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  Last update:
 21 Sep 07
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    PG-88 USS Crockett
 

  These are the largest patrol-type craft built by the Navy after World War II. These ships were originally classified as Motor Gunboats (PGM) but reclassified as Patrol Gunboats (PG) with the same hull numbers on 1 April 1967. The term Motor Gunboats is now applied primarily to craft built for allied navies.
  The USS Crockett (PG - 88) is one of the seventeen Gunboats in the Asheville Class. The USS Crockett was authorized to be built in Fiscal Year 1965 and was commissioned 24 June 1967. Built by Tacoma Boat building Co. of Tacoma Washington, these boats took approximately 18 months to build at a cost of about $5,000,000 each. This class was the first group of the US Navy ships to be powered by a gas turbine power plant. These ships have a Combination Diesel and Gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system with twin diesel engines for economical cruise and a gas turbine for high-speed operations. The gas turbine is a LM1500 that is a modification of the General Electric JT9-8 that was used in the famous F4 Phantom II Jet Fighter. The exhaust gases from the jet pass through a fan, which turns two props through a reduction gear system. The transfer from diesel to gas turbine can be accomplished underway with no loss of speed. Under turbine power the Crockett can do 50 knots. She can also accelerate her 230 tons from 0 to 40 knots in 60 seconds. Maneuverability is excellent due in part to controllable variable-pitch propellers. The speed  and propeller pitch is controlled directly from the pilothouse console. Either JP-5 or diesel fuel can be used for both the diesel engines and the gas turbine.   The hull was constructed of aluminum with a superstructure of fiberglass and 

aluminum.  Her lightweight construction allows operations in relatively shallow waters. The lowest projection below the keel is only 9' below water level when the ship is fully loaded. The armament consists of 3"/50 caliber rapid fire gun mounted in a turret on the foredeck. A 40 mm Bofors anti aircraft gun is mounted on the rear deck. Two twin .50 caliber machine guns can be attached to mounts on each side of the second deck.
  The Crockett was designed for the roles of coastal patrol, blockade reconnaissance and support missions. She took part in operations during the Vietnam War. Her primary duties were in "Operation Market Time". The objective of these missions was to prevent the Viet Cong from using the coastal waters to transport weapons and supplies. When boats were spotted, she would go into high-speed pursuit and once she was among them, runabouts with outboard engines would be lowered over the side and two or three man crews would round them up.
USS Crockett bow

  She was ultimately stripped of her gas turbine and armament and transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency and renamed the Rachel Carson. Unfortunately the USS CROCKETT (Rachel Carson) has been scrapped, this was according to Mr. Ed McLean at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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