USS Burlington, PF-51
A city in Iowa.
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., 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.
Burlington (PF-51) was launched 7 December 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, CA, under a Maritime Commission contract and was sponsored by Mrs. Max A.Conrad, wife of the Mayor of Burlington, Iowa. The Navy acquired her 31 March 1944 and commissioned her 3 April 1944 under the command of LCDR E. B. Carlson, USCG.
The Coast Guard-manned Burlington got underway from San Pedro, Calif., 1 August 1944. After a brief stop at Espiritu Santo, she steamed to New Guinea and was assigned on 21 August to escort and patrol duty in support of the western New Guinea operations. From 16 October until 18 November Burlington escorted convoys between New Guinea and the Philippine Islands in support of the Leyte operation. She departed the area 3 December and returned to California, arriving on the 25th. On 18 February 1945, after undergoing a brief period of availability, she departed California and steamed to Alaska.
Upon arrival in Dutch Harbor 26 February she was assigned to Escort Division 43 and operated on patrol and escort duty around the Aleutian Islands. Between 18 July and 2 August she underwent repairs and alterations at Tacoma, Wash. On 8 August Burlington departed Seattle for Cold Bay, Alaska, where she engaged in training a prospective Russian crew until the 26th when she was placed out of commission. She was leased to Russia on the following day. She was commissioned into the Soviet Navy as EK-21.
Burlington was returned to United States' custody 14 November 1949. She was placed in commission 5 January 1951 at Yokosuka, Japan, and assigned to Escort Squadron 7, Pacific Fleet. After shakedown and training exercises off Yokosuka, Burlington proceeded to Korean waters where from 14 March to 24 April she operated in Wonsan Harbor and off Songjn, bombarding shore targets, performing escort and patrol duty, and serving as harbor entrance control vessel and guard ship at Wonsan. On 11 May, after a brief period at Sasebo, Japan, she returned to the combat zone and performed patrol duty and bombarded designated targets in the Wonsan-Chongjin-Songjin area until 8 June.
During the summer of 1951 the ship carried out escort duty with TF's 92 and 77 in the replenishment area off the east coast of Korea. Between 5 December 1951 and July 1952 Burlington continued combat operations in Korean waters. Her principal duty was acting as escort for TG 92.11 in the replenishment area off the east coast of Korea. She also patrolled, transported casualties, bombarded shore targets, and furnished fire support for mining operations in the Wonsan and Hungnam areas.
On 3 July 1952 Burlington departed Sasebo for the Philippine Islands where she engaged in training exercises off the west coast of Luzon and cruised as far south as Davao, Mindanao. She departed Manila Bay 3 September for Yokosuka, Japan. On 15 September 1952 she was placed out of commission in reserve at Yokosuka.
Burlington received two battle stars for her World War II service and five battle stars for service in Korean waters.
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. 178.
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.