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Greencastle

 

A city in west-central Indiana and a borough in southern Pennsylvania.

 

(PC-1119: dp. 280; l. 173'8"; b. 23'; dr. 10'10"; s. 22 k.; cpl. 65; a. 2 3", 5 20mm., 2 rkt., 2 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. PC-461)

 

Greencastle (PC-1119) was laid down as PC-1119 12 June 1942 by DeFoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; launched 11 August 1942; and commissioned at New Orleans, La., 18 December 1942, Lt. Comdr. James Duffy in command.

 

After shakedown off Key West, she sailed 19 January 1943 for the Southwest Pacific. Steaming via New Caledonia, she reached Brisbane, Australia, 12 March and was assigned duty as flagship Allied Local Defense Forces, Northwest Australia. During the next 6 months she operated out of Brisbane, Townsville, and Cairns, Queensland, escorting convoys between Australia and New Guinea. During June and July she helped repel enemy planes that attacked Allied shipping at Port Moresby.

 

PC-1119 transferred her base to Milne Bay, New Guinea, in September, and from there she escorted convoys moving men and supplies along the coast of Huon Gulf. On 2 October she supported amphibious landings at Finschhafen, which was to become the jumping off point for the invasion of New Britain. Transferred to the 7th Amphibious Force 6 December, she supported the initial invasion during landings at Arawe, New Britain, 17 December. Nine days later she supported landings by the 1st Marine Division at Cape Gloucester; then, after steaming along the northern coast of New Guinea, she participated in the assault against Saidor 2 January 1944.

 

During the next 3 months PC-Ills escorted convoys along the New Guinea coast to the Admiralties and New Britain. She supported an amphibious landing at Tala-sea, New Britain, 7 March. Driving westward along New Guinea, she joined the assault at Aitape 22 April; and, as an escort and patrol ship, she supported landings 3 July at Noemfoor, Schouten Islands. During this invasion she patrolled on anti-shipping sweeps as the Japanese attempted to send reinforcements by barge. After steaming to Australia in August, she returned to Aitape 3 September to prepare for operations in the Moluccas. Between 15 and 24 September she steamed off Morotai, where she controlled landing craft and provided antiaircraft cover for supply transports. Departing 24 September, she sailed via Biak to Humboldt Bay where she arrived the 28th.

 

PC-1119 departed 9 October for the invasion of the Philippines. Steaming via Manus, Admiralties, she closed the coast of Leyte 20 October. After laying down shoal bouys at the northern end of Leyte Gulf, she served as landing control ship during the assault against Tacloban airfield. She remained off Leyte; and between 23 and 25 October she helped repel heavy enemy air attacks, during which she splashed three Japanese raiders.

 

I/ate on the 25th she sailed to search for survivors from gallant ships lost during the Battle off Samar. During mid watch 27 October she rescued 183 men from Gambier Bay (CVE-73), then returned the same day to Leyte Gulf. Resuming duty as control and fire cover ship, she served in Leyte Gulf until 9 November. She sailed for New Guinea the 9th and reached Hollandia the 16th.

 

After repairs, she steamed to Sansapor, New Guinea, 12 December to prepare for the invasion of Luzon. Departing in convoy 30 December, she reached Lingayen Gulf 9 January 1945 and there served as control ship for the landings at San Fabian Beach. The Japanese launched heavy air attacks against American shipping: and, while PC-1119 was returning to Leyte as a convoy escort, she was narrowly missed by suicide planes on the 12th and 13th.

 

The veteran sub chaser returned to Luzon 29 January; and, after supporting landings at San Felipe and San Narciso by troops of the 8th Army, she arrived Subic Bay 3 February. On the 15th she escorted landing craft from Subic Bay for landings at Marivales, Bataan. The following day she served as fire support ship during the assault against Corregidor. As the first amphibious wave closed the beach, she poured gunfire into enemy pillboxes and gun positions and silenced two Japanese guns. She was briefly caught in enemy crossfire between Corregidor and Caballo. Although damaged by an enemy shell, she embarked casualties from LCM's and evacuated them while under fire to an offshore LST.

 

PC-1119 operated off western Luzon and Mindoro on antishipping sweeps until 11 March when she sailed for Leyte. Arriving the 14th, from 19 to 24 March she steamed via the Palaus to Hollandia. After repairing battle damage, she departed 30 June and returned to Subic Bay 8 July. During the next month she searched for enemy submarines off Luzon between Subic and San Fernando. Assigned to the Philippine Sea Frontier 14 August, after the end of hostilities she patrolled the South China Sea to accept the surrender of Japanese submarines.

 

Remaining in the Philippines after the end of the war, PC-1119, "a little ship with a number instead of a name," compiled a Pacific war record that equaled many a larger ship. Assigned to the 16th Fleet 19 March 1946, she returned to the United States and reported for duty 10 August. She decommissioned 9 January 1947 at Green Cove Springs, Fla., and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. While berthed at Green Cove Springs, she was named Greencastle 15 February 1956. She was sold to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping 1 July 1958.

 

Greencastle received five battle stars for World War II service.