Feb 2 1958 THE STARS AND STRIPES NEWS reported that:
GERMANY TAKES HELM OF RHINE PATROL CRAFT
21 Patrol craft of the U.S Navy Rhine Patrol were handed over to the West German Army 1st February 1958 at Schierstein Germany.
Capt. Axton T. Jones commander of the patrol said “the craft will continue the job of patrolling the 320-mile sector of the Rhine River from Lauterburge to Lorch, but now flying the flag of the federal Republic of Germany”.
Accepting the craft for the German Government was Col Wilhelm Schwarz, C. O of the 791st Eng. River Regt at Coblenz.
He told the German officers and enlisted men: ”You must live up to your new mission…. and take over this task on the River Rhine with the same sense of duty and the same efficiency as members of the U.S Navy”.
“The comrade like aid, the cooperation between Germans and Americans on board the craft and at the bases have demonstrated how much nearer our two peoples have approached each other, and that both nations serve a mutual cause safeguarding our freedom”.
The other bases at Mannheim and Karlsruhe were phased out by April 1st of that year leaving Unit S. at Schierstein, the sole remaining base on The Rhine for repair and overhaul of engines, vessels and equipment.
The Patrol was primarily responsible for the security of the Post War U.S Zone of Germany. These ships distinguished themselves during the disastrous floods in the winter of 1953 in Holland. Due to their small draught they could evacuate and resupply the stranded population. Four of these ships went on to served on the river Congo.
USN P903 (Meuse):
on show at the Belgium Military History Museum.
USN P905 (Shelde):
on show in the Antwerp Het Steen Museum.
USN P22 (Rhine Maiden):
believed to be the only “active ready and afloat” Museum ship afloat and is Based at Sandwich Quayside in the U.K.
She is currently being made into a working Museum and War Veteran Centre where veterans of any Nationality can meet up and share their stories in a unique historical environment and weather permitting possibly taking a trip into the bay to give them a real historical nudge.