By 1930, the gunboat, despite a long history in the U.S. Navy as a ship type, was not well represented in the service. Only a dozen U.S. Navy ships fell loosely within the gunboat category, and all had been built at the turn of the century. But one provision of the 1930 London Naval Treaty allowed for the construction of an unlimited number of “sloops” with a displacement not to exceed 2,000 tons, a maximum cruising speed of 20 knots, and no more than four guns of more than 3.1-inch caliber with none exceeding 6.1 inches. The USS Erie (PG-50) and her sister, the Charleston (PG-51), would be two of the ships built within the new specifications.
‘Well There Was No Hope . . .’
By J. M. Caiella