Olympus

Member Type: 

Classic

Boat Name: 

Olympus

prev-names: 

Junaluska

Year: 

1929

Length: 

92'

Builder: 

New York Yacht, Launch & Engine Co.

Designer: 

Henry Gielow (w/Olin Stephens)

Fleet: 

  • USA

OlympusM.V. Olympus, a 1929 fantail motor yacht, was originally christened Junaluska, and was built for George Heck, then President of the New York Stock Exchange.  Built on the Hudson River by New York Yacht, Launch & Engine Co., she served several owners on the East Coast before being brought out to California by silent movie star Anita Stewart.  Like many large vessels, she served in the military during World War II, when her beutiful brightwork was painted navy gray and she patrolled the Northwest coastal waters. (More about her wartime service below . . .)

After the war she was acquired by the State of Washington Department of Fisheries for the stated purpose of serving as a fisheries patrol vessel, but was in fact used as yacht by Governor Mon Walgren.  He re-christened the yacht "Olympus" in a ceremony held at the Rosario mansion on Orcas Island. During the State's ownership, President Harry S. Truman and other political dignitaries were aboard many times. The yachting expenditures were carefully hidden in the Fisheries Department budget until some agressive investigative reporting brought to the public's attention that over $100,000 had been spent refurbishing the yacht. Walgren lost his bid for re-election, and the new governor immediately ordered the yacht sold.  From that point forward Olympus has been privately owned and operated in Washington State.  She was sold to a New York owner in 2016.

Olympus line drawing by Rick Etsell

Wartime Service:

Per Mr. Laurence Hunter, who served as Second Mate during 1944, we have learned the following about Olympus' wartime service:
During World War II, Junaluska operated for a time out of Prince Rupert BC, patrolling Dixon Entrance watching for Japanese submarines.  She was comissioned in the U.S. Army as Q-121, Personnel boat.  Her ten person crew was made up primarily of civilian Mercant Mariners.  She did not have any guns mounted, but had one Army Guard who was equipped with a rifle only. She relocated back to Seattle on July 1st, 1944.