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USS Juniata (IX-77)
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Class:        Small IX: Auxiliary Schooners etc. (3)
Design        Small acquired. These specifications are for IX-77.
Displacement (tons):        366 displ., 242 gross
Dimensions (feet):        134.2' oa (deck), 100.0' wl x 28.2' x 17.4'
Original Armament:        Small or none
Later armaments:        --
Complement        22 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        10.5
Propulsion (HP):        --
Machinery:        1 screw, Winton diesel

IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
73 ZACA 12 Jun 42 Nunes Bros. Aug 29 1930 19 Jun 42
74 METHA NELSON 11 Jun 42 H. D. Bendixsen -- 1896 28 Feb 43
75 JOHN M. HOWARD 2 Jul 42 Mathis Yacht -- 1934 1 Sep 42
76 RAMONA 15 Jul 42 Herreshoff Mfg -- 1920 5 Aug 42
77 JUNIATA 20 Jul 42 Krupp Germania -- 1930 12 Sep 42
78 BRAVE 10 Aug 42 Grand Cayman Is. -- late '30s 10 Dec 42
79 EL CANO 8 Aug 42 Krupp Germania -- 1927 21 Sep 42

IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
73 ZACA 6 Oct 44 13 Nov 44 21 May 45 MC/S 21 May 45
74 METHA NELSON 25 Sep 45 24 Oct 45 31 Oct 46 RTO --
75 JOHN M. HOWARD 16 Nov 45 5 Dec 45 24 Jan 46 MC/S 24 Jan 46
76 RAMONA 1 Apr 43 18 Jul 44 5 Aug 44 RTO --
77 JUNIATA 1 Jan 45 19 Jan 45 4 Jun 45 MC/S 4 Jun 45
78 BRAVE 14 Dec 44 22 Dec 44 19 Sep 46 MC/S 19 Sep 46
79 EL CANO 13 Sep 45 24 Oct 45 23 Oct 45 RTO --

Class Notes:
FY 1942 (IX-74), FY 1942 BuShips Maintenance funds (others). The specifications above are for IX-79, those for the others are in the Ship Notes.

IX-73: On 29 May 42 VCNO asked WSA to acquire by purchase the auxiliary schooner ZACA and authorized Com-12 to accept her. ZACA had been designed by Garland Rotch and built at Sausalito, Calif., for San Francisco railroad heir Templeton Crocker using the hull lines of Canada's famous BLUENOSE, the fastest fishing schooner ever built. After being acquired from Mr. Crocker, ZACA patrolled off central California and served as a plane guard and radio beacon station ship. She was replaced by a new frigate (PF) in 1944. Actor Errol Flynn purchased her from a speculator in 1945. Sold by Flynn's estate after he died in 1959, the yacht was abandoned in 1965 in a boatyard in Villefranche, France, where she was purchased in sunken condition in 1990 by Italian businessman Roberto Memmo. After two years of meticulous restoration at Toulon ZACA made a grand reappearance at Monaco's regatta in 1993 and has actively operated in the Mediterranean since then.

IX-74: On 29 May 42 CNO asked the Maritime Commission to purchase the auxiliary schooner METHA NELSON and authorized Com-11 to accept her. METHA NELSON was one of many schooners built by Hans Ditlev Bendixsen at Fairhaven, Calif., (near Eureka) between 1875 and 1901 for the west coast lumber trade. The Navy acquired her from Paramount Pictures, Inc. (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) which had used her in several films including "Mutiny on the Bounty." The Navy anchored her outside Los Angeles harbor where she served as an identification ship for all inbound and outbound vessels and as a base ship for the pilots who guided them. She was sold by the MC in early 1946 to Juan Perlo of Los Angeles, Calif. (possibly associated with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer). She was not registered for postwar service as an American merchant vessel.

IX-75: On 13 Jun 42 VCNO asked WSA to purchase the motor vessel ELSIE FENIMORE and authorized Com-4 to accept her. The ketch had been designed by John Trumpy and built at Camden, N.J. She was acquired from Elsie R. Fenimore Johnson, wife of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor). Mrs. Johnson had used her for scientific research and in 1937 with two colleagues published the results of a study conducted on board on the absorption and scattering of solar radiation by the sea. The name ELSIE FENIMORE was approved for Navy use on 18 Jul 42 but was cancelled and the name JOHN M. HOWARD substituted on 17 Aug 42 in honor of a late Navy Ensign, possibly in response to a request from his parents. The vessel, outfitted as a floating photographic laboratory, was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard for duty under the Bureau of Ordnance. She was placed in service on 29 Jul 42 and in full commission on 1 Sep 42. The vessel departed Washington in early January 1943 for 100 days of experimental operations in Chesapeake Bay, Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Mayport, and Port Everglades. On 13 Apr 45 she was permanently assigned to the Washington Navy Yard for use by the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and on 9 May 45 she was decommissioned and placed in service. Resold to Mrs. Johnson in January 1946, she resumed service as the yacht ELSIE FENIMORE and in 1954 again figured in a scientific paper, this time a study of the Gulf Stream. She was renamed JOHN M. HOWARD in 1959, EARL OF DESMOND in 1960, NORTHERN LIGHT in 1964, and was still in service in 1972.

IX-76: On 26 May 42 VCNO asked WSA to negotiate for acquisition of the auxiliary schooner RAMONA on bareboat charter at a rate of $1.00 per year for the duration of the war. The schooner had been designed by N. G. Herreshoff and built at his shipyard at Bristol, R.I. She was acquired from Mr. Silsby M. Spaulding of Los Angeles and was assigned to the 11th Naval District (San Diego). She was reported by Com-11 on 13 Apr 43 as selected for layup with other small acquired craft including IX 58-61 and 63. She reentered service as the yacht RAMONA after her return to Mr. Spalding in 1944, was renamed LADY PHYLLIS in 1959, and was transferred to British registry in 1962.

IX-77: On 1 Jul 42 VCNO asked that WSA requisition-purchase the large sailing yacht VEGA for the Navy and authorized Com-12 to accept her. This two-masted schooner yacht had been designed by Cox & Stevens and built for Walter G. Ladd by Krupp's Germaniawerft at Kiel, Germany. The father of Ladd's wife, Kate, was associated with John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Co., and the yacht's original name, ETAK, was "Kate" spelled backwards. Ladd died in the mid-1930s and the yacht was purchased by H. W. Rohl of Los Angeles and renamed VEGA. The Navy took her over for Pacific coastal patrol duty and renamed her JUNIATA on 3 Aug 42. She was replaced by a new frigate (PF) in 1944. The schooner was sold to Thomas F. Hamilton of Beverly Hills., Calif., in June 1945. In 1951 the schooner, again named VEGA, was sent by her new owner, the plumbing magnate Cornelius Crane, to Tahiti and was transferred to French registry to act as a passenger ship between Hawaii and Tahiti. However she lost her mainmast departing Tahiti in December 1951 and was still there under repair in 1955. Again sold, she became a South Pacific touring yacht and was named "TeVega" by the islanders. Later in the 1950s she sailed to England to have new diesels installed. In the 1960s the schooner cruised in the Windward Islands and was then used by Stanford University for oceanographic ecological studies in the Pacific. She was purchased by the Flint School in 1969, recovered her topmasts in 1972 for the first time since 1951, and operated for the school until it closed in 1981. A Dutch financier then bought her and leased her to another school. In the 1990s an Italian bought "TeVega", restored her to her original glory, and entered her in some sailing races. Again sold in 2005 following a business scandal, the schooner was renamed DEVA, was again restored and updated, and continues to operate out of La Spezia, Italy.

IX-78: On 18 Jun 42 VCNO asked BuShips to purchase the auxiliary schooner A. MAITLAND ADAMS. This vessel had been built on Grand Cayman Is. in the late 1930s and was used by her owner, Norberg Thompson, to carry giant green sea turtles to Key West, where they were kept in large turtle crawls (kraals) and prepared for market. The vessel, also known as A. M. ADAMS and listed in most Navy records as MAITLAND ADAMS, could carry several hundred turtles within its hold and on its deck, and her arrival every other month and the unloading of the turtles became major local spectator events. The Navy acquired the schooner from the Gibbs Gas Engine Co. of Jacksonville, Fla., for use as a training vessel at the Fleet Sound School at Key West. The name BRAVE was assigned on 13 Aug 42. On 10 Dec 42 Gibbs completed conversion of the vessel, which was placed in service on the same date and departed Jacksonville two days later. BRAVE stopped at Miami between 16 and 24 Dec 42 to embark the remainder of her outfitting equipment and was placed in full commission at Key West on 23 Jan 43. She was replaced by PCS-1386, which had been altered during construction for use as a sonar training vessel and which arrived at Key West on 25 Nov 44. In September 1946 the schooner was sold back to Thompson Enterprises Inc., and in the late 1950s she was reported to be bringing turtles from Nicaragua. In 1971 the State of Florida passed sea turtle conservation legislation that ended the turtle import trade and most likely the career of the now elderly turtle schooner.

IX-79: On 13 Jul 42 VCNO asked BuShips to negotiate a bareboat charter agreement with the owner of the auxiliary steel schooner yacht PIONEER at $1.00 per year. This vessel had been designed by Cox & Stevens and built by Krupp's Germaniawerft at Kiel, Germany, in 1927 as CRESSIDA for the German-American industrialist Hermann Oelrichs, who was a member of the Vanderbilt family. She was reputed to be one of the fastest tall ships on the west coast, often making 14 knots in races off Newport Beach, Calif. Oelrichs sold her in the mid-1930s to George Washington Vanderbilt III, who used her for recreational cruises and to explore Africa and the South Seas. Vanderbilt renamed her PIONEER after 1937 and before visiting Isla Floreana (Galapagos) in her on 4 Jun 41. On 17 Aug 42 the Navy assigned her the name EL CANO "after the former vessel of that name" (presumably ELCANO, PG-38), and she operated during the rest of the war "in service" in the 11th Naval District. A report that the Coast Guard used EL CANO ex PIONEER for merchant training between 1939 and her return to the MC on 31 Aug 42 appears to be inconsistent with the preceding information, but merchant training could have been her function in the 11th Naval District. The schooner was returned to Mr. Vanderbilt in late 1945. PIONEER made her last major voyage in 1951, from California to Hawaii, and then remained pierside at Newport Beach from 1954 until Vanderbilt's death in 1961. She was sold in 1965 to Windjammer Barefoot Cruises and converted into the passenger ship YANKEE CLIPPER. She was refitted in 1987 with a third mast and a top deck. Windjammer ceased operations in 2007 and the ship is now (2009) laid up in Trinidad and looking for a buyer.

Ship Notes:
IX Name Notes
73 ZACA Ex yacht ZACA. Auxiliary schooner. 110 tons light, 122 tons gross. 118.0' oa, 96.0' wl x 23.75' x 14.0'. Wood hull. 2 screws, Hill diesels, 9 kts.
74 METHA NELSON Ex merc. METHA NELSON. Auxiliary schooner. 400 tons light, 464 tons gross. 186' oa, 156.0' wl x 36.0'. Wood hull. 1 Atlas Imperial diesel, 320 HP, 7.5 kts. Navy conversion completed by Craig SB, Long Beach, on 28 Feb 43.
75 JOHN M. HOWARD Ex yacht ELSIE FENIMORE. Auxiliary ketch. 100 tons light, 94 tons gross. 87.0' oa, 75.0' wl x 20.0' x 9.7'. Wood hull. 1 Fairbanks Morse diesel, 140 HP, 9 kts.
76 RAMONA Ex yacht RAMONA, ex OHONKARA. Auxiliary schooner. 90 tons light, 126 tons gross. 109.0' oa, 79.1' wl x 23.5' x 14.3'. Steel hull. 1 Speedway gas engine.
77 JUNIATA Ex yacht VEGA, ex ETAK 1938 (completed April 1930). Auxiliary schooner. Specifications above. Overall length as DEVA (including bowsprit) 155.8'. Steel hull.
78 BRAVE Ex merc. A. MAITLAND ADAMS. Auxiliary turtle schooner. 110 tons light, 126 tons full load. 98.25' oa, 81.6' wl x 23.6' x 10.0'. Wood hull. 1 G.M. diesel. Built on Grand Cayman Island in the late 1930s. Completed Navy conversion 10 Dec 42.
79 EL CANO Ex yacht PIONEER, ex CRIMPER 1938, ex CRESSIDA 1937 (completed December 1927). Auxiliary topsail schooner. 540 tons displ., 327 tons gross. 172.0' oa (deck), 125.0' wl x 28.2' x 17.0'. 1 G.M. diesel (fitted 1939), 400 HP. Crew 25 (1944). Length as YANKEE CLIPPER (probably overall including bowsprit) 197'. Steel hull.

Page Notes:
IX        1942
Compiled:        21 Dec 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010