb 42
61 GEOANNA 1 Feb 42 Craig SB, Long Beach -- 1934 19 Feb 42
62 VILEEHI 19 Dec 41 San Diego Marine -- 1930 26 Feb 42
63 ZAHMA 8 Jan 42 George S. Lawley & Sons -- 1915 26 Feb 42

IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
55 BLACK DOUGLAS 20 Sep 44 14 Oct 44 4 Oct 44 RTO --
57 ARANER 1 May 44 14 Oct 44 12 Jul 44 RTO --
58 DWYN WEN 1 Apr 43 18 Jul 44 6 Jan 45 MC/S 6 Jan 45
59 VOLADOR ca Apr 43 3 Sep 43 17 Aug 43 Army --
60 SEAWARD 1 Apr 43 18 Jul 44 6 Apr 45 MC/S 6 Apr 45
61 GEOANNA ca Apr 43 3 Sep 43 20 Aug 43 Army --
62 VILEEHI 20 Sep 45 24 Oct 45 27 Sep 45 RTO --
63 ZAHMA 13 Apr 43 18 Jul 44 -- RTO --

Class Notes:
FY 1942 BuShips Maintenance funds (all). The specifications above are for IX-55, those for the others are in the Ship Notes.

IX-55: On 13 Dec 41 CNO asked that BuShips arrange with the Department of the Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service) for the transfer to the Navy of the auxiliary schooner BLACK DOUGLAS. This large steel-hulled schooner had been designed by H. J. Gielow & Co. and built in 1930 for Robert C. Roebling, son of the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Fish and Wildlife Service, which had acquired her from Roebling, transferred her on 2 Jan 42 at Winslow, Wash., to the Navy which assigned her to the 13th Naval District. One 4"/50 gun and one "Y" antisubmarine gun were installed at her conversion yard, the Winslow Marine Railway and S.B. Co., Winslow, Wash., on 11 Mar 42. On 18 May 42 VCNO asked that a lighter gun be fitted. On 2 Jun 42 VCNO wrote that "due to the slow speed of the BLACK DOUGLAS it is not desired that her designation be changed to PYc," but her designation was so changed in April 1943 when she was reassigned to the Northwestern Sea Frontier. At around this time her main armament was reduced to a 3" gun. After the war BLACK DOUGLAS was used by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Fisheries until the early 1960s, then operated until 1967 as a resupply and treasure hunting ship in the Caribbean. The Flint School acquired the semi-abandoned ship in 1972 and restored her as the sail training ship "teQuest." When the school closed in 1981 she was privately purchased and totally rebuilt in Germany as the luxury British-flag yacht AQUARIUS. Later AQUARIUS W, she is still in use today as the yacht EL BOUGHAZ I, the property of King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

IX-57: On 30 Jan 42 CNO asked BuShips to negotiate with the owner of the motor yacht ARANER for her acquisition for the sum of $1.00 per year. The owner was John Ford, the motion picture director who became a Naval Reserve officer in 1934, the year he purchased the yacht. The yacht, designed by John G. Hanna and built at Essex, Mass., was acquired from Mr. Ford at San Pedro, Calif., was initially assigned to the 11th Naval District on 7 Feb 42, and was reassigned to the Western Sea Frontier on 23 Jul 42. She patrolled the area around Guadaloupe and San Clemente Islands near San Diego. She was laid up on 1 May 44 at San Diego, her personnel being transferred to YAG-6 (ENCHANTRESS), and was redelivered to Mr. Ford's wife on 12 Jul 44. Ford sold the yacht ca. 1971, she was renamed FAITH ca. 1975 and WINDJAMMER soon afterwards, and was a tourist craft at Guam in the early 1980s.

IX 58-61: On 21 Jan 42 CNO asked the Maritime Commission to acquire these four auxiliary schooner yachts and authorized the Commandant, 11th Naval District, to accept them. All were acquired at San Pedro (see Ship Notes for details), assigned to the 11th Naval District in early February 1942 and to the Western Sea Frontier on 23 Jul 42, and selected for layup on 13 Apr 43, probably after being put out of service. IX-59 and IX-61 were temporarily transferred to the Coast Guard for operational training duty about 1 Jul 43, and permanently transferred to the Army Transportation Service at San Pedro in August 1943. As Army ships, GEOANNA (TP-249) and VOLADOR (TP-248) provided communications relays and acted as command post for forward elements ashore. Named for the Welsh patron saint of lovers, DWYN WEN resumed service after the war as a yacht for various owners in Seattle and California. The web site http://members.cox.net/classicyachts/dwynwen.html contains dozens of photos and much information on this vessel, which still existed in 2006. GEOANNA was reportedly registered in the Philippines by an entrepreneur, Edward M. Grimm, as the motor yacht LANIKAI II. Grimm died in around 1989 and the vessel was removed from Philippine registry in 1991 and sold in 1996 to a Swedish owner, Emil Heijne. Heijne sent her in 1997 to the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Co. (AG&P) shipyard at Batangas for drydocking and repair. In 1999 AG&P sued for unpaid funds and the case was still in the courts in 2009.

IX 62-63: On 27 Dec 41 CNO asked BuShips to negotiate for the acquisition of these two auxiliary ketches for patrol use. They were designated IX 62-63 on 19 Feb 42. They were acquired at San Diego (see Ship Notes for details) and assigned to the 11th Naval District. IX-63 had been surveyed for possible naval use during World War I but had been found unsuitable. IX-63 was selected for layup on 13 Apr 43 while IX-62 remained in use at San Diego for the entire war. VILEEHI participated in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in 2001 and 2002.

Ship Notes:
IX Name Notes
55 BLACK DOUGLAS Ex yacht BLACK DOUGLAS, Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior Dept. Auxiliary 3-masted schooner. Steel hull. Specifications above. To PYc-45 8 Apr 43 and commissioned 19 Apr 43.
57 ARANER Ex yacht ARANER, ex FAITH 1934. Auxiliary ketch. 100 tons light, 147 tons gross. 106.4' oa, 86.0' reg x 25.2' x 10.5'. Wood hull. 1 Atlas Imperial diesel, 100 HP, 8 kts.
58 DWYN WEN Ex yacht DWYN WEN. Auxiliary schooner. 110 tons light, 86 tons gross. 104.0' oa, 84.0' wl x 20.0' x 13.25'. Composite hull. 1 Atlas Imperial diesel (fitted 1926), 75 HP, 7 kts. Designed by Alex. Richardson and built at Dartmouth, England, she was acquired from Eugene Overton of Los Angeles, Calif., to whom she was sold back in January 1945. She resumed service as the yacht DWYN WEN and still existed in 2006.
59 VOLADOR Ex yacht VOLADOR. Auxiliary schooner. 90 tons light, 114 tons gross. 110.0' oa, 85.8' wl x 23.4' x 12.25'. Wood hull. 1 Atlas Imperial diesel, 120 HP, 7 kts. Designed by William Gardiner, built at Wilmington, Calif., and acquired from W. L. Valentine. Not registered for postwar service as an American yacht.
60 SEAWARD Ex yacht SEAWARD. Auxiliary schooner. 100 tons light, 96 tons gross. 106.0' oa, 90.0' wl x 21.6' x 14.0'. Wood hull. 1 Western diesel (fitted 1937), 65 HP, 7 kts. Designed by John G. Alden and built at East Boothbay, Maine. Acquired from Cecil B. deMille, for whom she had probably been built. Sold in April 1945 to Charles A. Williams of San Pedro, Calif., and resumed service as the yacht SEAWARD. Transferred to French registry 1951.
61 GEOANNA Ex yacht GEOANNA. Auxiliary schooner. 90 tons light, 122 tons gross. 111.5' oa, 81.5' wl x 22.5' x 14.75'. Steel hull. 1 Superior diesel, 135 HP, 8 kts. Designed by George L. Craig and built at Long Beach, Calif. Requisitioned by the MC from the Seven Up Bottling Co., which had purchased her in 1938. Probably resumed service as a yacht under foreign registry after the was, was named LANIKAI II during the 1980s.
62 VILEEHI Ex yacht VILEEHI. Auxiliary ketch. 90 tons light, 54 tons gross. 80.0' oa, 61.4' wl x 19.25' x 11.4'. Wood hull. 1 Sterling gas engine, 116 (or 75) HP, 7 kts. Designed by Edson B. Schock and built at San Diego, Calif. Acquired in 1941 from Hiram T. Horton, for whom she had been built. Returned to him in 1945, she resumed service as the yacht VILEEHI and was still in service in 2002.
63 ZAHMA Ex yacht ZAHMA. Auxiliary ketch. 100 tons light, 157 tons displacement, 75 tons gross. 94.0' oa, 69.0' wl x 20.75' x 7.75'. Wood hull. 1 Superior diesel (fitted 1937), 100 HP, 8 kts. Designed by B. B. Crowninshield and built at Neponset, Mass. Chartered from her owner, R. S. Rheem of Los Angeles, who recovered her in 1945 and returned her to service as the yacht ZAHMA. She was renamed THESPIAN in 1957 and was removed from documentation in 1967.

Page Notes:
IX        1941
Compiled:        21 Dec 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010