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|50k||Clyde C. Goss
via Christopher Goss
USS ANDALUSIA (PC 1173)
Wherever possible, all launchings at the L.D. Smith Shipyard were held on Saturday so that the town's people could attend. To make the event more festive, the shipyard had its own marching band. No alcoholic beverages were allowed for the ship christening, so milk was placed in the champagne bottles to advertise Wisconsin as a dairy state.
On Labor Day 1942, the yard launched four vessels for the war effort. Two PC subchasers for the U.S. Navy and two coastal freighters for the U.S. Maritime Commission to be operated by the
The PC-1173 was built by the Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Funds to build this vessel came from War Bond sales in Racine, Wisconsin. Her keel was laid down on Wednesday, 21 April 1943 and her hull was launched on Saturday, 26 June 1943 with Ms. Anita James as her sponsor. After fitting out and builders trials, the new sub chaser headed for New Orleans via the Mississippi River route. On her arrival in New Orleans, her crew reported aboard and the next few weeks was spent taking on stores, supplies and ammunition. She was commissioned in New Orleans on November 1, 1943 with William C. [Clinton] French, [Jr.], Lt., USNR in command.
By late November, after a short shakedown training period at SCTC in Miami, Florida, the subchaser began operations out of Key West, escorting convoys to various ports in the Gulf Of Mexico. On 16 February 1944, she was reassigned to the New York to Guantanamo Bay convoy run.
After a short availability period at the Norfolk Naval Base for engine repairs and upgrades, the sub chaser joined Task Force 61 headed for the Mediterranean Sea.
In August 1944, she was assigned to Task Force 84 for the invasion of southern France. On 15 August, the subchaser was off the southern coast of France just to the west of Golde de St. Tropez as a Control Ship for landing craft. She was hit by enemy small arms fire and one crew member was slightly wounded by a ricochet. By 1 September she was at Marseilles, France serving as escort and station ship under the control of the Commander, 8th Amphibious Force. This assignment lasted until mid-October when her base of operations was moved to Palermo, Sicily where she had patrol duty along the northern coast of Sicily.
On 14 February 1945, her base was changed to northern Italy for convoy and escort duty between Leghorn [Italy] and Marseilles, France.
On 15 April they were attached to the Amphibious Group 10 based in Oran, Algeria for patrol and escort work in North African waters.
On 27 May 1945, the subchaser was underway from Oran, Algeria to Key West, Florida for major overhaul. Traveling via the Azores and St. George, Bermuda the sub chaser arrived at Key West on 14 June 1945. Leave was given to most of the crew while the subchaser underwent a major overhaul.
After the overhaul availability period, the subchaser was ordered to Norfolk to be fitted out as a Air/Sea Rescue vessel in the North Atlantic. Her after deck was cleared of the depth charge racks and her 40mm was removed. She departed Norfolk on 25 September 1945 and arrived at Argentia, Newfoundland on 29 September for six weeks of ready status duty.
On 8 November 1945, the subchaser left Newfoundland and proceeded to Boston arriving there on Armistice Day 1945. Later she was moved south to Green Cove Springs, Florida where she was decommissioned in March of 1946 and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On 15 February 1956, the PC-1173 was given the name Andalusia. Her name was stricken from the Navy list on July 1, 1960 and sold for scrapping. She received one battle star for WWIl service (Invasion of southern France).
From "Steaming As Before" by Bob Daly
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