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USS Orlando (PF-99)
Career (US)
Laid down: 2 August 1943
Launched: 1 December 1943
Commissioned: 15 November 1944
Decommissioned: 27 June 1946
Struck: 19 July 1946
Fate: sold for scrap
General characteristics
Displacement: 1430 tons
Length: 304 feet
Beam: 38 feet
Draught: 13 feet 8 inches
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 201 officers and men
Armament: two three-inch (76 mm) guns

USS Orlando (PF-99), a Tacoma-class frigate, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Orlando, Florida.

She was authorized with the hull classification symbol PG-207 but reclassified PF-99 in April 1943. Her keel was laid down 2 August 1943 under a Maritime Commission Contract by American Ship Building Company, in Cleveland, Ohio. She was launched on 1 December 1943 sponsored by Mrs. E. Harold Johnson, and commissioned on 15 November 1944 with Lieutenant Commander James A. Hyslop, USCG, in command.

After Orlando made a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, her first convoy departed from Hampton Roads on 7 February 1945. Orlando rounded up the stragglers from her position in the rear of the 37-ship convoy bound for Mers el Kebir, Algeria, North Africa. The convoy passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 February and arrived at Mers el Kebir two days later.

On 3 March escort duty commenced again as a 43-ship convoy started on its way across the Atlantic Ocean. By 15 March various units of the convoy began to detach themselves from the main body of ships and Orlando departed the convoy to proceed to Boston, Massachusetts.

After training exercises Orlando commenced her second trans-Atlantic voyage to Mers el Kebir as convoy screen. The ship remained at Mers el Kebir until joining a convoy bound for the United States on 2 May. With the crossing completed, the convoy commenced to break up on 14 May and Orlando returned to New York City with a section of the convoy before proceeding to Boston for voyage repairs.

On 5 July Orlando departed for New York to be converted to a weather ship and prepare for distant service. The frigate got underway from New York Harbor 10 August bound for the Panama Canal. On the way the successful conclusion of the war against Japan was announced.

The ship transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 5 September 1945. Five days later Orlando and Gulfport stood out of the channel at Pearl Harbor and set course for Adak in the Andreanof Islands to moor in Sweepers Cove, Adak on 16 September.

The ship took a weather station in the area around 43 degrees North, 165 degrees East from 7 October until 25 October. Through the month of November the ship was moored in Finger Bay, Adak. The lonely weather station duty continued as Orlando remained in the area around Adak until arriving at Seattle, Washington, on 12 May 1946.

The naval career of the frigate Orlando ended at Seattle where she was placed out of commission 27 June 1946, was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 July 1946, and was sold for scrapping 10 November 1947 to the Zidell Ship Dismantling Company.

Cinderella Liberty[edit | edit source]

In the 1973 film Cinderella Liberty, James Caan portrayed a sailor assigned to the USS Orlando and wore the ship's name on his right shoulder rocker.

Down Periscope[edit | edit source]

The 1996 comedy Down Periscope includes a fictitious Los Angeles-class submarine Orlando (SSN-852). (Which flight cannot be determined; when submerged, she has the sail planes of an early model LA boat, but when surfaced, she has the bow planes of a 688i.) No submarine of the United States Navy has ever been named Orlando and as of 2014, hull classification symbol SSN-852 has not yet been assigned.

References[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 43°00′00″N 165°00′00″E / 43°N 165°E / 43; 165

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