A port city in east central Maine located at the head of navigation of the Penobscot River about 60 miles northeast of Augusta. It is the seat of government for Penobscot County.
(PF-16: dp. 1,430; l. 303'11"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'8"; s. 20.3 (tl.); cpl. 214; a. 3 3", 4 40mm., 9 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp.; cl. Tacoma; T. S2-S2-AQ1)
Bangor (PF-16) was laid down on 20 May 1943 at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Shipbuilding Co. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1482); launched on 6 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Ruth R. Hutchins; delivered to the Navy at New Orleans, La., on 25 August 1944; fitted out at New Orleans; and placed in commission there on 22 November 1944, Lt. Comdr. Fred J. Statts, USCG, in command.
The new frigate reported for shakedown training off Bermuda on 3 December and, after four weeks of intensive drills, set a course for the Norfolk Navy Yard for post shakedown repairs. On 21 January 1945, Bangor joined Task Force (TF) 67 on convoy duty and, two days later, took station in the antisubmarine screen of a large convoy bound for northern Africa. The transatlantic voyage was routine and the ships anchored off Oran, Algeria, on 8 February.
Bangor returned to the United States with another convoy. A German U boat attacked the Allied ships two days out of Oran. Bangor joined the other escorts in a coordinated depth charge attack, but without success. The frigate made one more round trip, transatlantic voyage without incident before undergoing repairs at Bayonne, N.J. She resumed her escort duties on 22 April and joined an Oran bound convoy out of New York. Bangor anchored at Mers el Kebir on 9 May and there received the news that Germany had surrendered. The frigate got underway on 17 May with another returning convoy for onward routing to the Pacific.
Bangor completed repairs at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard early in June and then headed for the Canal Zone, where she arrived on 21 June. For the next month, the frigate conducted training exercises with submarines off the Perlas Islands in Panama Bay. In mid July, Bangor set course for San Pedro, Calif., to prepare for duty in the western Pacific, but the war ended while the frigate was in drydock at Seattle, Wash.
After her repairs were completed in September, Bangor cruised the waters off Alaska with her sister ship Annapolis (PF 15) before reporting to Bremerton, Wash., to serve as a rescue and weather ship for the Coast Guard. On 15 April 1946, Bangor was decommissioned by the Navy and recommissioned by the Coast Guard as one of 18 frigates used for weather reporting. Bangor rotated with other ships on weather station east of the Hawaiian Islands. Generally remaining at sea for six weeks at a time, the frigate also provided navigational information to any aircraft or surface vessel requiring assistance and assumed search and rescue duties for vessels in distress.
As 1946 passed, small seaplane tenders (AVP) replaced the frigates; Bangor was decommissioned by the Coast Guard on 16 August and returned to the Navy. Bangor was declared excess to the Navy's needs, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 23 April 1947. She was sold to Mexico on 24 November 1947, and was renamed Golfo de Tehuantepec.
Raymond A. Mann
6 March 2006