USS PC-1129

Summary

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History
United States
NamePC-1129
Builder
Laid down23 September 1942[1]
Launched7 December 1942[1]
Commissioned3 June 1943 [1]
Stricken23 February 1945
Honors and
awards
one battle star
Fatesunk, 31 January 1945
General characteristics
Class and type PC-461-class submarine chaser
Displacement295 tons (Light) 450 tons (Full)
Length173 feet, 8 inches
Beam23 feet
Draft10 feet, 10 inches
PropulsionTwo 1,440bhp General Motors 16-258S diesel engines, Farrel-Birmingham single reduction gear, two shafts.
Speed20.2 knots
Complement65 men
Armament
  • One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount
  • one 40mm gun mount
  • three 20mm guns
  • two rocket launchers
  • four depth charge projectors
  • two depth charge tracks

USS PC-1129 was a PC-461-class submarine chaser built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was sunk by a Japanese suicide boat in January 1945 in the South China Sea.

Career

Laid down as a PC-461 Class Submarine Chaser at Defoe Shipbuilding of Bay City MI on 23 September 1942, PC-1129 commissioned into U.S. Navy service on 3 June 1943 as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. After a clearing the Great Lakes and entering the Mississippi River, PC-1129 and her crew meandered their way toward New Orleans where they joined into a convoy of Westbound amphibious craft and stood out for the Panama Canal.PC-1129 was launched at Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan in early 1943.

International radio call sign of
USS PC-1129
ICS November.svg ICS Golf.svg ICS Papa.svg ICS Bravo.svg
November Golf Papa Bravo

Joining the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Balboa, PC-1129 and her crew began regular convoy escort assignments between the Panama Canal and San Diego, eventually taking up the San Diego-Pearl Harbor route during the later months of 1943. Operating out of Pearl Harbor in through late 1944, PC-1129 escorted American Naval and Merchant convoys between Hawaii and numerous destinations throughout the South Pacific before she eventually shifted her homeport to the U.S. rear-area base at Seeadler Harbor, Manaus Island. Serving as one of several marshalling points for men, material and supplies bound for the upcoming Philippine Invasion, PC-1129 spent much of the fall of 1944 shuttling convoys back and forth between the Leyte beachhead and Manaus. As American forces steadily advanced into the Philippine archipelago, PC-1129 began to operate out of Leyte Gulf, where her anti-submarine and anti-aircraft capabilities were high demand.

Escorting both invasion and resupply convoys between Leyte and the advancing front lines through December 1944, PC-1129 and her crew became aware of the new Japanese doctrine of Kamikaze attacks, and spent several convoy deployments on constant alert and at general quarters. After seeing several convoys to their destinations, PC-1129 and her crew received new orders in January 1945 calling for her support in the 11th Airborne Division’s mission to secure the city of Nasugbu and escort a formation of landing craft carrying the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment to their designated landing beaches. Departing Leyte in escort on January 29, PC-1129 screened her charges all the way to their destination without incident, and as the aerial and amphibious assault commenced on 31 January, she stood offshore to provide on-call fire support. As darkness approached and ground forces continued to push inland, PC-1129 moved further offshore with the transports and landing craft into the relative safety of open waters where they would remain for the night. As the force withdrew, orders were circulated for each ship to post extra armed lookouts as rumors that Japanese explosive-laden speed boats were operating in the area.

In a screening position on the Southeastern portion of her formation as night fell, the PC-1129 and her crew prepared for another night and were soon called to their general quarters stations as reports raced across the ships that fast moving surface contacts had been picked up on radar. Moving to intercept the inbound threat, PC-1129 joined with several other Subchasers, Destroyer Escorts, Destroyers and Escort Craft in a violent firefight in total darkness against a force of over 20 Shin'yō Suicide Boats; each one capable of speeds over 30 knots and carrying two depth charges in their bows. Though several of the enemy craft were destroyed in the exchange of fire, 2 of them by the PC-1129,[2] one of the Shin'yō was able to evade the mass of fire coming from the American Ships and likely focused on the muzzle flashes coming from the PC-1129's guns and sent his explosive-laden craft hurtling into her Starboard side aft.

The resulting detonation of the Shin'yō's depth charge load blew open an enormous hole in the PC-1129’s hull, in addition to knocking out her propellers and steering ability. Many of her crew topside were blown into the water from her decks by the blast, and PC-1129 quickly began to flood by the Stern as she lost headway and went dead in the water. Fires quickly broke out on and around her and were fed by spilling diesel fuel from her damaged tanks, leaving her a brightly lit target in the dark night. With several more Shin'yō craft operating in the area and his ship presenting a large target, PC-1129’s Captain ordered the floundering craft abandoned shortly before 2200hrs. Allowing her surviving crew enough time to swim clear of her, PC-1129 finally gave out and sank stern-first on 31 January 1945, taking two members of her crew with her to the bottom.

PC-1129 was one of three major ships built at Defoe Shipbuilding Company that were lost during World War II that were; the others were USS Rich (DE-695) and the United States Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba (WPG-77). She was struck from the Navy List on 23 February 1945.[3]

She received one battle star for her service.

References

  1. ^ a b c Uboat.net
  2. ^ "WWII PCS - World War 2 Patrol Crafts - PCSA".
  3. ^ "Pc-1129".


Coordinates: 14°03′N 120°18′E / 14.05°N 120.30°E / 14.05; 120.30