USS Orlando, PF-99
A city in Florida.
Builder: American Shipbuilding Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Orlando (PF-99) was authorized as PG-207 but was reclassified PF-99 in April 1943. She was laid down 2 August 1943 under a Maritime Commission Contract by American Shipbuilding Co., Cleveland, Ohio, launched 1 December 1943 and was sponsored by Mrs. E. Harold Johnson. Orlando was commissioned 15 November1944 under the command of LCDR James A. Hyslop, USCG.
After Orlando made a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, her first convoy departed from Hampton Roads 7 February 1945. Orlando rounded up the stragglers from her position in the rear of the 37-ship convoy bound for Mers el Kebir, Algeria, North Africa. The convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar 22 February and arrived at Mers el Kebir two days later. On 3 March escort duty commenced again as a 43-ship convoy started on its way across the Atlantic Ocean. By 15 March various units of the convoy began to detach themselves from the main body of ships and Orlando departed the convoy to proceed to Boston.
After training exercises Orlando commenced her second trans-Atlantic voyage to Mers el Kebir as convoy screen. The ship remained at Mers el Kebir until joining a convoy bound for the United States 2 May. With the crossing completed, the convoy commenced to break up on 14 May and Orlando returned to New York with a section of the convoy before proceeding to Boston for voyage repairs. On 5 July Orlando departed for New York to be converted to a weather ship and prepare for distant service. The frigate got underway from New York Harbor 10 August bound for the Panama Canal. On the way the successful conclusion of the war against Japan was announced.
The ship transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor 5 September 1945. Five days later Orlando and Gulfport stood out of the channel at Pearl Harbor and set course for Adak, Andreanof Islands to moor in Sweepers Cove, Adak 16 September.
The ship took a weather station in the area around 43 degrees North, 165 degrees East from 7 until 25 October. Through the month of November the ship was moored in Finger Bay, Adak. The lonely weather station duty continued as Orlando remained in the area around Adak until arriving at Seattle, 12 May 1946. The naval career of the frigate Orlando ended at Seattle where she was placed out of commission 27 June 1946. She was struck from the Navy List 19 July 1946 and sold for scrapping 10 November 1947 to the Zidell Ship Dismantling Company.
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. V, pp. 174-175.