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Tacoma Class, U.S. Frigates


Photograph of Tacoma-class frigate

National Archives #19-N-84718

Schematic diagram of Tacoma class frigate

ONI 222


Specifications:


Tonnage 1265 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 304' by 37'6" by 15'
92.66m by 11.43m by 4.57m
Maximum speed       20.5 knots
Complement 200
Armament 3 3"/50 AA guns
2x2 40mm Bofors AA guns
4 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2 depth charge tracks
8 depth charge throwers
Hedgehog
Machinery
2-shaft triple expansion reciprocating (5500 shp)
Two small tube boilers
Range
9500 miles (15,300 km) at 12 knots
Bunkerage
760 tons
Sensors
HFDF
Sonar (likely QC)
Radar (likely SA and SF)
Modifications
Some units eventually received as many as 10 20mm guns.


The Tacomas were completed in 1943-44. They were an American version of the British “River” class, with stronger bows, welded construction, and less reliable machinery. Built in Maritime Commission shipyards under Navy contract (as type S2-S2-AQ1), they had better range but were less powerful than destroyer escorts. Their twin screws and rudders gave them unusual maneuverability. Only 96 were built and half went for Lend-Lease (as the British "Colony" class), indicating that the U.S. Navy was not terribly impressed with the frigate concept. The crews were usually Coast Guardsmen.

Most of these ships were transferred to Russia  as Lend-Lease or taken in hand for conversion to weather ships (by replacing one 3" mount with weather instruments) as the war was winding down. Only those transfers or conversions that took place before 15 August 1945 are listed below.

The ships cost about $2.3 million apiece. Many of the frigates were built by Great Lake shipyards, and they had to have their masts stepped down and to be equipped with pontoons for the trip down the Mississippi River.


Units in the Pacific:

Coronado Completed 1943-6-17 (Wilmington) Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Long Beach Completed 1943-9-8 (Wilmington) Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Glendale Completed 1943-10-1 (Wilmington) Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
San Pedro Completed 1943-10-23 (Wilmington)     
Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Tacoma Completed 1943-11-6 (Richmond)
Belfast Completed 1943-11-24 (Wilmington) Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
El Paso Completed 1943-12-1 (Wilmington) Converted to weather ship 1945-5
Van Buren Completed 1943-12-17 (Wilmington) Converted to weather ship 1945-7-2
Albuquerque Completed 1943-12-20 (Richmond)
Ogden Completed 1943-12-20 (San Diego) Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Orange Completed 1944-1-1 (Wilmington)
Eugene Completed 1944-1-15 (Wilmington) Converted to weather ship 1945-5-25
Corpus Christi Completed 1944-1-19 (Wilmington)
Everett Completed 1944-1-22 (Richmond)
Hutchinson Completed 1944-2-3 (Wilmington)
Pocatello Completed 1944-2-18 (Richmond) Converted to weather ship 1944-4-28
Gallup Completed 1944-2-29 (Wilmington)
Sausalito Completed 1944-3-4 (Richmond)
Rockford Completed 1944-3-5 (Wilmington)
Muskogee Completed 1944-3-16 (Wilmington)
Grand Forks Completed 1944-3-18 (Richmond)
Carson City Completed 1944-3-24 (Wilmington)
Casper Completed 1944-3-31 (Richmond) Converted to weather ship 1944-9-30
Burlington
Completed 1944-4-3 (Wilmington)
Pasco Completed 1944-4-15 (Richmond)
Brownsville Completed 1944-5-6 (Tacoma) Converted to weather ship 1945-5
Hoquiam Completed 1944-5-8 (Richmond)
Grand Island Completed 1944-5-27 (Richmond) Converted to weather ship 1944-9-12
Pueblo Completed 1944-5-27 (Richmond) Converted to weather ship 1944-10-26
Charlottesville       Arrived 1944-8  Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Sandusky Arrived 1944-8-23 Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Machias Arrived 1944-8-24
Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Allentown Arrived 1944-9
Transferred to Russia 1945-7-12 as Lend-Lease
Bangor Arrived 1945-6

References

DANFS

GlobalSecurity.org (accessed 2009-12-9)

Lane (1951)

Naval Historical Society of Australia (accessed 2010-11-28)

Worth (2001)



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