(PF-55: dp. 2,415 (f.); l. 303'11"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'8"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 190; a. 2 3", 4 40mm., 4 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Tacoma; T. S2 S2 AQ1)
A city, located in Sagadahoc County, Maine, on the west bank of the Kennebec River, settled around 1670 and a shipbuilding center since the 1760’s.
The second Bath (PF-55) was laid down on 23 August 1943 at Milwaukee, Wisc., by Froemming Bros., Inc., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC huI1 1480); launched on 14 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Fred R. E. Dean; completed at New Orleans by Pendleton Shipyards; and commissioned on 9 September 1944, Comdr. John R. Stewart, USCG, in command.
Bath departed New Orleans on 25 September and conducted her shakedown training out of Bermuda before proceeding to the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she arrived on 1 November for post shakedown repairs and alterations. Trials off Rockland, Maine, and further availability at Philadelphia followed before the frigate departed the Delaware Capes on 30 December 1944 and proceeded to New York to report for duty with Task Group (TG) 20.9 under the Commander, Eastern Sea Frontier.
Based at the frontier base at Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y., and attached to Escort Division (CortDiv) 38, Bath sailed on 6 January 1945 in the escort of a convoy bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and returned to New York on the 25th. She then operated out of Tompkinsville on antisubmarine barrier patrol through mid May 1945, often in company with other patrol craft. While maintaining her station, she also kept approaching vessels out of the convoy lanes into and out of New York.
Detached from this duty on 17 May 1945, Bath arrived at ocean weather station 10 (36°00'N, 70°OO'W) on the 18th to relieve Jack W. Wilke (DE-800) but was herself relieved the same day. Returning to New York, the frigate received orders to the Pacific on 11 June. Following repairs and alterations at the Mariners' Harbor yard of the Bethlehem Steel Corp. located on Staten Island. Bath set out for her new theater on 14 July, the day after agreements had been signed turning her over to the Soviet Navy under lend lease. She transited the Panama Canal on the 22d and reached San Pedro, Calif., on the 30th. Proceeding on to Seattle, Wash., Bath sailed for Siberia on 28 August 1945. She was decommissioned and turned over to the Russians at Petropavlovsk on 9 September 1945. She served as the unnamed Soviet escort vessel, EK.ll, until returned to the Navy at Yokosuka, Japan, on 15 November 1949.
Placed out of commission in reserve, Bath remained inactive in Japan until loaned to the Japanese Government on 13 December 1953. She was renamed Matsu and redesignated PF-6 by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. She continued on Navy rolls until 1 December 1961, at which time her name was struck from the Navy list. Permanently transferred to Japan on 28 August 1962, Matsu was removed from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force's register on 31 March 1966, and her hulk became as a non operational training ship. She was sold to the Chin Ho Fa Steel and Iron Co., Ltd., of Taiwan, on 13 December 1971 and scrapped.
Robert J. Cressman
28 February 2006