USS Bisbee, PF-46

March 26, 2021 PRINT | E-MAIL

Photo of Bisbee

A city in Arizona. 

Builder:  Consolidated Steel Co., Ltd., Los Angeles, 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

Complement:  190

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.


Bisbee (PF-46) was launched 7 September 1943 by Consolidated Steel Co., Ltd., Los Angeles, CA, and was sponsored by Mrs. Richard Murphy.  She was commissioned 15 February 1944 under the command of CDR J. P. German, USCG.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, the Coast Guard manned Bisbee joined the 7th Fleet at Noumea, New Caledonia, 27 June 1944.  She took part in the landings on Biak Island (12-31 August) and then patrolled off the New Guinea coast until October 1944.  During the invasion of Leyte she served as a patrol and harbor control vessel until detached for escort duty 22 November.  Bisbee returned to Pearl Harbor 15 December.

After undergoing repairs Bisbee departed Pearl Harbor 6 January 1945 for Dutch Harbor, Alaska, arriving on the 13th.  From January to July she escorted merchant vessels and Army transports between Dutch Harbor, Adak, Amchitka, and Attu and acted as guardship for Fleet Air Wing 4 in the North Pacific Ocean.

On 6 July 1945 Bisbee, with Escort Division 43, departed Adak for Seattle, Wash., arriving 12 July.  After undergoing repairs and conversion, the ship returned to Alaskan waters, arriving at Cold Bay, Alaska, 13 August. 

On 26 August 1945 Bisbee was placed out of commission at Cold Bay and transferred to the Soviet Union.  She was commissioned EK-17 in the Soviet Navy.

The Soviets returned her to the U.S. on 1 November 1949 and she lay at Yokosuka Navy Yard, Japan, until recommissioned 18 October 1950.  Bisbee got underway for Korea 23 November 1950 and served on patrol, escort, and bombardment duty until 20 October 1951, with occasional voyages to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Pescadores.  After repairs at Yokosuka, she was transferred to Colombia 13 February 1952 under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Bisbee received two battle stars for her World War II service and three for Korea. 



Photo of Bisbee 


Official caption: "USS BISBEE (PF-46) OFF COCO SOLO, CANAL ZONE, ON 24 APRIL 1944."; Photo No. 80-G-232334; photographer unknown.  National Archives photo.


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. 1, p. 126.

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.