USS Papaya (AN-49)

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History
US Naval Jack 46 stars.svg US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Name: USS Papaya
Namesake: a fruit-bearing tree found in tropical America
Builder: Pollock Stockton Shipbuilding Company, Stockton, California
Laid down: 2 November 1942 as Papaya (YN-68)
Launched: 23 May 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. L. L. Lindley
Commissioned: 1 December 1943 as USS Papaya (YN-68)
Decommissioned: 31 January 1946, at Terminal Island, California
Reclassified:AN-49, 20 January 1944
Struck: 25 February 1946
Honours and
awards:
two battle stars for World War II service
Fate: fate unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: Ailanthus-class net laying ship
Tonnage: 1,100 tons
Displacement: 1,275 tons
Length: 194' 7"
Beam: 37'
Draft: 13' 6"
Propulsion: diesel electric, 2,500hp
Speed: 12 knots
Complement: 56 officers and enlisted
Armament: one single 3 in (76 mm) gun mount, four twin 20 mm gun mounts

USS Papaya (AN-49/YN-68) was anAilanthus-class net laying ship which served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific Ocean theatre of operations during World War II. Her career was without major incident, and she returned home after the war bearing two battle stars to her credit.

<i>Ailanthus</i>-class net laying ship

The Ailanthus class were a group of 40 wooden-hulled net laying ships of the United States Navy built during World War II as part of the huge building programs of late 1941 and early 1942 for small patrol and mine warfare vessels. Five of the class were transferred to the British Royal Navy under Lend-Lease, and another five were converted while at their shipyards into Auxiliary Fleet Tugs, the ATA-214-class.

A net laying ship, also known as a net layer, net tender, gate ship or boom defence vessel was a type of small auxiliary ship.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Contents

Launched in Stockton, California

Papaya (YN–68) was laid down by the Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Company, Stockton, California, 2 November 1942; launched 23 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. L. L. Lindley; commissioned 1 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. Elias Johnson in command. She was reclassified AN–49 on 20 January 1944.

Stockton, California City in California, United States

Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin County in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. Stockton was founded by Captain Charles Maria Weber in 1849 after he acquired Rancho Campo de los Franceses. The city is named after Robert F. Stockton, and it was the first community in California to have a name not of Spanish or Native American origin. The city is located on the San Joaquin River in the northern San Joaquin Valley and had an estimated population of 320,554 by the California Department of Finance for 2017. Stockton is the 13th largest city in California and the 63rd largest city in the United States. It was named an All-America City in 1999, 2004, 2015 and again in 2017.

World War II service

Pacific Ocean operations

Following shakedown, Papaya joined ServRon 10 for duty in the Pacific Ocean and proceeded via Pearl Harbor to the Marshall Islands where she arrived 8 March 1944. After laying moorings and channel buoys and installing anti-torpedo nets in the Marshalls group, she departed for the Mariana Islands, arriving Saipan 1 August. She assisted in net operations while fighting on the beach was still in process, helping capture both Saipan and Tinian.

Shakedown (testing)

A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to last for a much longer, and more importantly, predictable life-span. For example, if a bolt has a hidden flaw introduced during manufacturing, it will not be as reliable as other bolts of the same type.

Pearl Harbor harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.

Marshall Islands country in Oceania

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an island country and a United States associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets.

End-of-war operations

After returning to Long Beach, California, 18 December for overhaul and alterations, she deployed to the Western Pacific again 22 May 1945, this time to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, for important net operations.

Long Beach, California City in California, United States

Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Los Angeles metropolitan area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.

Ulithi island

Ulithi is an atoll in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, about 191 km (103 nmi) east of Yap. It consists of 40 islets totalling 4.5 km2 (1.7 sq mi), surrounding a lagoon about 36 km (22 mi) long and up to 24 km (15 mi) wide—at 548 km2 (212 sq mi) one of the largest in the world. It is administered by the state of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Ulithi's population was 773 in 2000. There are four inhabited islands on Ulithi Atoll. They are Falalop, Asor (Yasor), Mogmog (Mwagmwog), and Fedarai (Fedraey). Falalop is the most accessible with an air strip, a small resort hotel, gas dealership, store and one of three public high schools in Yap state. Mogmog is the seat of the high chief of Ulithi Atoll though each island has its own chief. Other important islands are Losiap, Sorlen (Sohl'oay), and Potangeras (Potoangroas).

Caroline Islands archipelago

The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end. Historically, this area was also called Nuevas Filipinas or New Philippines as they were part of the Spanish East Indies and governed from Manila in the Philippines.

Following the surrender of Japan, Papaya actively participated in the surrender and occupation of Yap and undertook several search missions to islands and atolls east of Ulithi capturing 26 Japanese soldiers. She departed 17 October for the United States via Saipan and Pearl Harbor and arrived San Diego, California, 26 November.

Surrender of Japan surrender of the Empire of Japan during the World War II

The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were privately making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

Yap Island in Federated States of Micronesia

Yap or Wa′ab traditionally refers to an island located in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, a part of the Federated States of Micronesia. The name "Yap" in recent years has come to also refer to the state within the Federated States of Micronesia, inclusive of the Yap Main Islands and its various outer islands.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Post-war decommissioning

Surplus to the Navy’s needs after World War II, Papaya decommissioned at Terminal Island, California, 31 January 1946 and was stricken from the Naval Register 25 February.

Honors and awards

Papaya received two battle stars for service in World War II.

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