Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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John Blish

(PCS-1457: dp. 245; 1. 136'; b. 23'4"; dr. 8'7"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 58: a. 1 3", 1 40mm., 4 20mm., 2 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. PCS-1376)

John Blish was born in Seymour, Ind., 8 September 1860 and was appointed Cadet Midshipman 18 September 1875. From 1879 to 1901 he served the Navy both on the high seas and on various shore duty. On 5 October 1901 he was commissioned Lieutenant Commander; then served until he retired 6 July 1905.

John Blish was appointed Commander on the retired list 13 April 1911. During World War I he served in the 1st Naval District as assistant to the Commandant, and commanded the Naval Air Station at Squantum, Mass. Comdr. Blish was detached 29 October 1919. In addition to his exemplary naval career, he invented the "Blish sounding tube" and the Thompson submachine gun. John Blish died 22 December 1921.

PCS-1457 was laid down by Ballard Marine Railway Co., Seattle, Wash., 23 May 1943; launched 6 September; sponsored by Miss Patricia McQuire; and commissioned 26 February 1944.

After shakedown and training PCS-1457 sailed to the war zone during the spring of 1944. Throughout the summer she provided support for U.S. operations in the Marianas, assisting in the major offensives on the strategic bases of Guam and Tinian. During November the subchaser performed hydrographic duties in the Pacific.

Her next major operation occurred in February 1945 when U.S. forces landed on Iwo Jima. PCS-1457 provided hydrographic information for the massive fleet which appeared off this tiny volcanic island 19 February. She played an important role in the capture of this important air strip, then prepared for the assault on Okinawa.

PCS-1457 was reclassified AGS-10 on 20 March and 3 days later was named John Blish. Throughout the remaining months of World War II, John Blish supported Allied efforts in the Pacific and actively participated in the invasion of Okinawa. After the war she operated as a coastal survey ship and was reclassified AGSc-10 on 27 July 1946. For the next 2 years she remained off the West Coast performing hydrographic services. Sailing to New York during 1948, John Blish decommissioned there 26 August 1949. She was sold for scrapping to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., 10 February 1950.

PCS-1457 received four battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Wed Jul 22 15:22:05 EDT 2015