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Laissez Faire

Former Name(s)


USS Deal

Don Carlos

Olga Patricia


Military craft

General cargo ship


186’ (60m)


532 tons


1944 by Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp, Whitestone, Long Island, New York

Flag state(s)


Stations Housed

Radio England

(3rd May - 13th November 1966)

Britain Radio

(3rd May 1966 - 22nd February 1967)

Radio Dolfijn

(14th November 1966 - 22nd February 1967)

Radio 355

(15th March - 6th August 1967)

Radio 227

(15th March - 23rd July 1967)

Ultimate fate

Re-named Earl Conrad Jnr and used as a fishing vessel. Scrapped in June 2011

Laissez Faire in Miami Laissez Faire (Olga Patricia) being fitted out Laissez Faire

(Also known as Olga Patricia)

Laissez Faire as USS Deal

Above: Laissez Faire (Olga Patricia) as USS Deal, 1954

 (photo Les Wright)

Laissez Faire as Earl Conrad Jnr

Left: Laissez Faire as the Earl Conrad Jnr, 2008

Photo: jingleweb.nl

After Radio 355 had closed the Laissez Faire sailed on 19th August 1967 to Vlissingen, The Netherlands. The vessel then set sail for Miami, where she arrived on 1st September 1967 with the mast broken - claimed by the crew to have been caused by a hurricane.

There is something of a mystery about what happened to the ship between 1967 and 1974, when she was re-named Akuarius II. There are strong rumours (and records from former Radio London owner, Don Pierson) that the ship was used as a secret relay station off the coast of Cuba. Also somewhere along the line the identity of the ship at Lloyds Register of Shipping has become meshed with her sister ship Olga Princess.

In 1974 the ship was re-named again as the Earl Conrad Junior, and used as a  menhaden fishing vessel off the coast of  Virginia, USA, She was scrapped in Mississippi in June 2011.


Right: Laissez Faire (Olga Patricia) being fitted out in Florida 1966

Photo: jingleweb.nl

Above: Laissez Faire after she arrived back in Florida, September 1967

Photo: jingleweb.nl

The Olga Patricia (formerly FS-263, Deal and Don Carlos) was built in New York and commissioned  by the US Army on 16th August 1944.

On 6th September 1944, she left New York for the Southwest Pacific where she operated during World War 2.  On 12th October 1945, the Coast Guard crew was removed and she was decommissioned.

She was acquired by the US Navy at Apra, Guam on 2nd March 1947 and commissioned as  USS Deal on 3rd August 1947.She was reclassified as a Light Cargo Ship on 31st March 1949.

With the outbreak of war in Korea, Deal operated as part of the 7th Fleet in logistics support of the United Nations forces and visited other ports in Japan, Formosa, the Pescadores, Okinawa, and the Philippines until 28th February 1955 when she returned to the United States.

She was de-commissioned on 8th September 1955 and arrived at Astoria Bay on 13th April, 1955 to be laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Deal was sold on 18th December 1961 and became a cargo ship, (re-named Don Carlos), in the Caribbean banana trade.

On 8th January 1963 she was again re-named - as Olga Patricia, registered in Columbia and chartered by AD S. Cargo Ltd. of Miami.

In 1966 she was purchased by Viscaya Inc. and fitted out as a radio ship at Dade Drydock Coporation’s shipyard at Dodge Island, Biscayne Bay, Miami.


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Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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