Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Asheville (PG-21)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Asheville (PG-21)

USS Asheville (Gunboat No. 21), a single-screw, steel-hulled gunboat, was laid down on 9 June 1918 at the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard; launched on 4 July 1918; sponsored by Miss Alyne J. Reynolds, daughter of Dr. Carl V. Reynolds, M.D., a prominent citizen of Asheville; and commissioned on 6 July 1920, Lt. Cmdr. Elliot Buckmaster in temporary command. On 17 July, the ship was given the alphanumerical designation PG-21.

Assigned to Cruiser Division 1, Cruiser Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet, for temporary duty at the outset of her career, USS Asheville (PG-21) departed her builder's yard for Galveston, Tex., on 7 October 1920. Assigned to Cruiser Division 1, Cruiser Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet, for temporary duty at the outset of her career, Asheville departed her builder's yard for Galveston, Tex., on 7 October 1920. USS Asheville (PG-21)  was based at Cavite into mid-October 1922; during this period, she conducted short range battle practice off Corregidor.

On 10 April 1923, USS Asheville (PG-21)  departed Swatow for Cavite, and arrived there three days later. The ship conducted day spotting, long-range battle, and night battle practice in Philippine waters until 1 May, when she sailed for Hong Kong to transfer new enlisted men. USS Asheville (PG-21) reached Hong Kong on 4 May, and soon resumed her operation on the coast of South China. Over the next few years, USS Asheville (PG-21)  continued to operate with the Asiatic Fleet, ready to "show the flag" or put a landing force ashore to protect lives and property.

The outbreak of war in the Far East on 8 December 1941 (7 December east of the Date Line) found USS Asheville (PG-21)  at anchor in Manila Bay. Soon after receiving a priority radio dispatch at 0340 on that day telling of hostilities with Japan, USS Asheville (PG-21)  got underway for Mariveles Bay and, over the next two days, conducted patrols off Corregidor. USS Asheville (PG-21) --Lt. Jacob W. Britt in command--cleared Tjilatjap on 1 March 1942, bound for Fremantle. At 0615 on 2 March, Tulsa sighted a ship, and identified her as USS Asheville (PG-21) --probably the last time the latter was in sight of friendly forces. During the forenoon watch on 3 March, USS Asheville (PG-21)  radioed "being attacked," some 300 miles south of Java. USS Asheville (PG-21) , presumed lost, was stricken from the Navy list on 8 May 1942. 

For a complete history of USS Asheville (PG-21) please see its DANFS page.