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Belfast

A city and seaport on the western shore of Penobscot Bay in southern Maine. It is the seat of government for Waldo County.

(PF 35: dp. 1,430; l. 303'11"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'8"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 190; a. 3 3", 4 40mm., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Tacoma; T. S2-S2-AQ1)

Belfast (PF 35) was laid down on 26 March 1943 at Wilmington, Calif., by the Consolidated Steel Corp. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1446); launched on 20 May 1943; sponsored by Miss Elizabeth C. Wilson; and placed in commission at Terminal Island, Calif., on 24 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. J. Hutson, USCG, in command.


Following outfitting, shakedown, and post-shakedown repairs, the frigate stood out of San Pedro, Calif., on 30 April 1944 and headed for Australia. After stopping at Noumea, New Caledonia, Belfast reached Cairns, Australia, at the end of May. From there, she moved into the southwestern Pacific theater of operations to serve as a patrol vessel and a convoy escort. During the summer and early fall of 1944, the warship supported the latter stages of the leapfrog assaults along the northern coast of New Guinea. She took part in the Noemfoor Island landing on 2 July and in the assault on Cape Opmarai four weeks later.


Belfast continued to operate in the waters around western New Guinea until sent to escort a reinforcement convoy to Leyte in the Philippines during October. She then operated around Leyte from the end of October until the second week in December. Near the end of 1944, she headed back to the United States and arrived at Boston on 24 January 1945 for extensive repairs lasting until spring.


Late in March, the patrol frigate headed back to the west coast. She stopped in the Canal Zone and at Seattle, Port Townsend, and Kodiak before arriving at Cold Bay, Alaska, on 15 June. For about a month, her American crew trained her prospective Soviet crew. On 12 July 1945, she was decommissioned and transferred to the Soviet Union under the terms of the lend lease program. The ship served in the Soviet Navy until 17 November 1948 when she ran aground off Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia. She was declared a total loss by the Navy on 14 November 1949, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 31 January 1950.


Belfast earned two battle stars for her World War II service.

Raymond A. Mann



23 February 2006