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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Solvay

 

A village in Onondaga County in central New York five miles west of Syracuse.

 

(PC-603: dp. 280; l. 173'8"; b. 23'0"; dr. 10'10"; s. 20.2 k. (tl.); cpl. 65; a. 1 3", 1 40mm.; cl. PC-461) PC-603 was laid down on 9 May 1942 at Morris Heights, N.Y., by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 30 June 1942; sponsored by Mrs. J. H. Keatley; and commissioned on 1 October 1942.

 

During October and November of 1942, PC-603 conducted shakedown in the Atlantic along the southeastern coast of the United States and escorted coastal convoys between the Virginia Capes and Key West, Fla. She visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 29 November and Kingston, Jamaica, on the following day, before heading for Panama. The submarine chaser transited the canal on 5 December, stopped at San Diego from the 13th to the 18th, and reported for duty to the Commander, Northwestern Sea Frontier, at Seattle, Wash., on the 21st.

 

After almost four months at Seattle, she headed north on 11 April 1943. PC-603 made Kodiak, Alaska, on the 14th; and, for the next seven months, escorted convoys and patrolled the cold waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands. Her most frequent ports of call were at Attu, Adak, and Amchitka, though she also visited Dutch Harbor, Shemya, and Kiska. On 29 November, PC-603 departed Adak and headed south. She entered Pearl Harbor on 8 December and spent the remainder of the war and the succeeding nine months assigned to the Hawaiian Sea Frontier. She was stationed at Pearl Harbor through 26 May 1944; then moved to Midway Island until December. She returned to Pearl Harbor in early January 1945 and operated between the major islands of the Hawaiian group until 10 May 1946, when she headed for the west coast.

 

Following a month at San Pedro, Calif., she headed south along the coast on 15 June and transited the Panama Canal at the end of the month. PC-603 continued her voyage and made Norfolk, Va., on 8 July. On 29 August, she departed Norfolk in the tow of Kiowa (ATF-72) and reached Philadelphia the following evening to begin duty in the 4th Naval District. On 8 January 1947, PC-603 was decommissioned at Philadelphia and was placed in service with the Naval Reserve Training Program. Operating along the length of the eastern seaboard and occasionally in the Caribbean Sea, the submarine chaser continued this assignment until October 1949. On the 15th, she was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; and, on the 26th, she reported to the Norfolk Group. On 1 February 1956, PC-603 was named Solvay. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960, and the disposal of her hulk was approved on 15 March 1961.