Archive for category Subject Matter

Stone Family Shipyard journaled history

Here’s a cool find! The William F. Stone & Sons Company in Oakland, California built the YMS-299. Someone from the Stone family has written up a story about the shipyard with a pile of photos, including one of the YMS-299 in 1942, before she went off into battle.

YMS-299 in Oakland, CA; 1942

YMS-299 in Oakland, CA; 1942

From the presentation:

Wooden Boat Building in San Francisco Bay: One Family’s Story

A memoir of the Stone family: William Isaac Stone, William Frank Stone, Lester Frank Stone

Presentation to the Alameda County Historical Society at the Encinal Yacht Club,
Alameda, California, January 26, 2012

by Roberta O’Grady, granddaughter of W.F. Stone and Niece of Lester F. Stone

Read the rest of this entry »

Obituary of John F. Enright, Age 77; Vet US Navy, Radioman Second Class; Served on YMS-299

I ran across this obituary of a soldier who served on YMS-299 and thought I’d share it.

Source: Chicago Tribune News

Enright, John F.
October 17, 2003

John F. Enright, age 77, Vet US Navy, Radioman Second Class, SV6, of WWII and Korean War. Served on the USS Haven, USS YMS 299 and USS New Jersey. Married for 50 years to the love of his life, Charlotte Enright, nee Cannon; best friend and devoted father of Diane (Larry) Pawelski, Mary Beth (Sam) Bick and Denise (Mike) Hurley; proud Gumpy of Tim and Matt Pawelski, Brian, Dan and Kevin Bick, Kara and Ryan Hurley; loyal and loving son of the late Ann Kelly Enright; wonderful brother-in-law to Florence Cannon and the late Rita (the late John) Felker and Donald Cannon; much loved uncle of Jack (Camille) Felker, Mary Denise (Wally) Veazie and Susan (John) Arvetis; will be missed greatly by his faithful companion, Chico “Dutch”. Visitation Friday 3 to 9 p.m. Funeral Saturday, 8:45 a.m. from the Andrew J. McGann & Son Funeral Home, 10727 S. Pulaski Rd., to St. Christina Church, Mass 9:30 a.m. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Retired Engineer of Illinois Bell of 42 years.

See the original:

Scale Model of YMS-135 Subclass

A friend and model-maker, Rob Weilacher, is working on a YMS model. It appears to be about seven inches in length. Nice job!

YMS-135 Subclass Model

YMS-135 Subclass Model

You can see more of his work on his website, Loose Cannon Models.

Judge Charles F. Knapp Remembers His Infantry Service in Okinawa

Retired Judge Charles F. Knapp looks back on the amphibious assault on Okinawa, with illustrative moments like, “One day I was drinking coffee and a canteen cup was shot out of my hand by a Jap sniper. I saw where the shot came from and told my squad to keep the sniper busy while I went around in back of him. I got him with my machete.”


Thank you for the stories and even more for your preserving of our freedoms.

Bomber Pilot, Ignatius “Naish” Loncao Remembers His Service in Okinawa

Here is another great vet story posted in honor of today’s holiday. B-24 bomber pilot, Ignatius “Naish” Loncao talks about being drafted, shipped overseas, and his service in the Japanese air space. You can find that article on the Livingston County News website.

Your service has not gone unnoticed. Thank you, sir.

US Marine, Ralph Irwin on the Battle of Okinawa

US Marine, Ralph Irwin gives his humble account of the Battle of Okinawa, saying “I am no hero. I was just one of the lucky ones.”

This is a great read over at

I sincerely thank you for your service, Ralph.

USS Rhea Photos from Jim Sherret

I received the below photos and story from boatswain, Jim Sherret, of the Canadian Navy cadets from the late 60’s to the early 70’s. I quite like the Christmas lights photo.

USS Rhea; Port Stanley

USS Rhea; Port Stanley

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YMS on YouTube

I took a look on YouTube to see what kinds of YMS videos there are. Surprisingly, there were more than zero…which is about what I expected to find. Here’s what I found:

Read the rest of this entry »

YMS-135 Subclass BuShips Blueprints

I got this collection of images from Rob Weilacher, a friend of some relatives who is a model builder. He also sent me a copy of some blueprints he purchased, but I haven’t posted them for copyright concern.

YMS-135 Blueprint; Pilot Bridge Deck

YMS-135 Blueprint; Pilot Bridge Deck

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Muster Roll and More!

In other news, I was also contacted by Jim Harlan, son of John Harlan, who served alongside my grandfather on the ship. He happened upon the YMS-299 muster roll I’d been searching for. I got my hands on dozens of pages from several roll calls. I am in the middle of transcribing them all and will begin posting pieces of them very soon so people may Google their family members’ names and find this site.

I am holding out a glimmer of hope that one or more of the soldiers on my ship are living. I know it isn’t very likely, but I have found another YMS sibling’s crew member who is living. It isn’t my ship, but I’d like to visit soon to ask questions about the ship that I was never able to ask my grandfather.

USS Rhea Wheel & Helm For Sale

I was recently contacted by Jim Howlett, another cadet out of Port Stanley. He informed me he ran across Rhea’s wheel for sale on a nautical antiques site:

Scruton Marine Services

Cool stuff! Of course, it is well overpriced, and I wouldn’t know what to do with such a large thing in my house, but it is a very neat find, nonetheless. I am curious how they validated the authenticity of it—and if it is truly WWII-era, or if it would have been replaced post-war. They have the YMS number wrong in their listing, which makes me wonder.

MV Rhea Almost Sinks In Harbour, 1972

This story was submitted by Vernon A.C. Mills, a cadet in post-war service aboard the ship. Thanks Vern!

Being the following incident has happened many years ago, I will try to be as accurate as possible. It would be best to keep in mind that at the time, I was only 15 years old, therefore everything seemed so critical and disastrous. In all honesty, I can’t remember if the winter of 1971–1972 was particularly bad or not, after that amount of time the best I can say is, “I’ve had a sleep since then” and winter is winter.

It was during the very early spring thaw that a fairly large log had floated downstream on the Talbot River through Port Stanley, Ontario and somehow managed to get jammed between the pier and port side of the ship. Due to the strong current of the river and high winds, the constant rocking and sway of the ship, a fairly large hole had been punched into the hull right at the water line on the port side slightly forward of amidships. I believe it was Lieutenant Harrington, who at the time was at his place of employment, had been notified that the Rhea was sitting low in the water and had a noticeable list. Read the rest of this entry »

YMS-135 Subclass Microfiche Blueprints

I somewhat crudely pieced together the partial scans of the ship’s blueprint. Here it is in totality, though the scans given to me where warped in places, so the measurements are likely not quite perfect. These came from copies of what appear to be microfiche film.

I plan to try and get my hands on better copies of these plans from the National Archives in the near future. Click through for as high of resolution as I have thus far.

YMS-135 Subclass; Blueprint

YMS-135 Subclass; Blueprint

YMS-304 3D Rendering & Microfiche Blueprints

I tracked down the source of a digital 3D model of the YMS-304 this week. The artist was gracious enough to give me a copy of the file, as well as copies of some blueprints for the YMS-135 subclass that came from the Naval archives!

I’d give personal credit to the artist, but I need to clarify if he would like me to, as the model was put together for a paid project. If I end up using it for anything commercial, I’ll have to get permissions.

So, what do I plan to do with such a great find?

Well, at the moment, not too much. The 3D model lets me pan and rotate the ship so I can get more intimate with its layout, but it is only an exterior model at the moment. I’m in the process of scheduling some Naval archive visits to get more blueprints, because I’d like to add more detail to the 3D model, then build out the interior for some digital walk-throughs. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to virtually walk around inside of the ship, eventually even adding textures and materials to make it seem life-like. Time to sharpen up those rusty CAD skills!

Here is a quick screenshot of part of the model:
YMS-304 3D Rendering

YMS-304 3D Rendering

The YMS-304 is a near sibling of the YMS-299. Of the same subclass, the same blueprints were used in their manufacturing. The only differences between them would be minor in the construction process, as only YMS-299 to YMS-302 were built by the same builder.

Here is a sample portion from one of the blueprints:
YMS-135 Subclass; blueprint sample

YMS-135 Subclass; blueprint sample

Update: I added the full, stitched-together set of blueprints to this post.

Silent Defenders Patch/Logo/Insignia

I had trouble finding any good versions of the Silent Defenders logo, so I went ahead and recreated it in vector format. You may download it for your own use at the bottom of this post.

Silent Defenders patch logo

Silent Defenders patch logo