BRP Rajah Humabon
Date Updated: Tuesday March 15, 2005


Technical Details:
Displacement: 1390 tons standard
Length: 306 ft (93.6 m)
Speed: 21 knots when new.
Range: 10,800 mi. at 12 knots
Crew: 165

Three – US 76mm/50 cal. Mk22
Three – twin Bofors 40mm/56
Four – Oerlikon 20mm
Two – 50 cal. Mgs.

Navigation/Surface Search Radars
FLIR (?)
Furuno Satcom

Status of the gun fire control system is unknown.

Diesel-electric tandem motor drive
. Four GM 6-278A diesel engines providing electric power to 6000 shp motors driving two screws.


Ex-USS Atherton, DE169, launched 1943. The USS Atherton actually sank a U-boat during the war.  It was transferred to Japan in 1955, commissioned in JMSDF as Hatsushi, DE 263. Retired in 1975 and reverted to US Navy. Transferred to Philippines in September 1976 and was towed to South Korea for an extensive refit where she had additional guns fitted. Commissioned in PN service 1980.  Was in service until 1993 when she was retired but was later called back into service in 1995.

She later underwent another minor refit from 1995 to 1996 to give a few more years service.  Once carried depth charges aft and hedgehog anti-submarine projectors forward as well as Mk38 anti-submarine torpedoes in two triple tube amidships but these have been removed.  Sonar equipment previously installed has also since been removed. 

Had been experiencing hull problems but these were repaired with the assistance of the US Navy and the USS Salvor during CARAT 2000 dive training operations held in Manila Bay.  Links to official photos here – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  Note, there are more pictures of the repair operations on the PN site.

She must undergo a more extensive refit to her hull and engines if she is to provide more service and if she is to be operated safely in rough seas.  This places the Philippine Navy in a quandary – spend the money on new equipment or spend it to maintain current equipment. 

The Rajah Humabon is one of the last World War II ships in frontline duty anywhere in the world.  US historical preservation groups have expressed interest in acquiring her for preservation and display when she is finally retired from Philippine service.

The old and the new, or the past and the future…

The photo below was taken in 2004(?) off the Palawan coast with BRP Juan Magluyan, an Andrada Class gunboat moored alongside.  The white ball on the mast is the FLIR turret.  Still a beautiful ship IMHO, Ed.