The Papaya is a fruit-bearing tree found in tropical America.
(YN–68: dp. 1,275; l. 194’6”; b. 37’; dr. 13’6”; sp. 12 k.; cpl. 56; a. 1 3”, 3 20mm.; cl. Ailanthus)
Papaya (YN–68) was laid down by the Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, California 2 November 1942; launched 23 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. L. L. Lindley; commissioned 1 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. Elias Johnson in command. She was reclassified AN–49 on 20 January 1944.
Following shakedown, Papaya joined ServRon 10 for duty in the Pacific and proceeded via Pearl Harbor to the Marsha Islands where she arrived 8 March 1944. After laying moorings and channel buoys and installing anti-torpedo nets in the Marshalls group, she departed for the Marianas, arriving Saipan 1 August. She assisted in net operations while fighting on the beach was still in process, helping capture both Saipan and Tinian. After returning to Long Beach 18 December for overhaul and alterations, she deployed to the Western Pacific again 22 May 1945, this time to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, for important net operations. Following the surrender of Japan, Papaya actively participated in the surrender and occupation of Yap and undertook several search missions to islands and atolls east of Ulithi capturing 26 Japanese soldiers. She departed 17 October for the United States via Saipan and Pearl Harbor and arrived San Diego 26 November. Surplus to the Navy’s needs after World War II, Papaya decommissioned at Terminal Island 31 January 1946 and was stricken from the Naval Register 25 February.
Papaya received two battle stars for service in World War II.