USS Machias, PF-53
A town in eastern Maine.
Builder: Froeming Bros., Milwaukee, WI
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.
The second Machias was originally authorized as PG-161. She was reclassified PF-53 on 15 April 1943, laid down 8 May 1943 under Maritime Commission contract by Froeming Bros., Milwaukee, WI, and launched as Machias (PF-53) 22 August 1948. She was sponsored by Mrs. W. Richard Bernays. Machias was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, LA, where she was commissioned 29 March 1944 under the command of CDR Robert J. Alexander, USCG.
Ready for sea duty by 17 July 1944, Machias patrolled off the Middle Atlantic States and escorted a convoy to Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, before joining Escort Division 33 at Norfolk 13 August. With that division, she steamed to New York to become a unit of TG 70.7, then assembling to depart for the Pacific. The group sailed from New York 16 August and by the 28th had transited the Panama Canal en route to Bora Bora. On 25 September, Machias left the convoy to escort HMS Arquebus and HMS Battleaxe to the New Hebrides and the Solomons to disembark troops. The frigate rejoined her escort division at Morotai 23 October and commenced antisubmarine patrols in the waters surrounding the Moluccas.
On 16 November, following a brief stay at Mios Woendi for boiler repairs, Machias steamed with her division for the Philippines. She arrived on the 18th and after further repairs took up ASW patrols off Mindanao, primarily in Surigao Strait. She continued this role in antisubmarine warfare until 4 December, when she returned to convoy escort duty. For the next 3 months she escorted ships and carried military personnel to and from New Guinea, the Philippines, the Marshalls and the Carolines.
Machias departed Eniwetok for Seattle, WA, 19 March 1945 for an overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard. Upon completion of her overhaul in mid-June, the frigate proceeded to Cold Bay, Alaska, where she was transferred to the Soviet Navy 13 July. She was commissioned into the Soviet Navy as EK-4.
The Soviets returned her to the U.S. Navy in October 1949 at Yokosuka, Japan. There the Machias remained idle until transferred to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Commissioned as Nara (PF-2), she served as such until reclassified PF-282 on 1 September 1957. Struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register 1 December 1961, she was transferred to Japan permanently on 28 August 1962. She continued her service in the Japanese Defense Force until she was decommissioned 31 March 1966. On that date she was reclassified YTE-3 and became a nonoperational dockside trainer.
Machias received two battle stars for 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. IV, p. 180.
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.