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573 Tons
180' x 33' x 10'
Crew: 24
6 officers
6 gun crew
12 crew

Click For Enlargement
M. Mcfadyen c2000
Ship History
Built by Higgins Industries Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. Commissioned May 19, 1944 as FP-Type (Freight and Cargo Type) FP-172. Later, the designation was changed to FS-Type (Freight and Supply Type), FS-172.

Wartime History
Assigned to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) manned by a crew from the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) plus some Australian crew members.

After the war, this ship was used to transport surplus US supplies and records from Sydney to Guam and Manila. It is possible that the ship was carrying all the records for the small ships operations in the South Pacific.

Sinking History
During July 1946, while steaming along the north coast of New Guinea to the north of Madang the captain miscalculated the tides during the early morning and hit rocks near Bonu village and drifted into the coral cleavers near Cape Croisilles and sank in 60-120' of water.

The small crew was rescued by Catholic Bishop John E. Cohill. They were later transported to Madang Airfield and flown out aboard a B-25 Mitchell.

During the late 1960s Volker Leidner salvaged the propeller from the ship, but was unable to recover it fully, only moving it closer to shore. The ship's spare prop was salvaged in 1970 by salvager Fritz Herscheid, including a bell that confirmed the ship's identity to be FS-172. Also, he salvaged copper piping and a spare propeller from the ship. Later, the ship's propellers were removed by Kevin Baldwin and Dave Barnet.

Today, the shipwreck is about 50km north of the Jais Aben Resort. There is now a large amount of coral and fish around the wreck. The wreck is still intact, has winches and cables on the deck, office items in the one hold and large object (refrigerators or freezers) in another. Much sea life is reported around the wreck.

This shipwreck is often incorrectly identified as the "USS Boston" or "SS Boston". Others incorrectly stated the wreck was a minesweeper that sunk after the war during a storm.
New Guinea Salvage Pirate (2006) pages 108-113
Michael Mcfadyen - FS-172 - formerly thought to be USS Boston
Army FP/FS Vessels

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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