USS San Pedro, PF-37
A city in Southern California.
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corp., Wilmington, CA
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; 4 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.
San Pedro (PF-37), originally classified PG-145, was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1448) by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Wilmington, CA, on 17 April 1943. She was launched on 11 June 1943 and sponsored by Miss Virginia Ann Massee. San Pedro was commissioned on 23 October 1943 and LCDR C. O. Ashley, USCG, was given command.
Following shakedown, San Pedro sailed for the Southwest Pacific. She performed escort duty briefly in the Admiralty Islands at the beginning of April 1944; and, at the end of the month, became part of forces attempting to consolidate the western New Guinea area. Her first mission took her to Hollandia, and she subsequently advanced to Biak in June, Noemfoor Island in July, and Cape Sansapor in August. During September, she escorted a convoy of tugs and barges to Morotai with sufficient equipment to set up a fully-equipped base for PT boats.
On 18 October, San Pedro sailed with a convoy bound for the initial assault on Leyte. She helped repulse Japanese air attacks after the 24th, splashing two aircraft before the end of the month. While operations continued ashore, San Pedro escorted resupply convoys between Hollandia and Leyte. On 5 December, a single plane attacked one of these convoys near Leyte, torpedoed a Liberty ship, and escaped by flying through the convoy at masthead height. It then led a companion in for a re-attack and scored a second and fatal hit on the hapless merchant ship. San Pedro rescued 178 survivors and, at the same time, helped repulse a third attack on the sinking ship.
San Pedro departed the southwest Pacific on 17 December 1944 and headed toward Boston for overhaul. Upon completion of repairs in April, she started back to the Pacific, bound for the Aleutians. On 12 July 1945, she was decommissioned at Cold Bay, and was turned over to the Soviet Navy the next day as EK-5. She was returned to the United States on 17 October 1949 and was loaned to Japan on 2 April 1953 as Kaya. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1961 and transferred outright to Japan on 28 August 1962.
San Pedro earned four battle stars for her World War II service.
The Coast Guard At War, Transports and Escorts, Vol. V, No. 1.
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. VI, p. 303.
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.