(PG-47: displacement 500 tons; length 210 feet 9 inches; beam 31 feet; draft 6 feet; complement 80; speed 16 knots; armament 2 3-inch guns, 10 .30 cal. mg.)
The chief island in the northern Philippines, site of the capital city of Manila.
The first Luzon (PG-47) was laid down 20 November 1926 by Kiangnan Dock & Engineering Works, Shanghai, China; launched 12 September 1927; sponsored by Miss Mary C. Carter, daughter of Commander Andrew F. Carter, USN; and commissioned 1 June 1928.
One of eight gunboats built for service on the Yangtze River in China, Luzon was redesignated PR-7 on 15 June. From commissioning until December 1938, she served as the flagship of the Yangtze River Patrol, operating out of Hankow, between such ports as Nanking, Chunkiang, and Shanghai. In August 1937, after the Japanese had attacked Shanghai, Luzon evacuated the American Embassy staff to Chunking.
In December 1938 the river gunboat arrived at Shanghai to relieve Augusta (CA-31) as station ship. Except for infrequent calls at Nanking, Wuhu and other ports on the Yangtze, she remained off Shanghai until 29 November 1941 when she departed for the Philippines.
Luzon arrived at Manila 30 December, just 23 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. She then began patrol operations in the waters of the Philippines, assisting in the defense of both Bataan, from 1 February until the surrender of the peninsula to the Japanese 9 April, and Corregidor, from the beginning evacuations of that entrance island to Manila Bay until the enemy landings 5 May.
The next day, with the surrender of the Corregidor and Manila Bay forts to the Japanese, Luzon, along with Oahu (PR-6) and Quail (AM-15), was scuttled in Manila Bay to prevent capture.
Struck from the Navy list 8 May, Luzon was salvaged by the Japanese and renamed Karatsu. For the next 2 years she operated in enemy hands until the river gunboat was sunk in the Philippines by Narwhal (SS-167) on 3 March 1944.
Luzon received one battle star for World War II service.
03 November 2004