Alacrity: Speed or quickness; celerity.
Builder: Collingwood Shipyard, Ltd., Ontario, Canada
Commissioned: 10 December 1942
Decommissioned: 4 October 1945
Draft: 14' 7"
Displacement: 1,375 tons (fl)
Max: 16.5 knots
Armament: 2 x 3"/50; 4 x 20mm; 4 x "K" guns; 1 x Hedgehog dcp; 2 depth charge tracks
Alacrity (PG-87) was a British Flower Class corvette initially laid down as HMS Cornel (K 278) by the Collingwood Shipyard, Ltd., Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. She was transferred to the United States Navy on 6 January 1942 and launched on 4 September 1942. She was placed in commission at Collingwood on 10 December 1942 under the command of LT H. M. Godsey, USNR.
By 31 December, the gunboat had moved to Sorel, Quebec, where she remained into March 1943. On the 3d, she got underway to descend the St. Lawrence River, bound ultimately for Boston, Massachusetts. On 5 March, she stopped at Quebec and remained there for two months. Alacrity resumed her voyage on 5 May and arrived at the Boston Navy Yard Annex on the 12th. She remained there until sometime in mid-July, when a Coast Guard crew reported aboard to take over the corvette, one of eight corvettes manned by the Coast Guard during the war. LCDR R. F. Rea, USCG took command.
On 22 July 1943 she sailed for Bermuda and shakedown training in the waters surrounding that island group. She completed shakedown on 15 August and arrived in New York three days later. After a round-trip voyage apiece to Norfolk, Virginia, and Boston, Alacrity entered the navy yard at Boston for post-shakedown repairs on 21 September.
She got underway again on 25 September1944 and began escorting ships between New York and the Caribbean. For the next eight months, the gunboat screened coastwise merchant traffic on the New York-to-Guantanamo Bay circuit. She survived the hurricane in September 1944 that claimed USCGCs Bedloe, Jackson, a lightship, and the USS Warrington (DD-383), sailing through the eye of the storm on 13 September. The waves, measured at over 40 feet, swept down the stack and extinguished the corvette's boilers but she survived unscathed and without any injuries among her crew.
Early in May 1944, she added Key West, Florida, to her itinerary but, soon thereafter, resumed her New York-Guantanamo Bay shuttles exclusively. In May 1945, she ceased voyages to Cuba when she was reassigned from the Atlantic Fleet to the Eastern Sea Frontier. For the remainder of the war, Alacrity served along the east coast— first at Staten Island, then at New York, and—by mid-July—at Charleston, South Carolina. By 1 August 1945—although still based at Charleston—she had been reassigned to the 6th Naval District.
She was still at Charleston when placed out of commission on 4 October 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 24 October 1945. She was transferred to the War Shipping Administration on 22 September 1947 for final disposition. She was purchased in 1949 by the Italian ship owner Cameli on account of the Società Anonima Navigazione Toscana, along with number of other corvettes for use as passenger vessels. She was converted for use as a passenger vessel and was renamed Porto Ferraio.
LT H. M. Godsey, USNR
LCDR R. F. Rea, USCG
LT Thomas A. Cosgrove, USCG
LT R. A. McCurdie, USCG
"PG-87 Gunboat Alacrity, Boston, approx. 1943."
"PG-87 Gunboat Alacrity , Boston, approx. 1943."
The Coast Guard at War V: Transports and Escorts. Part I [Escorts]. Washington, DC: U.S. Coast Guard, 1 March 1949.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: USGPO.
"Post War Italian Merchant Service" website: www.cbrnp.com/RNP/Flower/GALLERY/postwar_Italian.htm
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.