St. Marys GA

Most recent update: August 6, 2016.

This shipyard was known as MacDonnell Boats until 1952, when it was awarded a contract to build six gunboats for the Navy.  Alex MacDonnell then sold 50% of the business to Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Gefen and renamed it Georgia Shipbuilding Company.  Unfortunately, the Navy contract put them out of business.  What was the Navy thinking, awarding a contract for such sophisticated boats to a shipyard with no track record?  The shipyard is generally described as being in Savannah, and there was a Georgia Shipbuilding in Savannah in the era of wooden sailing ships, but this yard was actually in St. Marys, on the downtown waterfront, at the east end of St. Marys Street.  I can find no record of any vessels built by either McDonnell Boats or Georgia Shipbuilding other than the six gunboats: the other six boats listed below were all built in St. Marys since WWII, but I don't know by whom.  If anyone can connect any of them to either McDonnell Boats or Georgia Shipbuilding, or add any other data, please send your input to

Hull # O.N. Original Name Original Owner Type GT Ft. Built Disposition
  253642 Willie James W. R. Register Fishing 35 48 1947  
  268240 Amberjack K. J. Doss Fishing 18 39 1954  
  274474 Li'l Andy S. E. Chancey Fishing 24 45 1957  
  279153 Big Sis A. C. Dickey Fishing 30 48 1959 Later Lady Jane, Rush, Miss Kathy, Uncle Bubba, now Hard Times
  282148 Big Mack L. C. Ballenger Fishing 29 48 1960 Sank 2005
  289306 Miss Irene Irene Ballenger Fishing 31 42 1962  
  PGM 33 Camarines Sur (PG 48) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 15-Sep-54 Struck 1974
  PGM 34 Sulu (PG 49) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 22-Nov-54 Struck 1974
  PGM 35 La Union (PG 50) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 3-Jan-55 Struck 1974
  PGM 36 Antique (PG 51) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 18-May-55 Struck 1974
  PGM 37 Masbate (PG 52) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 2-Mar-56 Struck 1965
  PGM 38 Misamis Occidental (PG 53) Philippine Navy Gunboat 143d 110 3-May-56 Struck 1974