In the early stages of World War II, German U-Boats were wreaking havoc on Allied merchant shipping lines and civilian vessels. To attempt to stem this ongoing naval onslaught, the United States ordered the construction of a new class of warship equipped with anti-submarine countermeasures to provide constant escort to these commercial fleets to ensure they reach their destinations safely. This marked the beginning of the Tacoma class, a patrol frigate sporting an arsenal of light weaponry and depth charges. One particular member of the aforementioned class experienced duty for the United States, Soviet Union, and Thailand. It has gone by many names over the years, including EK-6 and HTMS Tachin. Yet ultimately it’ll always be remembered by its original name – the U.S.S. Glendale.
Originally named after The Jewel City itself and bearing the identification PF-36, the U.S.S. Glendale formally launched on May 28, 1943 and primarily served as an anti-submarine and anti-aircraft escort for merchant ships sailing in New Guinea waters. It participated in extensive escort assignments throughout the region.
Below are highlights from its naval service:
Battle of Morotai
Situated amongst Indonesia’s Maluku Islands, Morotai was the setting of a campaign staged by U.S. and Australian forces to secure the island from entrenched Japanese defenders in the name of creating a local base to support war efforts in the Philippines. The invaders vastly outnumbered the 500 Japanese soldiers tasked with defending the island, and it took only two-weeks for them to claim the island as their own.
The U.S.S. Glendale provided continuous escort services to merchant ships supporting the invasion effort and supplying resources to surrounding areas.
Hollandia to Leyte Escort Mission
While escorting a convoy from Hollandia to Leyte, the U.S.S. Glendale encountered an aerial assault from Japanese aircraft. The ensuing attack resulted in the sinking of the cargo ship SS Antoin Saugrain and merchant vessel SS Marcus Daly.
For its considerable efforts, the U.S.S. Glendale was rewarded five Battle Stars from the U.S Navy. However, that was just the beginning of its tenure.
Following its service in World War II, the U.S.S. Glendale was transferred to the Soviet Union in 1945 and renamed EK-7. It continued to serve in various patrol and convoy support capacities. It was one of 585 combatant vessels sent to the Soviet Union for World War II usage. It was promptly returned to the U.S. in 1949.
Back in the U.S. Navy and re-assuming its original name, the U.S.S. Glendale patrolled Korean shores in support of United Nations forces. For its Korean War efforts, it was awarded Four Battle Stars from the U.S. Navy and a Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
It was decommissioned in 1951 and transferred to the Government of Thailand and formally struck from the Navy List.
Royal Thai Navy
Now named the HTMS Tachin, the vessel served the Royal Thai Navy for nearly five decades, spanning 1951 to 2000. It was decommissioned in June 2000 at the Sattahip Naval Base, and currently resides as a memorial museum at the Thai military Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.
The U.S.S. Glendale played a minor yet integral role in multiple war efforts. Its commercial convoy escort services ensured countless troops and civilians received vital resources and support. Even today, as the ship lives out its remaining days as a museum in Thailand, we’re honored to have had our city’s name grace the hull of such a vessel.