(PC-509: dp. 190; 1. 150'0"; b. 24'0"; dr. 8'6" (mean) (f.); s. 15k.; a. 13")
Vara—a yacht constructed in 1929 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. at Bristol, R.I.—was acquired from Mr. Harold S. Vanderbilt on 7 October 1940; converted for naval service at the New York Navy Yard; designated PC-509; and commissioned at New York City on 27 December 1941.
Assigned to the Panama Canal Zone, PC-509 operated from that point escorting convoys in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea for the duration of her brief Navy career. She reached the Canal Zone on 2 February and pursued a varied itinerary during the first 14 months of her career as a convoy escort. She visited Guantanamo Bay and Havana in Cuba; Jacksonville, Miami, and Key West in Fla.; as well as Charleston, S.C. In May 1943, however, she began to concentrate upon the Canal Zone-Guantanamo Bay circuit exclusively. On 15 July 1943, PC-509 was named Valiant and redesignated PYc-51. Over the last 15 months of her service, she escorted seven convoys from Panama to Guantanamo Bay and returned in the screen of a Panama-bound convoy after the first six. Between convoys, she conducted routine patrols and participated in submarine searches, though it appears that she never saw combat.
After escorting her seventh convoy safely into Guantanamo Bay on 25 August 1944, Valiant headed north for inactivation. She stopped briefly at Charleston on 28 August and arrived in Philadelphia on the 31st. There, she was placed out of commission sometime in September and was turned over to the Commandant, 4th Naval District, for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 14 October 1944, and she was sold by the War Shipping Administration on 15 June 1945.