USS Chehalis PG-94

USS Chehalis PG-94

Second US Navy ship to bear the name and named for Chehalis, Washington.  Commissioned 8 November 1969 at Tacoma WA and decommissioned 1976. Transferred to David Taylor Research and Development Center Annapolis MD. Renamed RV (Research Vessel) ATHENA.  Presently in custody of Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, US Navy at Panama City Beach FL.

CHEHALIS sounds Greek, but she’s named after the city in Washington, which in turn derived from the name of an old Indian chief that meant "Shifting Sands".

The ship’s insignia thus has an Indian head (naturally) superimposed over an anchor, with the name of the vessel and the motto "More than Our Share". This motto is distinctive to the CHEHALIS but could easily apply to other PG’s as well. 

USS CHEHALIS, Along with USS BEACON (PG-99), was one of the "first" patrol gunboats to be used as plane guard for CVA's. CHEHALIS served as such 1-4 September 1970 for USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) in the Northern California Operating Areas.

Patrol Gunboats received consideration for possible inclusion in more destroyer related operations during calendar year 1971. Refuelings, light line underway replenishments and station keeping were the evolutions most common to Patrol Gunboat/Destroyer operations; however, one major fleet exercise (READEX 2-71) provided an excellent insight into the suitability of PG's for destroyer missions. CHEHALIS, operating with the BLUE forces, was tasked with assisting in the defense of the east coast of Florida from the attack of the ORANGE forces. The specific job required of CHEHALIS was to locate, track, and eventually attack a fast carrier task group. Upon completion of the exercise it was determined that because of the rapid consumption of fuel at any speed over thirteen knots (almost 5% per hour) Patrol Gunboats were not suited to independent, long distance, search and shadow missions. CHEHALIS possessed an outstanding inspection record for 1971 as well as a perfect operational record and therefore was awarded the following:

  • Engineering Red E

  • Gunnery White E

  • Communications Green C

  • Supply Blue E

  • Operations Green E

  • Second place in 18 ship competition for the Squadron

  • First runner-up in the 1971 COMPHIBLANT NEY Awards competition for best small mess afloat

  • The third highest grade ever achieved by a CONPHIBPAC ship in a PMS Inspection; commended by COMPHIBPAC

  • A grade of outstanding in the Command Inspection; commended by COMPHIBLANT

In 1973, during CHEHALIS' ROH/RAV, an active fin stabilization system manufactured by the Jered Corporation was installed by Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The installation was funded through Naval Ship's System Command, Research and Development, in order to determine what type of stabilization system should be installed under PG Shipalt 59. Ultimately this system is expected to improve the ship's roll characteristics as much as 60%. The first USS CHEHALIS was a gasoline tanker, built by Cargill Inc., Savage, Minnesota, and commissioned on 5 December 1944. She served in the Pacific during the closing months of the war, and continued to carry fuel among the Pacific islands until 7 October 1949. On that date, as she lay at Tutuila, American Samoa, one of her gasoline tanks exploded, killing six of her crew. She burst into flames, capsized, and sank.

Narrative and photos provided by Dave Donaldson.

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

Armstrong, Dale Aschenbrenner, James Bickel, David Black, Richard
Brindel, Glenn Bruck, Richard Cano, Freddie Carlson, Gerald
Clingman, John Clouser, Del Crader, John Crader, Roy
Daniel, James Dieso, Louis Dixon, Thomas Guarneri, James
Harris, Louie Hart, Joseph Hirvela, Michael Hughes, Jerry
Imbasciani, Michael Johnson, Allan Johnson, Frank Koch, Steven
Long, Peter Manley, Eugene Martin, Ralph McAninch, Douglas
Metcalf, John Mills, Roy Miner, Wayne Moss, Michael
Osgood, Edward Patterson, Ernest Phelan, Patrick Pool, Joe
Posey, Alvin Rintamaki, Charles Rooker, Robert Seech, Zachary
Snyder, Russell Sommers, Larry Stankey, Gary Stein, John
Tuller, James Van Orden, Gene Whitehouse, John Williams, James

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Muster list updated by Terry W. McManuels

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