USS Kaula, AG-33

Feb. 3, 2021

Kaula, 1941


A small, rocky, 550-foot high islet in the Hawaiian Islands, nearly 20 miles west-southwest of Niihau Island.

Builder: Henry Robb, Ltd., Leith, Scotland

Commissioned: 1938 (private); 3 January 1941

Decommissioned: 14 January 1946

Length: 267'

Beam: 38' 3"


Displacement: 2,100 tons



     Max: 12 knots

Deck Gear: 

Complement: 70

Armament:  1 x 4"; 2 x 3"; 4 x .50 cal MG



Kaula (AG-33) was built in 1938 by Henry Robb, Ltd., Leith, Scotland; acquired as Cubahama 3 January 1941 from her owner, Balboa Shipping Co., New York.  She was renamed Kaula on 15 January and commissioned at Baltimore 22 January, Lt. Comdr. W. L. Ware in command.

Sailing to Hampton Roads, Virginia, 25 January, Kaula departed 4 February for Hawaii, via the Panama Canal and the West Coast, reaching Pearl Harbor 17 March. Prior to the outbreak of war in the Pacific, she carried cargo from Pearl Harbor and Honolulu to various islands in the Hawaiian chain and to Johnston and Palmyra Islands. During the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor 7 December, she was en route to Palmyra Island.

Throughout the struggle with the Japanese Empire, Kaula operated out of Pearl Harbor and Honolulu to principal Hawaiian Islands and to outlying islands west to Midway and south to Palmyra. Usually sailing in convoy, she ranged the Hawaiian Sea frontier carrying military equipment, ammunition, and contingents of Sea-bees until she sailed for the United States 18 May 1945, arriving Seattle 26 May.

Following 2 months of overhaul Kaula departed Seattle 31 July on the first of several voyages to Alaska where she transported materials for the construction of Coast Guard LORAN stations in the Alaska area.  Assigned to the 13th Naval District, she steamed for the U.S. Coast Guard to Ketchikan, Juneau, Seward, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor before returning to Seattle 18 September. She operated in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca before steaming to Blake Island Anchorage, Wash., 6 December and decommissioning 14 January 1946. Struck from the Naval Register 12 March, Kaula was transferred to the Maritime Commission 15 July for sale to her former owner.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  Washington, DC: USGPO.