(PG-89: dp. 925; l. 205'4"; b. 33'1"; dr. 14'6"; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 85; a. 2 3", 4 20mm., 1 dcp. (hh.), 4 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Action)
Flax--a modified "Flower-class" corvette--was laid down on 28 February 1942 at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, by War Supplies, Ltd., for the Royal Navy; launched on 15 June 1942; reallocated to the United States under the so-called "reverse lend-lease" program; renamed Brisk and designated PG-89 on 14 August 1942; completed on 5 December 1942; and commissioned on 6 December 1942, Lt. Norman B. Denel, USNR, in command.
She departed Kingston on 7 December bound for Montreal and reached that city on the 10th. Four days later, she sailed for Quebec, arriving on the 16th. There, the remaining work to complete the ship for service was carried out. On 8 January 1943, Brisk headed for Boston in company with Might (PG-94) by way of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Upon her arrival at the Boston Navy Yard, Brisk underwent repairs and alterations. Once this work was completed, the gunboat commenced her shakedown on 26 February. Then, after three days of antisubmarine warfare training out of New London, she reached New York City on 10 March.
Soon thereafter, Brisk commenced escorting convoys between New York and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a prosaic but highly important duty that kept her employed through V-E day in the spring of 1945. Upon the conclusion of her last convoy mission, with GN (Guantanamo-to New York) 204--which reached New York on 15 May 1945--Brisk sailed for Norfolk, Va., on 11 June. She continued south from there on 23 June and arrived in Charleston, S.C., two days later.
Brisk served at Charleston into the autumn of 1945. She was decommissioned there on 9 October 1945, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 24 October 1945. Transferred to the War Shipping Administration on 18 October 1946 for disposal, she was operated in mercantile service into the mid 1950's, initially retaining her name Brisk. Later, however, she was documented under the names Ariana (1951) and Arvida Bay (1955).
Robert J. Cressman
2 December 2005