Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
USS Wake (PR-3)
|Launched:||May 28, 1927|
|Commissioned:||December 28, 1927|
|Fate:||captured, December 8, 1941|
USS Wake (PR-3) was a United States Navy gunboat seized by Japan on December 8, 1941. She was orginally commisioned Guam (PG-43). This designation was changed to PR-3 in 1928, and the name changed to Wake in 1941.
She was launched on May 28, 1927 as Guam by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works in Shanghai, China, and commissioned on December 28, 1927. Her primary mission was to insure the safety of American missionaries and other foreigners, which she performed with distinction. However, by 1939, she was "escorted" by a Japanese warship whenever she went, as China fell more and more under Imperial control.
In January 1941, she was renamed Wake, as Guam was to be the new name of a battle cruiser being built in the States. On November 25, 1941 she was ordered to close the Navy installation at Hankow, and sail to Shanghai. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, Shanghai immediately fell to Japan. After her crew failed in their attempts to scuttle her, Wake surrendered to the overwhelming Japanese force that surrounded her, the only U.S. ship to do so in World War II.
As of 2005, no other ship has been named Wake.
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