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Patrol Gunboat 21 History

The first U.S. Naval ship bearing the Asheville name launched at Charleston Naval Shipyard on July 4, 1918. The ship’s ceremonial sponsor was Miss Alyne J. Reynolds, daughter of Dr. Carl V. Reynolds, Asheville’s city health officer during the 1918 influenza outbreak. The Reynolds’ family home, now the Albemarle Inn at 86 Edgemont Road, is listed on the National Historic Register. On March 3, 1942, the USS Asheville PG-21, a single-screw, steel-hulled gunboat, encountered three Japanese warships returning from the attack on Pearl Harbor. The out-gunned Asheville and her crew of 166 were sunk in the South Java Sea after a desperate, yet valiant, fight.

Since the loss of the first USS Asheville, there have been three additional Navy ships named in memory of the PG-21 and the City of Asheville, including the current USS Asheville (SSN-758), a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered Fast Attack Submarine patrolling the Pacific and South China Sea from her homeport in Apana, Guam. Although not forgotten by its citizens, the monument at Riverside Cemetery will be the first permanent memorial for the PG-21 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tour the USS Asheville Exhibit Through 360° Immersive Technology

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