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Irene Forsyte


(IX-93: 1. 144'; b. 27'7"; s. 13 k.; a. 1'4", 1 40mm., 2 20mm., 1 ASW rocket)


Irene Forsyte (IX-93), a schooner, was built in 1920 as Irene Myrtle by MacLean Construction Co., Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, and was purchased by the Navy 16 November 1942 from Thomas Antle of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Renamed Irene Forsyte, she was converted for Navy use at Thames Shipyard, New London, Conn., and commissioned 26 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. R. Parmenter in command.


Irene Forsyte was one of five "Q ships" used by the Navy in World War II. Based on the experience of World War I, it was hoped that these ships, with their relatively heavy armament concealed, could act as decoys to lure submarines into close quarters on the surface and then sink them. The schooner sailed 29 September 1943 with a volunteer crew. Off Nantucket Island she changed her name and flag to that of a Portuguese fishing schooner and stood southeast in hopes of encountering submarines. Caught in a hurricane near Bermuda, Irene Forsyte was severely damaged and averted sinking only by anchoring in Hamilton Sound, Bermuda. She was reconditioned and prepared to resume her cruise; but, when it was decided that the project held little promise of sinking enemy submarines, she was ordered back to the United States.


The schooner arrived New York 8 November 1943 and decommissioned 16 December 1943 for return to the Maritime Commission. She was used for a time on a loan basis by the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps as a training ship and returned to the Navy for disposal in November 1944. Irene Forsyte was sold at public auction 18 October 1945.