The first of four ships named Milledgeville was the Confederate ship the CSS Milledgeville. Built for war, it was a steam-powered iron-clad sloop weighing some 1,000 tons, 175 feet long and 35 feet across.
Its armor was to have been impressive: in addition to six inches of "Casemate" iron sheeting, the vessel would have had two 7 inch and two 6.4 inch cast iron Brooks rifles protruding from the armored housing.
Just as the Milledgeville was being completed, the city of Savannah, fell to Union forces. Therefore, the Milledgeville was burned to the water's edge in order to prevent her from falling into Union hands on Dec. 20, 1864.
The second named vessel was the PC-1263 Class Submarine Chaser Milledgeville. Built at the Leathem Smith Dock Company, now known as the Bay Shipbuilding Company, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Smith, the inventor of both the self-unloading vessel and containerized shipbuilding, is referred to as the "Frank Lloyd Wright of the Maritime Industry."
The PC 1263 weighed 450 tons, was 173 feet long, and 23 feet across. She was armed with one 3 inch and 50 MM dual-purpose gun mount, as well as several 20MM and 40MM guns, two depth-charge projectors, and two rocket-launchers.
Originally commissioned the PC 1263 when it was launched on March 2, 1942, it wasn't until Feb. 12, 1956 that the vessel's named was changed to the USS Milledgeville.
The vessel was decommissioned on Feb. 16, 1959, and then transferred over to the Republic of China's Navy at Key West, Florida as part of the Military Assistance Program on July 1, 1959. The Milledgeville was then renamed the "To Kiang" and numbered PC-125.
The next Milledgeville was to be the patrol gunboat PG-206, which was actually re-designated as a patrol frigate with the number PF-98 before it was begun. Built at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorraine, Ohio, the construction of the frigate was actually cancelled on Dec. 31, 1943.
However, on Feb. 7, 1944, the previously-started and still incomplete Tacoma Class patrol frigate, which had been designated as the USS Sitka (PG-202/PF-94) was then renamed the Milledgeville (now PF 94.)
The fourth Milledgeville weighed 2,230 tons, was 303 feet long, and 37 feet across. She was armed with three 3 inch and 50 MM dual guns mounts, numerous 20 and 40 MM gun pods, one Hedgehog weapons system, 8 depth charge projectors, and 2 depth charge racks.
Launched on April 5, 1944, the now-named Milledgeville spent several months in New Orleans and then in Charleston before being taken out of service and then was converted into a "Weather Station Ship."
As a "Weather Station Ship", the Milledgeville's rear 3-inch gun was removed and a weather balloon hanger was added in its place. The Milledgeville sailed to Naval Station Argentia in Newfoundland, Canada from where she sailed the North Atlantic on weather duty, gathering meteorological; data and performing air-sea rescue patrols.
The Milledgeville was finally decommissioned at Boston on Aug. 21, 1946. Shortly thereafter, she was sold to the Southern Scrap Material Company of New Orleans, Louisiana on April 9, 1946. Her name was struck from the U.S. Navy lists on April 23, 1947.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at email@example.com.