USS Muskegon, PF-24
A city in Michigan.
Builder: Walter Butler Shipbuilding Company, Superior, Wisconsin
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; 2 x 40mm (2x2); 9 x 20mm; 1 x Hedgehog, 8 x depth charge projectors; 2 x depth charge racks. For those frigates fitted out for weather patrol duty, the after 3-inch gun was removed and a weather balloon hanger was added aft.
Muskegon (PF-24) was originally authorized as PG-132. She was reclassified as PF-24 on 15 April 1943 and laid down 11 May 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by Walter Butler Shipbuilders Inc., Superior, Wisconsin. Muskegon, sponsored by Mrs. David Hopkins, was launched 25 July 1943. The Navy acquired and commissioned her on 19 February 1944, with Commander George D. Synon, USCG, in command.
After a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, Muskegon proceeded to the Pacific, via New York and Philadelphia, where she had work done on her engines. Upon reaching Panama, she was ordered back to Boston for conversion to a weather ship. Upon completion of conversion, she sailed for Argentia, Newfoundland, arriving 7 November 1944. She took up station on her first patrol 20 November.
Serving as plane guard and rescue ship as well as relaying weather data, Muskegon on occasion escorted convoys into Boston, joined in antisubmarine operations and carried ammunition. In May 1945 she took station in mid-Atlantic to combine weather services with duty as radio and light ship for transatlantic flights, a service which she performed until 15 March 1946. Decommissioned 15 March, she was transferred to the Coast Guard on the same date and was recommissioned as USCGC Muskegon (WPF-24). Decommissioned by the Coast Guard 27 August 1946, she was returned to the Navy.
She was sold to the French Navy 26 March 1947 and struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register on 23 April 1947. Commissioned in the French Navy on 26 March as Mermoz (F-14) and manned by French sailors, the ship actually belonged to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works and was unarmed. Serving as a weather ship, she continued in this role until scrapped in the late 1950's.
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. IV, p. 461.