USS Bangor, PF-16
A city in Maine.
Builder: American Ship Building Company, Lorain, OH
Length: 303' 11"
Beam: 37' 6"
Draft: 12' 8" fl
Displacement: 2,230 tons
Propulsion: 2-shaft VTE, 3 boilers
Range: 9,500 nm at 12 knots
Top speed: 20 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50; 2x 40mm (2x2); 9 x 20mm; 1 x Hedgehog, 8 x depth charge projectors; 2 x depth charge racks.
Bangor (PF-16) was launched 6 November 1943 by American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio and was sponsored by Mrs. Ruth R. Hutchins, wife of the Mayor of Bangor. She was commissioned 22 November 1944 with LCDR F. J. Statts, USCG, in command, and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. Shakedown exercises were conducted off Bermuda.
The Bangor spent the first months of her career operating in the anti-submarine screen of fast convoys between the US and North African ports. She sailed for her first convoy duty on 23 January 1945, when she took station in the antisubmarine screen of a large convoy bound for Africa. On her second day out, the frigate rescued a boatswain's mate who had fallen overboard from another escort, the USS Ericsson (DD-440). The convoy went into Mers-el-Kebir, Oran, Algerian on 8 February 1945. The return trip proved to be more eventful. During the second day out of Oran, one of the ships on the other side of the convoy from the Bangor was torpedoed. The frigate charged in to take part in a coordinated depth charge attack.
On 28 March 1945, while steaming in company with another convoy, an alert lookout shouted from the bridge that a lifeboat was seen. The Bangor investigated but found that the boat contained nothing more than a small compass and other minor items, none of which revealed any clue as to why it happened to be that far out to sea. On 25 April 1945, while in another Oranbound convoy out of New York, the Bangor's crew prevented a major disaster by acting quickly to extinguish a fire near the galley stove. She reached Mers-elKebir on 9 May 1945, and VE-day was spent at anchor in Oran. On 17th May, the Bangor set out with a return convoy, everyone realizing that an end to her European duty had come an sensing a new assignment in the Pacific theater.
After an overhaul, the Bangor made a fast trip to the Canal Zone, arriving on 21 June 1945. The next month was spent in training with newly constructed submarines near Saboga Island, thirty miles west of the Canal Zone. The frigate was sent to San Pedro, California, in the middle of July, 1945. VJ-day found her undergoing repairs at Smith's Cove, Seattle, Washington. She then proceeded in September in company with the USS Annapolis (PF-15) to Cold Bay, Alaska, returning to Bremerton, Washington, by the end of the month to await further assignment.
Bangor was decommissioned and loaned to the Coast Guard 15 April 1946 and served on weather station duty off Hawaii. The Coast Guard returned her 16 August 1946 and she was sold to Mexico 24 November 1947.
The Coast Guard At War, Transports and Escorts, Vol. V, No. 1, p. 142.
Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1992, pp. 148-149.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. 1, p. 91.
Richard A. Russell. Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan. [The U.S. Navy in the Modern World Series, No. 4.] Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center/U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997, pp. 39-40.