Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Whirlwind II (PC-11)


A weather phenomenon in which a vortex of wind (a vertically oriented rotating column of air) forms due to instabilities and turbulence created by heating and flow (current) gradients.

The second U.S. Navy ship named Whirlwind. The first Whirlwind (S.P. No. 221), a wooden-hulled, triple-screw steam yacht, that served (with a brief interruption) from 1917–1919, retained the name she carried at the time of her acquisition.


(PC-11: displacement 334; length 178'; beam 25'; draft 8'; speed 32 knots; complement 30; armament 2 25 millimeter, 2 40 millimeter grenade launchers, 2 .50 caliber machine guns, and 2 7.62 millimeter machine guns; class Cyclone)

The second Whirlwind (PC-11) was laid down on 4 March 1994 at Lockport, La., by Bollinger Machine Shop and Shipyard; launched on 9 September 1994; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth A. Tanner, wife of Representative John S. Tanner of Tenn.; and commissioned on 1 July 1995 at Memphis, Tenn., Lt. Cmdr. David D. Schweizer in command.

Whirlwind II (PC-11) 1995-Seal


Dark blue and gold are traditional Navy colors. Celeste, or light blue, represents coastal waters and the Caribbean where Whirlwind carries out many of her missions. White stands for integrity. The shield is divided to simulate the vortex of a whirlwind from which PC-11 takes her name. The anchor combined with the head of a medieval mace denotes authority at sea and the weaponry to implement the duties of the mission. Gold stands for excellence.


The watchdog signifies fighting spirit, vigilance, and diligence in duty, and recalls the escort mission of the first U.S. Navy vessel (S.P. No. 221) to bear the name Whirlwind. The hunting horn emphasizes Whirlwind’s mission in interdiction operations and detecting illegal activities. Gold and scarlet stand for excellence and courage.


The trident, adapted from the Naval Special Warfare insignia, is crossed with a Navy sword and refers to the ship’s mission of supporting the Special Warfare Forces.

Whirlwind II (PC-11) 1995-030225-N-1743B-001
The patrol craft faithfully shepherds George Washington (CVN-73) up the Elizabeth River from Naval Station Norfolk while the aircraft carrier accomplishes a planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va., 25 February 2003. (Lt. Cmdr. Jerry W. Billings, U.S. Navy Photograph 030225-N-1743B-001, Navy NewsStand)
Whirlwind II (PC-11) 1995-060414-N-6282W-002
Whirlwind protects Iraqi oil terminals in the Northern Arabian Gulf, 14 April 2006. Her high speed and maneuverability enable the patrol craft to respond quickly to threats, and Whirlwind’s low profile and camouflage paint scheme enhance her stealth capabilities by reducing her radar signature and the potential of enemy lookouts to identify her visually at long range. (Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wheeler, U.S. Navy Photograph 060414-N-6282W-002, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

3 August 2015

Published: Mon Aug 10 12:52:38 EDT 2015