TUCUMCARI

TUCUMCARI (PGH-2) - A Boeing-built hydrofoil gunboat. A Proteus gas turbine engine gave this 57-ton hydrofoil a speed in excess of 40 knots. The ship was 72 feet long, had a beam of 35.3 feet, and had a draft of 4.5 feet (foils retracted) or 13.9 feet (foils extended). The crew consisted of one officer and 12 enlisted personnel.

The design of TUCUMCARI started with a contract award to Boeing in 1966. By July of the following year, the hull of PGH-2 was built in Portland OR, the transported to one of Boeing's plants in Seattle WA for completion and outfitting. Delivery of the ship to the US Navy took place on 8 Mar 68 at a cost of US$ 4M. TUCUMCARI was deployed to Vietnam along with FLAGSTAFF in Nov 69 for riverine operations out of Danang and evaluation in a wartime environment.

Following her tour of duty in Vietnam, TUCUMCARI was deck-loaded on USS WOOD COUNTY and transported to Europe for a NATO tour and demonstrations. Click here for photo. From Apr until Oct 71, she operated in European waters, while performing numerous demonstrations and combat exercises.

Upon returning from Europe, TUCUMCARI was assigned to the Amphibious Force in the Atlantic Fleet. However, it was a sad ending to a distinguished period of performance when -- in Nov 72 -- she ran onto a coral reef at Caballo Blanco, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Fortunately there were no serious injuries to the crew. The ship was salvaged and transported to Norfolk VA, where it was decided not to attempt repair of the extensive damage.

  Click here for Aurora model of TUCUMCARI

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This part of the site is maintained by Malin Dixon