Paducah I (Gunboat No. 18)
(Gbt. No. 18: dp. 1,084; l. 200'5"; b. 35'; dr. 1'34"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 184; a. 4 4", 2 1-pdr.; cl. Dubuque)
A city in western Kentucky at the junction of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.
Paducah (Gunboat No. 18) was launched 11 October 1904 by Gas Engine and Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co., Morris Heights, N.Y.; sponsored by Miss Anna May Yeiser; and commissioned 2 September 1905, Comdr. Albert G. Winterhalter in command. She was reclassified AG-7 in 1919; IX-23, 24 April 1922; and PG-18, 4 November 1940.
After shakedown, Paducah joined the Caribbean Squadron early in 1906 to protect American lives and interests through patrols and port calls to Caribbean and Central and South American cities. She patrolled Mexican waters in the aftermath of the Vera Cruz incident through the summer of 1914, then returned to her Caribbean operations, performing surveys from time to time.
Paducah was ordered north to prepare at Portsmouth for European service in World War I, for which she sailed from New York 29 September 1917. She reached Gibraltar 27 October, and based there as convoy escort to North Africa, Italy, the Azores, and Madeira. She attacked a U-boat 9 September 1918 after it had sunk one of her convoy, and was credited with possibly damaging the submarine.
Leaving Gibraltar 11 December, Paducah reached Portsmouth, N.H., 7 January 1919 to decommission 2 March 1919. She recommissioned 16 August 1920 through 9 September 1921 for survey duty in the Caribbean, and commissioned a third time 2 May 1922 for duty training Naval Reservists in the 9th Naval District. She arrived Duluth, Minn., 20 June.
Paducah returned to the East Coast in early 1941, and through World War II, trained Armed Guard gunners in Chesapeake Bay, thus giving vital service to the Merchant Marine's crucial World War II assignment. Decommissioning 7 September 1945, she transferred to the Maritime Commission 19 December 1946, and was sold the same day to Maria Angelo, Miami, Fla.