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Ukiah

 

A city located in western California about 54 miles north-northwest of Santa Rosa. It is the seat of government for Mendocino County.

 

(PC-1251: dp. 280; 1. 173'8"; b. 23'0"; dr. l0'l0"; s. 20.2 k. (tl.); cpl. 65; a. 1 3", 1 40mm.; cl. PC-461)

 

PC-1251 was laid down on 8 June 1942 by the Brown Shipbuilding Co. at Houston, Tex.; launched on 12 September 1942; sponsored by Miss Betty Ann Woolsey: and commissioned on 27 February 1943, Lt. L. C. Mably, USNR, in command.

 

PC-1251 conducted shakedown training briefly under the auspices of the Commander, Submarine Chaser Training Center, Miami, Fla., and then began antisubmarine patrols and convoy-escort duty in the Caribbean on the Guantanamo Bay-Aruba-Trinidad circuit. Sometime after mid-year, the submarine chaser switched from the Guantanamo to Trinidad convoys to the New York to Key West run. That duty lasted until late November, at which time she began a yard overhaul at Miami, Fla. Another six months of escorting convoys in the Gulf of Mexico and along the east coast followed her yard period at Miami.

 

By late spring of 1944, the U-boat menace in the western Atlantic had abated sufficiently to allow for the reassignment of a significant portion of the Navy's escort fleet to the Pacific theater. On 31 May, she departed Miami and headed for Pearl Harbor. She transited the Panama Canal on 12 June, made a stop at San Diego from 22 June to 8 July, and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 15 July. She conducted maneuvers out of Pearl Harbor until 12 August at which time she got underway for the Solomon Islands. The warship arrived at Florida Island, near Guadalcanal in the Solomons, on 24 August. She remained in the Solomons until 4 September at which time she got underway with Task Force (TF) 32 for the invasion of the Palau Islands. En route, she served as a unit of the antisubmarine screen for the Angaur Tractor Group carrying the Army's 81st Division which served both as a floating reserve and, if not needed to reinforce the marines on Peleliu, as the Angaur invasion force. On the day following the Peleliu invasion, PC-1251 supported the 81st Division's assault on Angaur—first by acting as control vessel for Red Beach on the island's northwestern coast and then by screening the transport area against possible Japanese submarine attack. After the beachhead was established, PC-1251 shifted entirely to antisubmarine patrols and convoy-escort duty. From October 1944 until February 1945, the submarine chaser acted as a unit of the antisubmarine screen which patrolled Angaur and Peleliu as well as the eastern entrance to the anchorage at Kossol Roads. In addition, she also escorted convoys between Saipan, Manus, Eniwetok, Ulithi, and the Palaus.

 

At the end of January, she shifted her sphere of operations from the Palau Islands to islands farther east—escorting convoys between Guam, Ulithi, and Eniwetok. After a month on that circuit, PC-1251 cleared the western Pacific altogether, departing Eniwetok on 1 March 1945. Ten days later, she escorted her convoy into Pearl Harbor and, the following day, commenced a two-month overhaul. On 7 May, she emerged from that yard period and began three weeks of training and escort duty in the Hawaiian Islands. Her service at Hawaii ended on 25 May when PC-1251 stood out of Pearl Harbor to return to the western Pacific. She arrived back at Eniwetok on 5 June and, for the remainder of the war, escorted convoys between various advanced bases in the Central Pacific as well as to and from Okinawa in the Ryukyus. Though she had missed the opening phase of the final operation of the war, PC-1251, nevertheless, spent most of her remaining wartime service in direct support of that campaign. By the time the Japanese finally capitulated in mid-August, she had moved south to the Philippine Islands and had begun patrols and escort missions between ports in that archipelago—most frequently between the Manila area of Luzon to San Pedro Bay at Leyte. On 20 August, she was redesignated PCC-1251.

 

On 21 September, she stood out of Leyte Gulf in the screen of a convoy bound for Hiroshima, Japan. En route, she and her charges, six LST's, stopped off at Okinawa for several days, from 26 September to 2 October. PCC-1251 escorted the LST's into Hiro Wan on the 6th. She stayed at Hiroshima until the 12th, at which time she put to sea, bound for Guam. The submarine chaser arrived at Apra Harbor on 18 October. She remained moored to pierside at Guam from mid-October 1945 to late April 1946. On 24 April, she departed Guam and headed back to the United States via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. She reached Astoria, Oreg., on 24 May and, three days later, shifted to Portland. Following inactivation overhaul at Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, PCC-1251 was towed back to Astoria on 12 July. On 3 August, she was decommissioned and berthed with the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. There, she remained for the next 15 years. On 15 February 1956, PCC-1251 received the name Ukiah. On 1 July 1960, her name was struck from the Navy list, presumably in preparation for the submarine chaser's disposal. While information on her final disposal is not available, Ukiah was probably scrapped.

 

Ukiah was awarded one battle star for World War II service.