USS Grand Rapids (PF-31)

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United States
Name: Grand Rapids
Namesake: City of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Builder: Walter Butler Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin
Laid down: 30 July 1943
Launched: 10 September 1943
Commissioned: 10 October 1944
Decommissioned: 10 April 1946
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 14 April 1947
General characteristics
Class and type: Tacoma-class frigate
  • 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 11 in (11.56 m)
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)
  • 2 × 5,500 shp (4,101 kW) turbines
  • 3 boilers
  • 2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 190

USS Grand Rapids (PF-31), a Tacoma-class frigate, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Grand Rapids (PF-31), formerly designated PG-139, was launched at Walter Butler Shipbuilders, Inc., in Superior, Wisconsin, on 10 September 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Ted Booth; and commissioned on 10 October 1944, with Lieutenant Commander T. F. Knoll, USCG, in command. The ship had been taken down the Mississippi River and outfitted at Plaquemine, Louisiana, before being commissioned at New Orleans.

Service history[edit]

Outfitted as a weather ship, Grand Rapids sailed on 17 October for Bermuda and her shakedown cruise, but was damaged at sea by a hurricane and returned to Algiers, Louisiana, for repairs. After repairs were completed, she proceeded toward Bermuda again on 27 October, and after her shakedown training put in at Boston, Massachusetts, on 4 December 1944. Grand Rapids steamed out of Boston on 6 January 1945 for duty as a weather picket ship off Newfoundland.

Grand Rapids operated as a weather ship out of NS Argentia until returning to Boston on 6 June 1945. The ship soon sailed for her station on 7 July, and continued sending vital weather reports for the North Atlantic area until finally returning to Boston on 15 January 1946. Grand Rapids decommissioned at Boston on 10 April 1946, was sold to Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania, on 14 April 1947, and subsequently scrapped.


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