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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Woodstock

 

A city in northern Illinois which serves as the seat of McHenry County and a town in Vermont.

 

(PC-1180: dp. 450 (f.); l. 173'8"; b. 23'; dr. 10'10" (max.); cpl. 65; s. 20.2 k.; a. 1 3", 1 40mm., 6 20mm., 4 dcp., 2 dct, 2 dcp. (Mousetrap); cl. PC-461)

 

Woodstock (PC-1180) was originally laid down as PC-1180 on 5 October 1943 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., by the Leathern D. Smith Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 27 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Sue Wallen, the first Gold Star mother in the city of Green Bay, Wis.; and commissioned at New Orleans, La., on 10 February 1944, Lt. Philip H. Tomlinson, USNR, in command.

 

PC-1180 departed New Orleans on 20 February, bound for Miami, Fla., to conduct training out of the Submarine Chaser Training Center there. On 20 March, she departed Key West as part of the screen for Convoy KN-303 and put into New York nine days later after an uneventful passage. The submarine chaser then proceeded south and joined the Cuba-bound Convoy NG-427. All 36 ships of this group arrived safely at Guantanamo Bay on 13 April.

 

PC-1180 weighed anchor four days later and rendezvoused with the Trinidad section of Convoy GN-127, bound for New York. Delivering her charges safely to their destination on 24 April, the vessel sailed south on 1 May as part of the screen of Convoy NG-432, again bound for Cuba. On 7 May, four hours out of Guantanamo Bay, PC-1180 rescued a French merchant sailor who had fallen overboard from the merchantman SS Sagittaire.

 

The escort vessel subsequently made one more round-trip from Guantanamo Bay to New York City—with Convoys GN-132 and NG-430 on the northward and southward runs, respectively—before escorting Convoy GZ-72 from Guantanamo Bay to the Panama Canal Zone from 13 to 17 June. Transiting the Panama Canal on the 19th, PC-1180 proceeded northward to the California coast in company with PC-470 and arrived at San Diego on 28 June. After taking on provisions and ammunition there, she departed San Diego on 8 July, bound for Hawaii, and arrived at Pearl Harbor eight days later in company with PC-1251 and PC-1260.

 

PC-1180 spent just shy of a month in Hawaiian waters before she headed across the Pacific for Guadalcanal, sailing from Pearl Harbor on 13 August. She then conducted amphibious assault practice with Army troops and marines rehearsing for the assault and occupation of the southern Palaus.

 

The subchaser operated as screen for the ships involved in the strike on Angaur Island—the southernmost isle in the Palaus and the most valuable because of its phosphate deposits. American planners, however, were less interested in its minerals than they were for another reason. They slated the island for use as a bomber strip. The American strikes against the island began with pre-invasion bombardments by Tennessee (BB-43) and Pennsylvania (BB-38), four light cruisers and five destroyers. This bombardment continued for five days, while carrier planes carried out air strikes, and minecraft swept the approaches. Meanwhile, underwater demolition teams swam ashore to destroy obstacles on the landing beaches themselves.

 

On 17 September 1944, the first marines went ashore to begin the actual occupation on Angaur. During this time, PC-1180 served as mine-disposal vessel, detonating swept mines with gunfire, in Kossol Passage. On the 19th, two days after the strikes against Angaur began, YMS-19 fouled a Japanese mine and sank soon thereafter. PC-1180 closed the sinking vessel, lowered a boat and life rafts, and picked up the survivors.

 

PC-1180 subsequently escorted convoys locally in the waters between Ulithi and the Palaus until late in 1944. After escorting local convoys between Ulithi andEniwetok early in 1945, she supported the assault on Okinawa in the spring of 1945.

 

The subchaser performed local escort operations as a unit of the 9th Fleet, in the Okinawa area, into the summer of 1945. She departed Ora Wan, Okinawa, on 19 July, escorting LST Flotilla 35 to Buckner Bay. On 25 July, in company with PC-1127, PC-1180 got underway for the Philippines, escorting LST Group 104.

 

Arriving on 13 August 1945 at San Pedro Bay, four days after the atomic bomb devastated Nagasaki, PC-1180 lay at anchor in San Pedro on the day Japan capitulated—15 August—and remained there until the 27th when she shifted to Manila before sailing for Japan from Batangas Bay on 3 September.

 

Escorting LST Flotilla 25, PC-1180 picked up a contact—suspected to be a submarine—on 9 September. With conditions in the Far East still tense, even after the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, escorts were especially alert, lest a Japanese submarine which failed to hear that the war was over attack any Allied warships. PC-1180 went to general quarters, challenged the suspected submarine and received no reply, and sped to conduct a depth charge attack at 0749—16 minutes after the initial contact. Although the crow's nest observer, several men in the crew, and at least one officer topside reported air bubbles appearing on the surface and the water turning a dense black immediately after the explosion, no evidence came to the fore that the contact had actually been a maverick submarine. Once contact was lost, PC-1180 returned to the convoy screen. On 12 September, PC-1180 entered Tokyo Bay.

 

Shifting to Yokosuka on 19 September and to Yokohama the following day, the submarine chaser departed for Aomori, Japan, on the 21st. She delivered mail upon her arrival there three days later, before she conducted survey operations of Aomori Wan harbor. With the American landings at Aomori on the 24th, a Lt. C. H. Wheatley came on board to act as control officer in PC-1180. The submarine chaser served as control vessel for these occupation landings.

 

On 1 October, PC-1180 shifted to Hakodate Ko and to Otaru, Hokkaido, the following day. Capt. R. T. Strong, USNR, boarded the ship on 3 October for temporary duty in connection with the landings at Otaru.

 

The vessel remained in Japanese waters until departing Yokohama on 4 December for Guam. Arriving at Apra Harbor on the 8th, PC-1180 stayed at Guam until 9 January 1946, when she got underway and proceeded via Ulithi to Yap in the Caroline Islands. Returning to Apra Harbor on 24 January, she stayed in port until 9 February, when she sailed for the Marshalls.

 

Reaching Majuro on 15 February, she put to sea three days later on an air-sea rescue patrol station off Dalap Island, Majuro Atoll. She conducted two such air-sea rescue patrols, one in late February and one in March, before she returned to Guam on 25 March. In company with PC-1086, PC-1180 sailed for the United States on 10 May 1946, bound for Astoria, Oreg., via Eniwetok, Johnston Island, and Pearl Harbor.

 

Making port at Astoria on 6 June 1946, the subchaser initially anchored in the Columbia River before shifting to Swan Island at Portland, Oreg., on the 11th and, soon thereafter, to the conversion dock of the Willamette Iron and Steel Co. to prepare for decommissioning.

 

Decommissioned at the Willamette Iron and Steel Co. on 15 November 1946, PC-1180 was berthed with the Columbia River Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. While she was laid up, the patrol vessel was named Woodstock on 15 February 1956.

 

Struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960, Woodstock was subsequently sold for scrap in 1961.

 

PC-1180 received two battle stars for her World War II service.