Great Yarmouth History

HMS Gorleston

>USS Itasca

USS Itasca 1929

HMS Gorleston started life as a 250ft United States Coast Guard Cutter named Itasca. Itasca was launched on Saturday 16th November 1929 and commissioned on Saturday 12th July 1930.

Itasca is most famous as the ship that provided air navigation and radio links for Amelia Earhart when she made her 1937 flight around the world. However Itasca failed to keep in radio contact with Earhart owing to latter's radio equipment which had a limited range.

Itasca decommissioned as a Coast Guard cutter in 1941 on the 'Lend Lease' to the United Kingdom where she received a name change, becoming HMS Gorleston taking her name from Gorleston-on-Sea, although she never visited the town.

HMS Gorleston spent the war as a convoy escort. The first two years of her service saw her as an escort on convoys from Londonderry and Liverpool to Freetown, Sierra Leone. She then transferred to the Mediterranean for the invasion of North Africa again as a convoy escort. During the latter part of 1944 she was deployed in the Indian Ocean where she saw out the war.

HMS Gorleston

HMS Gorleston

In 1946 HMS Gorleston was paid off from her Royal Navy service and returned to the U.S. Coast Guard service as USS Itasca. She was removed from the Active List in 1950 and sold for demolition on Wednesday 4th October 1950.