USN P22 was one of 17 high speed patrol vessels designed and paid for by the United States under the Marshall Plan to re-open and patrol the river Rhine at the end of the Second World War. The vessels were constructed in 1952 in Germany with German engines, and were amongst the first vessels to be built in Germany after the war. Each was manned by 6 US Navy personnel of the US Navy Rhine Patrol. Although armed with 3 heavy machine guns these were never fired in anger, since the main purpose of the service was to survey the river, identify and clear obstructions and escort cargo vessels. The vessels served with distinction in Holland during disastrous floods in winter 1953; due to their shallow draught they could evacuate and resupply the stranded population. The vessels were handed over to the West German Army in February 1958 at Schierstein, Germany. For the next 10 years the Germans continued the work of surveying the river and re-establishing navigation marks. At the end of the 1960s the Rhine was fully open for navigation, and the patrol vessels were surplus to requirements and sold off.
P22 was bought in 1968 for use as an oil rig support vessel in Scotland by the first of several owners who have restored and maintained her over the last 50 years. She was later moved from Scotland to Chatham. She is thought to be the only one of these vessels to be still afloat and fully operational in her original condition. The last of her dedicated owners was Barry Field who purchased her in 2014. In 2017 he brought her to Sandwich Quay in Kent and opened her to the public at weekends and for other events. With support from Sandwich Town Council, USN P22 became a charitable trust in January 2018 and obtained a passenger certificate for 12 passengers. In 2019 she participated in the 75th D-Day commemoration events. An enthusiastic group of volunteers now work with the Trustees to ensure that this important vessel survives.
USN P22 website at http://www.p22.org.uk/
One of 17 high speed patrol vessels designed and paid for by the United States and constructed in Germany with German engines
Served with distinction in Holland during disastrous floods in winter 1953, evacuating and resupply stranded population
Handed over to West German Army 1958 at Schierstein, Germany for Germans to continue surveying river and re-establishing navigation marks
Rhine fully open for navigation and patrol vessels surplus to requirements and sold off
1968 to 2014
Bought by first of several owners who restored and maintained her over the next 50 years
Purchased by Barry Field
Brought to Sandwich Quay in Kent and opened to public at weekends and for other events
Became charitable Trust with support from Sandwich Town Council and obtained passenger certificate for 12 passengers
Participated in 75th D-Day commemoration events
Own this vessel?
If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact email@example.com