USS New Bedford, PF-71
A city in Massachusetts.
Builder: Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Company, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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 USS New Bedford (PF-71) was built by the Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and was launched 29 December 1943. She was towed down the Mississippi River and ferried to Houston, Texas, for completion and fitting out. She was commissioned 18 November 1944 under the command of LCDR J. S. Muzzy, USCG. She proceeded to Bermuda on 6 December 1944, for a month's shakedown exercises, returning to Philadelphia 12 January 1945 for post-shakedown availability.
Departing New York on 6 February 1945 the New Bedford proceeded to Oran escorting her first trans-Atlantic convoy which put safely into Oran on 23 February. On 3 March the frigate joined the anti-submarine screen of a west bound convoy, arriving Boston 20 March. She next sailed to Hampton Roads, Virginia to pick up an east bound convoy. She departed Hampton Roads 8 April and arrived at Oran on 24 April. She made her final westbound passage on 2 May and arrived at Boston on 19 May. She was then converted for duty as a weather ship while on an availability that lasted until 31 July 1945.
She was assigned to weather patrol in the Pacific and sailed from Boston on 31 July. The war ended as she was en route from the Canal Zone to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 27 August 1945. Three days later she departed for Guam. For the next six months the New Bedford stood regular weather station patrols, returning to Guam, her home base, only long enough to fuel, provision and afford a period of recreation for the crew. The weather patrols were, for the most part, dull and tiring. Violent tropical storms sometimes beat her unmercifully as she stood her station. Once a Japanese destroyer on a peaceful repatriation mission was sighted.
The frigate arrived at San Francisco on 10 March 1946 and then proceeded onto Seattle. She was decommissioned there on 24 May 1946.
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.