USS Tacoma PG-92

This photograph of USS TACOMA was provided by Terry Eccleston, a former USS TACOMA Gunners Mate. Terry was on board TACOMA from February, 1974 until August, 1977. He is now a Gunners Mate Senior Chief Petty Officer (Surface Warfare) in the Naval Reserves. He resides in Palm Harbor, Florida.

USS TACOMA (PG-92) was the first Patrol Gunboat of the TACOMA Class. These ships represented a radical departure from previous standards of naval design. The were the Navy's first large all aluminum and fiberglass ships, and the first commissioned ships to utilize a marine adaptation of a gas turbine for high speed propulsion.

Extensive utilization of various patrol craft in the Tonkin Gulf and in the coastal waters of Vietnam underscored the need for small, fast ships capable of delivering lethal firepower not only in deep water but also in coastal regions. The PG was a major advance in the U. S. small combatant program, born with the increasing awareness that the United States had lagged in the development of a class of fast, potent, seaworthy ships, smaller than the destroyer. These ships were the forerunners of today's gas turbine powered, hydrofoil and missile equipped patrol boats and ships.

TACOMA was the fourth U. S. Naval vessel to bear the name TACOMA. Built by Tacoma Boat Building Company of Tacoma, Washington, her keel was laid on 24 July, 1967. Following commissioning on 14 July, 1969, TACOMA joined the Pacific Fleet Amphibious Forces as part of Coastal Squadron Three. TACOMA was home ported in Guam in August of 1970 and made several deployments to the Republic of Vietnam where she made extensive patrols in the coastal waters. In December, 1972 TACOMA became one of the last gunboats to conduct a wartime patrol in Vietnam. In early 1973 TACOMA operated with the units of the SEVENTH Fleet before entering Naval Ship Repair Facility, Guam for regular overhaul. During the remainder of 1973 TACOMA operated out of Guam making patrols of the Trust Territory of Micronesian Islands. TACOMA began 1974 with a three month good will tour of Southeast Asian countries. In July, 1974, TACOMA became a unit of the SECOND Fleet under Coastal River Squadron TWO. TACOMA arrived in her new home port at Little Creek, Virginia on Labor Day, 1974.

Each command within the U.S. Navy is authorized to display an emblem and motto symbolic of its mission. The officers and men of TACOMA have selected a crest designed by Miss Arlou M. Hunter of Seattle to carry on this tradition. The main figure in the crest is Tyee, Chinook chieftan, who is performing a ceremonial dance with lightning bolts, symbols of speed and power. His right hand holds a "La Lash", Chinook jargon for tomahawk and a mark of striking power. Behind Tyee is Mt. Rainier. The Chinooks called Mt. Rainier "Tahoma" (from which Tacoma is derived) or "that nearest heaven." The three evergreen trees symbolize the three graces of faith, hope, and charity. The outer design of the crest is an arrowhead, the basic utensil of existence for the Chinook Tribe. Encircling the crest is a nautical chain, one link for each member of the crew. The motto, "Klahowya Kopachuck" is a Chinook wish, "greetings for travelers upon the water." Speed - Power - Might - appropriate symbols for the character and function of a PG.

Second Tacoma CrestThe Tacoma had 2 crests. The following information was provided by Edward (Ted) Fox.  Thanks, Ted, for the information.

"I was the Engineering Officer aboard Tacoma from May 1972 to May 1974.  The second crest was the result of a contest we held on board sometime in 1973.  I believe it was one of the boatswains mates who designed it.  We had to change the crest because some woman from Tacoma complained to her congressman that the first one degraded Indians"

Following a regular overhaul and refresher training, TACOMA started her new mission as a training ship for Naval Reserve Personnel, serving alongside TACOMA's nucleus crew. USS TACOMA (PG-92) was decommissioned on 30 Sep, 1981 and transferred to the Columbian Navy on 01 May, 1983.

On 12 November, 1997, I received a letter from Mr. T. L. Valmas, Assistant Editor of Amyntika (Defense Affairs), a Greek-Language monthly magazine and a member of the U. S. Naval Institute. He noticed our Reunion Announcement in the October Issue of Proceedings and passed on the following information.

The Greek Navy now has custody of the former USS BEACON, {ORMI P-229} and USS GREEN BAY, {TOLMI P-230}). These ships were transferred to the Greek Navy in 1989 and following a maintenance period, became operational in 1990. The Gas Turbines have been removed and the ships are used for patrol duties in the Aegean Sea. Also in service with the Turkish Navy is the former USS SURPRISE {BORA P-339} which was transferred in 1973. The Turkish Navy also had custody of USS DEFIANCE {YILDIRIM} which was lost in an explosion off the Greek Island of Mitelene, in the NE Aegean Sea in 1985. The Colombian Navy had custody of USS WELCH and USS TACOMA (click here for info on ARC QUITASUENO), and has since transferred them to Customs. The South Korean Navy had custody of USS BENICIA, and has since decommissioned it. I will provide additional information if it becomes available. I will also include photographs of the ship as they become available.

Original narrative and photos provided by Dave Donaldson, updated by Terry W. McManuels.

Ship's Muster Sheet (Updated 12 March, 2014)

Anderson, Richard Barden, Hugh Beebe, Paul Blanzy, Andrew
Borries, Robert Bowen, George Brown, Thomas Bumbarger, James
Burrell, David Carino, Fred Clark, Richard Clifford, William
Copper, Bruce Crawford, Kevin Davidson, William Dennis, William
Doyle, David Eccleston, Terrence Edelmann, Victor Edmonds, William
Ewan, Lawrence Fagg, Charlie Feagins, Randy Fladd, Wirt
Frey, Wayne Gay, Mike Gill, Warren Greene, Kenneth
Groblewski, Dennis Gullings, Richard Harlow, William Henry, Gary
Hill, John Holman, Thomas Isaacson, Larry Jepsen, James
Johannsen, Richard Killingsworth, James Koester, Donald Koopman, Ted
Krembs, Alex Lamb, Gary Magnus, Royal Maroney, Randall
Marvin, George Minzer, Albert Moore, Stephen Morrison, Comer
Murdock, Don Nelson, Roy Nepomuceno, A. Noveno, Timoteo
Patterson, Ernest Patton, Joseph Paxton, Jim Pernell, Jon
Pidcoe, William Plum, Gary Porter, George Porter, James
Provost, Raymond Rager, Scott Ray, Keith Richardson, Mike
Richie, Ronald Ringhand, Phillip Rogers, Roy Rutledge, Ricky
Sawdey, Jack Schachterle, Terrance Shemke, Allan Silva, Donald
Silvio, Joseph Spencer, James Stoddard, Larry Swarthout, Mark
Tammariello, Joseph Tanner, Terry Tatman, Larry Thomas, Frank
Thompson, Clovis Traver, Jody Wayman, Kenneth Willey, Jim
Williams, James Wingfield, Thomas Young, Ronald  

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Muster list updated by Terry W. McManuels

Copyright © 2006 PGRA. All rights reserved. Revised: 03/11/14.