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USS Volador (IX-59) was a wooden-hulled schooner acquired by the United States Navy and after transfer to the United States Army seeing service in the Southwest Pacific Area during World War II as an early command and communications ship. The schooner was designed by William Gardiner and built at Wilmington, California by William Müller and Company in 1926. The yacht was owned by W. L. Valentine, a California yachtsman and Commodore of the California Yacht Club in 1931.[2]

USS Volador (IX-59)
Owner: W. L. Valentine
Builder: William Müller and Company, Wilmington, California
Launched: 1926
  • 2 February 1942 (US Navy)
  • August 1943 (US Army)
In service:
  • 19 February 1942 (US Navy)
  • August 1943 (US Army)
Out of service: 17 August 1943 (US Navy)
Struck: 3 September 1943 (US Navy)
General characteristics
Type: Schooner
Tonnage: 114 long tons (116 t)
Length: 110 ft (34 m)
Beam: 23 ft 5 in (7.14 m)
Draft: 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)
Depth of hold: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • Sails
  • Auxiliary 120 hp 6 cyl diesel engine[1]
Speed: 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph)


Service historyEdit

The Navy acquired Volador from W. L. Valentine on 2 February 1942 and placed the vessel in service on 19 February 1942 as a miscellaneous auxiliary vessel designated as IX-59 with the Port Director, San Pedro, California. The vessel operated locally within the 11th Naval District until July 1943 when she was temporarily transferred to the Coast Guard for operational training of Coast Guard district personnel. On 17 August 1943, Volador was delivered to the War Shipping Administration and struck from the Navy List on 3 September 1943.[3]

The War Shipping Administration transferred the schooner to the War Department for operation by the US Army as a communications ship in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA). Volador was a part of the "CP fleet", a flotilla of small vessels equipped with radio and Signal Corps personnel first acting as relays from forward areas that expanded into full forward command post communications facilities.[3][4] Volador participated in the Papua-New Guinea campaign along with the Australian acquired vessels Harold and Argosy Lemal and Geoanna, another US vessel sent to SWPA and used as a communications ship.[1][5] In addition to standard CP fleet duties Volador became a radio repair ship "to supply floating maintenance wherever most required."[6]


  1. ^ a b Grover, David (1987). U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II. Naval Institute Press. pp. 146, 148. ISBN 0-87021-766-6.)
  2. ^ "Skipper" (1931). "Yachting News". The Catalina Islander (September 16, 1931): 10. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b Naval History and Heritage Command. "Volador". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  4. ^ Thompson & Harris 1991, pp. 262, 259–265, 275–288.
  5. ^ Lunney, Bill; Finch, Frank (1995). Forgotten Fleet. Medlowie NSW, Australia: Forfleet Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 0-646-26048-0.)
  6. ^ Thompson & Harris 1991, pp. 262, footnote #63.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit