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Araner I (IX-57)

(IX-57: dp. 147; 1. 106'5"; b. 25'2"; dr. 10'6"; s. 8 k.)


One who hails from the Aran Islands, which are located off the western coast of Ireland, just outside the entrance to Galway Bay.

Faith, a wooden-hulled auxiliary ketch built in 1926 at Essex, Mass., by the Arthur D. Story Shipyards, was acquired by motion picture director John Ford in June 1934, refurbished, and renamed Araner in honor of the Aran Islands, whence his wife's family had come. During the 1930s, the yacht, "an impressive symbol of the wealth and power of her owner," served as a place where Ford could escape the bustle of Hollywood in the company of friends. The famed film director was appointed a lieutenant commander in the United States Naval Reserve in September 1934 and, according to one of his biographers, used Araner off Baja California for intelligence-gathering operations. In 1940, the commandant of the 11th Naval District commended Ford for his ". . . initiative in securing valuable information. . ."on that region.

After he was recalled to active duty in the summer of 1941 however, Ford had little use for his yacht. Shortly thereafter America's entry into World War II in December 1941 prompted the Navy to acquire many private vessels, Araner among them, for local patrol duties. Taken over on a bare-boat charter on 27 January 1942, Araner was delivered to the Navy at the section base at San Diego, Calif. Classified as a miscellaneous auxiliary and given the designation IX-57, she was placed in service on 26 February 1942. Assigned initially to the 11th Naval District and then, on 23 July 1942, to the Western Sea Frontier, the ketch operated out of San Diego, under sail power for much of the time, patrolling off Guadalupe and San Clemente Islands

Transferred back to the 11th Naval District forces upon completion of her duties under the Commander, Western Sea Frontier, Araner was laid up at the Naval Frontier Base San Diego on 1 May 1944; and her crew transferred to YAG-6 Delivered to Mrs. John Ford on 12 July 1944, Araner was struck from the Navy list on 14 October 1944.

Ford continued to use the yacht until her rising operating expenses prompted him to sell her circa 1971. Acquired by Fran M. Dimond, of Honolulu, the craft retained her name into 1974, when she was bought by the San Marino Travel Service. Still homeported at Honolulu, she was given back her original name, Faith in, or about, 1975. Renamed again, to Windjammer, a short time later, she was acquired by the Guam Rent-a-Car Company and served as a tourist-carrying craft into the early 1980s.

Published: Mon Jan 09 11:53:51 EST 2023