USS Asheville PG-21 gets its first permanent memorial in Asheville

The ship and its crew, which were lost in WWII, will be honored with a monument at Riverside Cemetery.

Nineteen people in the crew of the USS Asheville PG-21 sit and stand in a room, holding drinks. The black and white photo was taken in the 1930s.

This photo of the PG-21 crew was taken in the late 1930s.

Photo courtesy of Fisher Creative

Exactly 82 years after USS Asheville PG-21 was lost, the North Carolina Submarine Museum Foundation and the City of Asheville will dedicate Asheville’s first permanent memorial to the PG-21 and its crew. Housed in Riverside Cemetery, the monument will be inscribed with the name of each crew member.

The USS Asheville, the first of four ships named after our city, was launched on July 4, 1918 and spent its career sailing all over the world. In 1941, the ship had been operating in Mariveles Bay in the Philippines, and then south of Java, when the Allied defense began to collapse and all remaining US naval vessels were ordered to retire to Australia.

On March 3, 1942, as the Asheville retreated, it was out-gunned by three Japanese warships and was lost, along with its 166-person crew. The ship received one battle star for its WWII service.

Join the commemoration ceremony on Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m., with remarks from Adm. (RET) Samuel Cox, Director of the Naval and Heritage Command.

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