USS Muskogee (PF-49)

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Career (United States)
Name: USS Muskogee (PG-157)
Namesake: Muskogee, Oklahoma
Reclassified: PF-49, 15 April 1943
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California
Yard number: 534
Laid down: 18 September 1943
Launched: 18 October 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. S. B. Hudson
Commissioned: 16 March 1944
Decommissioned: 26 August 1945
Honors and
awards:
1 battle star, World War II
Fate: Transferred to Soviet Navy, 26 August 1945[1]
Acquired: Returned by Soviet Navy, 1 November 1949
Fate: Transferred to Republic of Korea Navy, 23 October 1950
Struck: 15 September 1972
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: EK-19
Acquired: 26 August 1945[1]
Commissioned: 26 August 1945[2]
Fate: Returned to United States, 1 November 1949
Career (South Korea)
Name: ROKS Duman (PF-61)
Acquired: 23 October 1950
Fate: unknown
General characteristics
Class & type: Tacoma-class frigate
Displacement: 1,430 long tons (1,453 t) light
2,415 long tons (2,454 t) full
Length: 303 ft 11 in (92.63 m)
Beam: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)
Propulsion: 2 × 5,500 shp (4,101 kW) turbines
3 boilers
2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 190
Armament: • 3 × 3"/50 caliber guns (3×1)
• 4 × 40 mm guns (2×2)
• 9 × 20 mm guns (9×1)
• 1 × Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar
• 8 × Y-gun depth charge projectors
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Muskogee (PF-49), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945, thus far has been the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Muskogee, Oklahoma. She later served in the Soviet Navy as EK-19 and in the Republic of Korea Navy as ROKS Duman (PF-61).

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Originally classified as a patrol gunboat, PG-157, Muskogee was reclassified as a patrol frigate, PF-49, on 15 April 1943. She was laid down on 18 September 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corporation at Wilmington, California, launched on 18 October 1943, sponsored by Mrs. S. B. Hudson, wife of the mayor of Muskogee, and commissioned on 16 March 1944 with Commander Rufus E. Mroczkowski, USCG, in command.

Service history[edit]

U.S. Navy, World War II, 1944-1945[edit]

After training and exercises off the California coast, Muskogee, manned by a United States Coast Guard crew, departed San Pedro, California, on 18 June 1944 for Nouméa, New Caledonia, where she arrived on 18 July 1944 for patrol and escort duty from Nouméa and, after its capture, Humboldt Bay, New Guinea. Anti-submarine patrol and screening for ships operating around New Guinea were her primary duties into October 1944. On 18 October 1944 she got underway screening the second reinforcement group bound for newly invaded Leyte in the Philippine Islands, arriving in San Pedro Bay on 24 October to screen transports and supply ships under numerous Japanese air attacks while waiting for a group of empty tank landing shipss to form up for the return passage. As her convoy retired on 26 October 1944, Japanese aircraft again attacked it, and Muskogee joined in downing several enemy aircraft. A second escort voyage to Leyte in early November 1944 was less eventful.

Concluding her New Guinea patrols, Muskogee arrived in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 15 December 1944, then reported at Dutch Harbor, Territory of Alaska, on 12 January 1945 for similar duty in the Aleutian Islands. Selected for transfer to the Soviet Navy in Project Hula – a secret program for the transfer of U.S. Navy ships to the Soviet Navy at Cold Bay, Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against JapanMuskogee departed Adak on 6 July 1945 bound for Seattle, Washington. After undergoing repairs and conversion at Seattle in preparation for her transfer, Muskogee steamed to Cold Bay, where she soon began training her new Soviet crew.[3]

Soviet Navy, 1945–1949[edit]

Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Muskogee was decommissioned on 26 August 1945 at Cold Bay and transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease immediately[1] along with her sister ships USS Bisbee (PF-46), USS Gallup (PF-47), USS Rockford (PF-48), USS Carson City (PF-50), and USS Burlington (PF-51). Commissioned into the Soviet Navy immediately,[2] Muskogee was designated as a storozhevoi korabl ("escort ship") and renamed EK-19 in Soviet service. She soon departed Cold Bay bound for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Soviet Union, where she served as a patrol vessel in the Soviet Far East.[3]

In February 1946, the United States began negotiations for the return of ships loaned to the Soviet Union for use during World War II. On 8 May 1947, United States Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal informed the United States Department of State that the United States Department of the Navy wanted 480 of the 585 combatant ships it had transferred to the Soviet Union for World War II use returned, EK-19 among them. Negotiations for the return of the ships were protracted, but on 1 November 1949 the Soviet Union finally returned EK-19 to the U.S. Navy at Yokosuka, Japan.[4]

Republic of Korea Navy, 1950- ?[edit]

Reverting to her original name, Muskogee lay idle in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Yokosuka until the United States loaned her to the Republic of Korea on 23 October 1950. Commissioned into the Republic of Korea Navy as ROKS Duman (PF-61), she saw service in the Korean War. The U.S. Navy struck the ship from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 September 1972 and the United States transferred her outright to South Korea under the Security Assistance Program on 1 October 1973. Her final disposition is unknown.

Awards[edit]

The U.S. Navy awarded Muskogee one battle star for her World War II service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Muskogee article states that Muskogee was transferred on 27 August 1945 and NavSource Online: Frigate Photo Archive Muskogee (PF 49) ex-PG-157 and hazegray.org Muskogee repeat this. However, Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, reports that the transfer date was 26 August 1945. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994.
  2. ^ a b According to Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, Project Hula ships were commissioned into the Soviet Navy simultaneously with their transfer from the U.S. Navy; see photo captions on p. 24 regarding the transfers of various large infantry landing craft (LCI(L)s) and information on p. 27 about the transfer of USS Coronado (PF-38), which Russell says typified the transfer process. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994.
  3. ^ a b Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39.
  4. ^ Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 37-38, 39.

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