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Pueblo II (PF-13)


The second Pueblo was also named for the city in Colorado.


(PF-13: displacement 2,415; length 303'11"; beam 37'6"; draft 13'8"; speed 20 knots; complement 190; armament 3 3-inch, 4 40-millimeter, 9 20 millimeter, 2 depth charge tracks, one depth charge projector (Hedgehog); class Tacoma; type S2-S2-AQ1)

The second Pueblo (PF-13) was laid down on 14 November 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC Hull No. 1431) at Richmond, Calif., by Kaiser Cargo Inc., Yard No.4; launched on 20 January 1944; and sponsored by Seaman 2nd Class Carol June Barnhart, USN (W), "the first girl in Pueblo [Colorado] to enlist in the WAVES." Pueblo experienced engine difficulties during her first two trials that prompted the Navy sub-board of inspection and survey to recommend (on 20 and 27 April 1944) non-acceptance "until the cause is determined and corrected."Ultimately, after the third trial, the sub-board recommended (25 May 1944) accepting the ship, and she was commissioned at her building yard on 27 May 1944, Cmdr. Donald T. Adams, USCG, in command.

Shifting to the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., on 29 May 1944, Pueblo underwent outfitting and the completion of class items until 31 August. After conducting trial runs on that day and on 1-2 September, she compensated her compasses in the southern waters of San Francisco Bay on 3 September, mooring at Treasure Island, Calif., upon completion of that evolution. After calibrating her radio direction finder (RDF) on 5 September, she moored at Alameda, then sailed for San Diego, Calif., on the 7th. Reaching her destination on the morning of 9 September, Pueblo began shakedown training on 9 September, and carried out that work under the direction of the San Diego Shakedown Group, Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific, until completing it at 0900 on 8 October. Underway immediately for San Francisco for a ten-day post-shakedown availability, she entered San Francisco harbor the next evening, mooring to the North Pier at Treasure Island. Shifting to the General Engineering Shipyard, Alameda, the following afternoon, Pueblo underwent post-shakedown availability until 24 October, when she shifted to the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station Pier, Alameda. She took on ammunition at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Mare Island, on the 25th, mooring at Treasure Island soon thereafter.

Reporting to Commander, Western Sea Frontier, on 26 October 1944, for duty, Pueblo (fitted out with highly sensitive meteorological instruments to enable her to operate as a weather tracking ship) received orders later the same day to report to the frontier's Northern California sector. Standing out of San Francisco Harbor on 28 October, she set course for Plane Guard Station No.2, and relieved the patrol vessel Argus (PY-14) on 31 October, the day after the latter vessel had located and rescued the 61 survivors of the freighter John A. Johnson, that had been torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-12 the day before. The Liberty Ship had been abandoned when she broke in two. In a brutal attack that resulted in the killing of 4 of the 41 merchant sailors, the Army security officer and 4 of the 28-man U.S. Navy Armed Guard detachment assigned to the ship, I-12 had then surfaced and shelled the wreck, setting both halves ablaze. The submarine then had bore down on the lifeboats and rafts, the Japanese sailors firing on them with machine guns and pistols. While Argus proceeded to port with the freighter's survivors, Pueblo steamed to investigate a reported oil slick and debris during the first dog watch the next day (1 November). She found nothing upon her arrival in the area.

For over a fortnight, Pueblo maneuvered as necessary on various courses and speeds to stay on Plane Guard Station No.2, and punctuated that period of time with drills in first aid, plane guard, damage control, ASW, and gunnery, as well as exercising the ready gun crews and the main battery gun crews in operation of the ship's Hedgehog mount. On 19 November 1944, however, the report of a submarine trailing a friendly ship at 30°28.0'N, 140°10.5'W prompted Commander, Western Sea Frontier, to order Pueblo, as well as three California-bound destroyers, Harrison (DD-573), Murray (DD-576) and John Rodgers (DD-574), to the area to investigate. During the first watch on 19 November, the frigate began a submarine search as that period began, then joined Murray a half hour into the watch. While Harrison and John Rodgers bent on speed to overtake the vessel that had reported being shadowed, Pueblo executed a sound search pattern in company with Murray during the mid watch on the 20th, then joined the other two destroyers the following morning. The four ships formed a scouting line and swept the vicinity where the submarine had been reported sighted during the forenoon watch and into the afternoon, but without result. A second submarine sighting (31°12.0'N, 139°39'W), however, prompted the quartet to leave the scene of the first at 1407. Reaching the scene of the second sighting at 1830, the ships swept through that area with negative results, with Pueblo holding down the right flank of the scouting line.

Pueblo steamed off "to proceed on duty assigned"a half hour before the end of the morning watch on 21 November 1944, but Murray's developing a sound contact at 30°10.5'N, 140°20.8'W prompted the frigate's recall. Harrison likewise received orders to assist. Murray dropped a pattern of depth charges, but failed to regain contact. Meanwhile, the coastal patrol vessel Amethyst (PYc-3) had picked up a sound contact, prompting Harrison's joining her smaller consort to investigate. While Amethyst remained at the scene of her contact, Pueblo rejoined the destroyers. While Harrison and Murray each took one sector, Pueblo took a third, with John Rodgers, her sound gear having gone out the day before, forming astern. After having investigated a potential submarine contact during the morning and forenoon watches on 21 November, the frigate, in response to orders from Commander TG 15.3, escorted the Eniwetok-bound ammunition tender Alamosa (AK-156) throughout the first and second dog watches and the first watch.

Pueblo rendezvoused with Amethyst at 0931 on 22 November at 29°52'N, 139°53'W, then immediately began steering zig-zag courses, maintaining those courses for the remainder of that day and well into the morning watch on 23 November. At 1349 on that day, Pueblo established a sound contact bearing 140 degrees, so changed course to conform to that of the contact. Cmdr. Adams called his crew to battle stations, set condition one and material condition "able." The frigate fired a shallow 13-depth charge pattern soon thereafter at 33°24'N, 133°50'W, followed by a Hedgehog pattern of 24 Mk. 10 projectiles at 1404, and a second 24-charge barrage eight minutes later. Carrying out a search of the waters where she had carried out her attacks, Pueblo observed a whale on the port bow, 3,000 yards away. The frigate continued the sound search into the forenoon watch the following day. Later on the 25th, Pueblo rendezvoused with coastal patrol vessel Andradite (PYc-11), and embarked Ens. Lester G. Riggs, A-V(S), for transportation to the U.S. Naval Hospital, Treasure Island. Pueblo passed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge at 0733 on 27 November, through the anti-submarine net at 0742, and moored alongside the North Pier, Treasure Island, at 0818, transferring her passenger ashore within the hour. The ship moved to Pier 54, San Francisco, during the afternoon watch, then returned to North Pier at the start of the second dog watch.

Following a period of repairs during an in-port availability at Treasure Island, Pueblo got underway and calibrated her direction finder in the south reaches of San Francisco Bay on 14 December 1944, returning to her berth later the same day. She conducted combat inspection exercises in those same waters four days later. On 21 December, Pueblo set course to return to Plane Guard Station No.2 (30°N, 140°W), relieving sister ship Grand Forks (PF-11) on the day before Christmas [24 December].

Pueblo remained on station through mid-January 1945, plotting and recording the passage overhead of 422 west-bound flights and 246 east-bound. Relieved by Grand Forks during the first dog watch on 17 January, the frigate sailed for San Francisco. At 0919 the following morning, Pueblo received orders from Commander, Western Sea Frontier, to proceed to 31°06'N, 133°54'W to rescue survivors from a downed plane. Altering course at 0942, Pueblo increased speed and headed for the point indicated. Other units, however, reached the scene first and effected the rescue, so consequently, at 1745, the frigate received direction to proceed to San Francisco.

Reaching Treasure Island at 1449 on 20 January 1945, Pueblo got underway at 0608 on 22 January to proceed to Mare Island, where she discharged ammunition, completing the task in a little under five hours. Shifting to Treasure Island soon thereafter, she underwent repairs into the first week of February. Proceeding thence to Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, Calif., to be drydocked (7-10 February), Pueblo fueled at San Francisco (10-11 February), loaded ammunition at Mare Island (12 February), then returned to Treasure Island.

Underway at 1000 on 15 February 1945, Pueblo relieved Amethyst on Plane Guard Station No.1 (34°N, 131°30'W) the following evening (2131). Between that point and the morning of 24 February, she plotted and recorded the passage overhead of 257 west-bound flights and 53 east-bound. Relieved by patrol vessel Andradite on 24 February, Pueblo returned to Plane Guard Station No.2 and relieved sister ship Casper (PF-12) the next afternoon. The frigate, her SA radar only inoperative for only 17 minutes on 8 March, patrolled her assigned area until 10 March, plotting 34 east-bound flights and 345 headed west. Her place taken by Grand Forks at 0600 on 10 March, Pueblo returned to San Francisco three days later. Following an availability period alongside South Pier, Treasure Island (10-28 March), the ship sailed at 0730 on 28 March to establish Plane Guard Station No.3 at 28°40'N, 142°50'W. Arriving at that position on 31 March, she patrolled that portion of the Pacific until 21 April, logging 240 east-bound flights and 650 west-bound. Relieved by Grand Forks at 1430 on 21 April, Pueblo returned to San Francisco three days later, then shifted to Treasure Island on the 25th to begin an availability that continued through the first week of May 1945.

Following an in-port availability alongside South Pier, Treasure Island (25 April-11 May 1945), Pueblo calibrated her RDF equipment in the southern reaches of San Francisco Bay (11 May) before returning to her berth at South Pier. Soon thereafter, Pueblo operated on 13 and 14 May with the submarine Greenling (SS-213) "conducting scientific experiments," returning to South Pier upon conclusion of those evolutions the first day. Relieved of escorting Greenling by the submarine chaser PC-791, the frigate returned to South Pier on 15 May.

Underway the following morning [16 May 1945], Pueblo relieved sister ship Brownsville (PF-10) on Station "Able"that afternoon. In turn relieved by PC-1238 on the morning of the 24th [1014], Pueblo returned to the familiar confines of South Pier. She shifted to North Pier on the 25th, remaining there until the 27th, when she embarked Rear Adm. William O. Spears, the Director of the Pan-American Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, whose "achievements in his complex and exacting duties" of coordinating the U.S. Navy's work with those of Latin American Republics "had a material effect on the prosecution of the war." In addition to the admiral, the frigate embarked a multinational assemblage of naval and military officers from the U.S., Chinese, Soviet, Brazilian, Chilean and Uruguayan navies, the Hellenic [Greek] Air Force, and from the Chilean and Uruguayan cavalry. In addition, she hosted "several civilian aides and delegates to the United Nations Conference of International Organizations,"included among the latter Senator Thomas T. "Tom" Connally (Democrat - Texas), and former Senator William H. King (Democrat - Utah). Pueblo transported the party of dignitaries to Mare Island Navy Yard, then back to Treasure Island, disembarking them at North Pier at 1730. She shifted back to South Pier (1749-1755), whence she sailed on the morning of 29 May to return to Plane Guard Station No.3.

Pueblo remained at sea on station until 20 June 1945, plotting 171 east-bound flights and 629 west-bound, before turning over patrol duties to Grand Forks. Mooring alongside Brownsville upon her arrival at Treasure Island on the afternoon (1703) of 23 June, the newly arrived frigate began an availability period. Following that period of repairs and the calibration of her equipment on 6 July, Pueblo put to sea and steamed to Plane Guard Station No.2, relieving Grand Island (PF-14) on 8 July. Over the next fortnight, the ship plotted 325 flights heading east and 523 heading west before she turned over her duties to Andradite on 22 July. Shifting to Plane Guard Station No.3 upon Andradite's arrival, Pueblo relieved sister ship Casper (PF-12) of that duty during the mid watch on 23 July. After plotting 230 east-bound flights and 318 west-bound during her stint on station, Pueblo turned over patrol duties to Brownsville on the afternoon of 30 July, setting course at that point to return to San Francisco.

Reaching Treasure Island on the afternoon of 2 August 1945, Pueblo lay moored to the port side of the South Pier there as hostilities ceased in the Pacific with Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. With the war over, however, the ship's routine remained largely unchanged, as she returned to Plane Guard Station No. 3, relieving Brownsville during the afternoon watch on 22 August. Relieved by Grand Forks on the afternoon of 12 September, Pueblo returned to Treasure Island on the 15th. Underway again on the morning of 3 October, she stood down San Francisco Bay, passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge at 1107. She rendezvoused with Brownsville, exchanging motion picture film programs with that ship before relieving her on Plane Guard Station No.2. Relieved by that ship on the afternoon of 27 October, Pueblo returned to Treasure Island two days later.

Underway again on 27 November 1945, Pueblo relieved Grand Forks on Plane Guard Station No.3 on 30 November. While at sea, the Chief of Naval Operations assigned Pueblo to Escort Division 41 on 15 December 1945 (effective 1 January 1946, pending her disposal). Relieved by Grand Island on the afternoon of 22 December, three days before Christmas of 1945, the frigate embarked CMM Frank J. Foos, USCG, in serious condition, for urgent hospitalization. Passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge during the first watch on Christmas Eve, Pueblo moored at 2245, transferring CMM Foos ashore five minutes later.

Underway on 9 January 1946, Pueblo stood down San Francisco Bay, and proceeded out to sea, then maneuvered to rendezvous with Casper mid-way through the afternoon watch on 11 January to transfer men, mail, and medical supplies. Pueblo relieved Grand Forks on Plane Guard Station No.3 the following afternoon. Annapolis (PF-15) in turn relieved Pueblo on 26 January, which then in turn relieved Casper on the early evening of 27 January. Grand Forks relieved Pueblo on 4 February after a movie exchange, then returned to Treasure Island on 6 February. She remained there for the rest of the month. During that time, on 26 February 1946, Commander, Western Sea Frontier, nominated the ship for disposal.

On 13 March 1946, Pueblo departed Treasure Island for Balboa, Canal Zone (C.Z.), arriving on 23 March during the forenoon watch. She entered the isthmian waterway at 1019, and ultimately entered Limon Bay, Colon, C.Z., at 1721, then moored at the U.S. Naval Station, Coco Solo, reporting for duty to Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, upon arrival. Underway on the morning of 26 March, Pueblo sailed from Coco Solo, and ultimately reached Charleston, S.C., mooring alongside the tank landing ship LST-41 at the Clyde Mallory Line's Pier 3 on 31 March, reporting to Commandant, 6th Naval District, for disposal.

Pueblo shifted to the Naval Ammunition Depot, Charleston, on 8 April 1946, then stood down the Cooper River the following day to the Charleston Navy Yard. Moving to the Fuel Pier on 15 April, thence to Pier J-4 on 18 April, Pueblo was taken by the big harbor tugs YTB-544 and YTB-527, and the civilian tugs Hinton and Josephine, and moored in a nest in the Wando River, where, on 25 April she half-masted her colors to mark the passing of Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone of the Supreme Court, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage on the 22nd.

A half hour before the end of the afternoon watch on 26 April 1946, custody of Pueblo was turned over to Commandant, Sixth Naval District. Lt. Bernard A. Hyde, USCG, the frigate's last commanding officer, was detached at 1600. Deemed "not essential to the defense of the U.S." a little over a month later, on 27 May 1946, Pueblo was stricken from the Navy Register on 19 June 1946.

Sold to J. C. Berkwitz and Co., New York, N.Y., on 22 September 1947, ex-Pueblo was delivered to the authorized agent for the Marine Contracting and Towing Co., of Charleston. The ship was resold, however, with the Navy's approval, to the government of the Dominican Republic, on 17 September 1948, which renamed her Presidente Troncoso (F.103). Renamed Gregorio Luperin in 1962, the ship was deleted from the Dominican Navy's list of vessels in 1979. She was broken up subsequently.

Robert J. Cressman

28 May 2020 

Published: Thu May 28 09:28:43 EDT 2020