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Potomac

 

A river on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, emptying into Chesapeake Bay and forming a boundary between Virginia and Maryland.

 

IV

 

(AG–25: dp. 416 (f); l. 165’; b. 23’9”; dr. 8’1”; s. 13 k.; cpl. 45; a. none; cl. Potomac)

 

The fourth Potomac, the presidential yacht, formerly the Coast Guard ship Electra, was laid down 5 March 1934; launched 30 June 1934 by Manitowoc Ship Building Company, Manitowoc, Wis.; and completed 26 October 1934. The ship was taken over by the Navy from the Coast Guard 8 November 1935 and was designated AG–25 11 November. Renamed Potomac 30 January 1936 she commissioned 2 March 1936 at Norfolk Navy Yard, Lt. W. R. Jones in command.

 

Serving as the official yacht for President Roosevelt, AG–25 operated primarily in the Chesapeake Bay area, but made occasional cruises to Florida and the Bahamas with the President and first lady on board. She transported the President to Cape Cod where he boarded the cruiser Augusta for the conference with Prime Minister Churchill formulating the Atlantic Charter. In 1941, due to increased equipment added to the superstructure, the ship became top heavy and was condemned as unseaworthy. The Navy recommended that another ship be substituted but the approach of war prevented such action, however, the President ordered the ship not to operate in open waters.

 

Replaced by Williamsburg, and decommissioned IS November 1945, Potomac was returned to the Coast Guard 23 November, and struck from the Navy List 25 February 1946. She was transferred to the State of Maryland later in 1946, and served with the Tidewaters Fisheries Commission until sold to Warren G. Toone in April 1960 and placed in service as a ferry boat between San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She was subsequently purchased by the Hydro Capital Co., refurbished, and used as a traveling historical museum of the Franklin D. Roosevelt era. In January 1964 she was purchased by Elvis Presley and given to St. jade’s Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.