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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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Metuchen

 

A borough of Middlesex County in central New Jersey.

 

(PC‑781: dp. 295; l. 173'8"; b. 23'; dr. 10'10" s. 22 k.; cpl. 65; a. 1 3", 1 40m., 5 20mm., 2 rkt., 2 dct.; cl. PC‑461)

 

PC‑781 was laid down by Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oreg., 11 November 1942; launched 24 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. R. L. Stanley; and commissioned at Portland 9 July 1943, Lt. (jg.) Stephen Hopper in command.

 

Departing the Columbia River 29 July, the new submarine chaser steamed to southern California for shakedown. Then she began coastal patrol duty out of San Diego, operating off southern California into November. Ordered 1 December to duty with the Alaskan sea frontier at Finger Bay, Adak, she steamed via Seattle to the Aleutians. On 1 January 1944 her skipper, Lieutenant Hopper, died at Kodiak, Alaska, after capsizing in a small boat while returning to the subchaser from the shore.

 

With Lt. (jg.) David R. Hopkins in command, PC‑781 steamed via Dutch Harbor to Adak where she began patrol and escort duty among the Andreanof Islands. During the next several months she braved the inclement Aleutian weather while searching for Japanese submarines. She returned to Bremerton, Wash., 27 November for overhaul.

 

Assigned to the Hawaiian sea frontier, PC‑781 departed Puget Sound 7 March 1945. She steamed first to San Francisco where she became escort for an LSM; thence, she made an 11‑day run to Pearl Harbor. After a month of patrol duty from the Bishop’s Point Section Base, on 27 April she was ordered to Midway. There between May and August she joined in ASW exercises and trained submarines. In the closing clays of World War II she resumed patrols out of Pearl Harbor; following the Japanese surrender, she was ordered back to the United States. Departing Hawaii 4 September, she arrived San Pedro the 12th.

 

PC‑781 was ordered to the east coast, and reached Key West 21 October. On 18 November she arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., for service with the 6th Naval District until 15 April 1946 when she sailed to Charleston, S.C., to prepare for duty as reserve training ship in the Great Lakes. The subchaser departed 4 June and steamed via east coast ports, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes to Chicago, III., where she arrived 30 July.

 

PC‑781 steamed to Bay City, Mich., between 9 and 12 August. She decommissioned there 14 August 1946. As a Naval Reserve training ship, she operated out of Bay City in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, and other waters of the Great Lakes. She continued this important duty for 3 years, returning to the east coast in the fall of 1949. She entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk 18 November 1949. Named Metuchen 15 February 1956 while out of commission in reserve, the ship was struck from the Navy list 1 April 1959, and sold to Hughes Brothers, Inc., 14 August 1959. She was towed away for scrapping on 15 September.