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John Wayne's beloved yacht gets historical protection

August 11, 2011 |  7:54 am

The Wild Goose, a former World War II minesweeper converted into a luxury yacht by Hollywood legend John Wayne, still sports brass plates on its bow from its days of hunting mines.

John Wayne's beloved yacht, the Wild Goose, now has historical protection.

The vessel, anchored in Newport Beach, is now among some 200 boats listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"While our focus has, and perhaps always will be, predominantly on buildings, the programs include a broad spectrum of property types, from archaeological sites to bridges, locomotives, lighthouses, historic districts and ships," Paul S. Lusignan, a historian with the National Register of Historic Places, told the Daily Pilot in an email.

Wayne, the Hollywood legend and Newport Beach resident, owned the 136-foot, wood-hulled World War II-era minesweeper from 1962 until shortly before his death in 1979. In May, the State Historical Resources Commission certified the boat's nomination for a National Register listing by the U.S. Department of the Interior, noting that the Wild Goose had been "cited in Wayne's biographies as his sanctuary and proudest possession."

Two of Wayne's children, Aissa and Ethan, used to sleep in bunk beds aboard the ship. The bunks are intact, and the siblings' initials remain engraved in them. After Wayne bought it, the yacht went on to achieve notoriety on the silver screen. The Wild Goose appeared in 1967's "The President's Analyst" and 1968's "Skidoo." It also played a part in the 1960s TV show "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

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--Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: The Wild Goose, a former World War II minesweeper converted into a luxury yacht by Hollywood legend John Wayne, still sports brass plates on its bow from its days of hunting mines. It is part of the Lido Yacht Expo at Lido Marina Village. Credit: Kent Treptow / Times Community News

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