Bel Air

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PC 1191 was laid down on 23 May 1942 at Morris Heights, N.Y., by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 25 July 1942; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 2 November 1942, Lt. Theodore G. Bremer, Jr., USNR, in command.


Following shakedown training, PC 1191 escorted a coastal convoy to Cape May, N.J., before continuing southward along the eastern seaboard and arriving at Miami, Fla., on 16 December 1942. Assigned to the Gulf Sea Frontier for duty at the Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC), Miami, the ship shifted to Key West on 7 January 1943 for brief operations at the sound school before returning to Miami on the 10th. She operated as a school ship, training officers, through February of 1943. Slated for transfer to the Caribbean Sea Frontier as soon as PC 1193 arrived to take up training duties at the SCTC, PC 1191 sailed for Guantanamo Bay on 12 March in the screen for convoy KG 626.


For the next few months, PC 1191 escorted convoys between Guantanamo Bay and Trinidad, but varied this routine with occasional voyages to Kingston, Jamaica, and Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana, before receiving orders to return to New York. Departing Trinidad on the afternoon of 26 December, PC 1191 joined convoy GN 105 at Guantanamo Bay on 30 December and reached the New York Navy Yard on 6 January 1944.


Upon the completion of overhaul and drydocking, the submarine chaser escorted convoys between New York and Guantanamo Bay well into May. She then carried out patrols from Guantanamo Bay and escorted convoys between the Canal Zone and Cuban waters through August of 1944. At that point, PC 1191 was attached to the Panama Sea Frontier and operated from Cristobal and Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone through the end of hostilities with Germany in the spring of 1945.


Transferred to Service Squadrons, Pacific, she cleared Coco Solo on 28 June and, after a brief stop at San Diego en route, reached San Pedro, Calif., on 13 July. Then, after proceeding on up the California coast, the ship reached San Francisco on the 17th and remained there undergoing repairs into the autumn.


Since the end of hostilities in the Pacific that August prompted a general cut back in operating forces, PC 1191 sailed for the east coast, departing San Diego on 26 November. Proceeding via Manzanillo, Mexico, and the Canal Zone, she reached Key West on 13 December 1945. After almost a month there, PC 1191 got underway on 8 January 1946 and headed for Green Cove Springs, Fla., to prepare for inactivation. She remained there until 11 April when she headed for Charleston, S.C., in company with two other submarine chasers. She reached that port on the 12th and was decommissioned there on 3 May 1946.


Assigned to Naval Reserve Training (NRT) duties in July 1946, PC 1191 conducted reserve training cruises out of Charleston in 1948--touching at Savannah, Ga., and at Jacksonville and Miami in Florida in the course of her operations. In 1949, she ranged the eastern seaboard from Charleston to New York before being placed in reserve at Norfolk, Va., in March 1950. While inactive, she was named Bel Air on 15 February 1956. Bel Air's name was struck from the Navy list in March 1959, and she was apparently disposed of by January 1961.[1]

References

  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships [1]
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