USS Sheboygan, PF-57
A city in Wisconsin.
Builder: Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, 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.
Sheboygan (PF-57), originally classified PG-165, was reclassified PF-57 on 15 April 1943 and was laid down on 17 April 1943 under Maritime Commission contract by the Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, WI. She was sponsored by Mrs. Willard M. Sonnenburg. She reached New Orleans on 19 May 1944 via the Illinois Waterway and the Mississippi River, and was placed in reduced commission at New Orleans on 26 May 1944 under the command of LCDR A. J. Carpenter, USCG, in command.
Ordered to Tampa, Fla., for conversion to a weather patrol ship, Sheboygan was decommissioned on 1 June. On 14 October 1944, she was recommissioned. Shakedown in Bermuda followed, and, on 21 February, the warship arrived at Argentia, Newfoundland, for weather patrol duty. As a Navy ship, she performed weather and plane guard patrols in the North Atlantic, broken by periods of upkeep in Argentia and Boston, until transferred to and commissioned into the Coast Guard on 14 March 1946. Her work in the North Atlantic continued until she was decommissioned on 9 August 1946.
The weather observations made on patrol included the use of the radio-sonde balloons, the recording of the ocean temperature at various depths, the computations of surface and aloft winds and temperatures which were reported to the Weather Bureau in Washington, DC, and used in meteorological research, which proved valuable to the successful operation of the Air Transport Command. The Air-Sea Rescue phase of the warship depended primarily upon the accuracy of the navigational position of the vessel. It involved the transmission of radio beacons both on predetermined periodic schedule and upon request from airplanes. Extensive rescue gear was placed on board for use in aircraft emergencies.
She was sold on 19 March 1947 to Belgium and served in the Belgian Navy as Lieutenant ter zee Victor Billet until modified to a stationary training hulk about 1958.
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. 476.