A city in eastern Pennsylvania, located 48 miles north of Philadelphia, the seat of government for Lehigh County.
(PF-52: displacement 1,430; 1ength 303'11"; beam 37'6"; draft 13'8"; speed 20.3 knots (trial); complement 190; armament 3 3-inch, 4 20 millimeter, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog), 2 depth charge tracks; class Tacoma;type S2-S2-AQ1)
Allentown (PF-52) was laid down on 23 March 1943 at Milwaukee, Wis., by Froemming Bros., Inc., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull No. 1477); launched on 3 July 1943; sponsored by Miss Joyce E. Beary, Allentown, Pa., high school teacher and daughter of General Frank D. Beary, Chairman of the Lehigh County Office of Civilian Defense; moved to Algiers, New Orleans, La., where she was outfitted and commissioned on 24 March 1944, Comdr. Garland W. Collins, USCG, in command.
Allentown departed New Orleans on 8 April 1944 bound for Bermuda, British West Indies, in company with destroyer escorts Eversole (DE-404) and Dennis (DE-405), and shakedown training. After about a month of training, during which time, while she was investigating a radar contact at 31º35'N. 66º10'W, she was fired upon by a “friendly vessel,” the frigate set a course for New York escorting the Norwegian merchantman Norden. She arrived in New York on 13 May and underwent post-shakedown repairs and alterations. On 27 June, she stood out of New York in company with sistership Muskegon (PF-24). She arrived at Norfolk, Va., on 28 June, and entered the navy yard for additional repairs since she was not considered ready for unlimited service in that she “had never yet attained full power without wiping main engine bearings.” She completed repairs in mid-August and returned north to New York where she arrived on the 16th. Soon thereafter, however, the frigate returned to sea as a unit of Escort Division (CortDiv) 33 in the screen of a convoy bound for the Pacific.
Steaming via the Panama Canal Zone (28-29 August 1944) and Bora Bora in the Society Islands (14-17 September), Allentown reached the northern coast of New Guinea on 29 September 1944. The frigate then began patrol and escort duty in the Netherlands East Indies. At the end of October, the warship participated briefly in the occupation of the island of Morotai in the Molucca Islands. In mid-November, she began escorting convoys between Hollandia and Leyte in support of the troops reconquering the Philippines. Those duties and convoy-escort missions between the various islands of the Philippine archipelago occupied her time until early March of 1945. On 9 March, Allentown joined the escort of a Ulithi-bound convoy on the first leg of the voyage back to the United States. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, the warship arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., on 7 April.
After completing an overhaul, and with her projected reassignment to CortDiv 29 the frigate departed Puget Sound on 7 June 1945, bound for Alaskan waters. She arrived at Cold Bay on the Alaskan Peninsula on 15 June. For about a month, Allentown participated in drills and exercises. On 12 July 1945, she was decommissioned at Cold Bay and, the next day, was transferred to the Soviet Union under a lend-lease agreement. The warship served in the Soviet Navy as an escort vessel (storozhevoi korabl) EK-9 until 15 October 1949 at which time she was returned to the custody of the U.S. Navy at Yokosuka, Japan. On 14 October 1950, Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, estimated that Allentown could be ready for sea on 23 October, then, a little less than one month later (13 September), revised the activation completion date to 20 November. Well ahead of that projected date, however, on 20 October, the Chief of Naval Operations directed that work on activation of the ship and the assignment of a crew be discontinued. On 23 March 1951, Commander, Naval Forces Far East, nominated Allentown for assignment to SCAP for weather patrol, but the actual transfer does not appear to have been carried out.
Allentown was transferred to Japan, as a loan, on 31 March 1953. The frigate served in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force as Ume (originally designated as PF-9, then, from 1 September 1957 as PF-289).Her name was stricken from the U.S. Navy list on 1 December 1961, and she was transferred to Japan on a permanent basis on 28 August 1962.
Along with four of her sisterships, Ume was reclassified from an escort vessel to a moored training ship on 1 April 1965, and was stricken from the list of ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Returned to U.S. Navy custody in 1971, the veteran of service under three flags was sold to the Chin Ho Fa Steel and Iron Co., Ltd., of Taiwan, and broken up for scrap subsequently.
Allentown earned two battle stars during World War II
By: F.A. Dickinson, Raymond A. Mann and Robert J. Cressman