USS Sylph PY-12 Sailor's "Free" Mail October 18, 1942
USS Sylph PY-12 Sailor's "Free" Mail October 18, 1942After commissioning, she remained at New York, assigned to the 3d Naval District to train reserve midshipmen. Soon after America's entry into World War II, Sylph was fitted with sound gear and depth charges and assigned to Tompkinsville, New York, to help patrol for German U-boats. On 10 February 1942, she was reassigned to New London, Connecticut, whence she continued to hunt for submarines. While at New London, Sylph also helped periodically to train sonarmen-so sorely needed in the Battle of the Atlantic. Future Hollywood actor Ernest Borgnine served as a U.S. Navy gunner's mate aboard Sylph during its antisubmarine warfare patrols of the North Atlantic.
In the fall of 1943, Sylph ceased to patrol for submarines. Assigned to Quonset Point, Rhode Island, she gave her full attention to training sonarmen and to the development of equipment and techniques for finding and sinking submarines. In October 1944, Sylph and her unit, the Surface Division of the Atlantic Fleet's Antisubmarine Development Detachment, shifted base to Port Everglades, Florida. She continued to train sonarmen there and assisted in the antisubmarine warfare research effort through the end of World War II.
In September 1945, Sylph was ordered to the Commandant, 6th Naval District, at Charleston, South Carolina. She arrived at Charleston on 8 November and was decommissioned on 19 December. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 January 1946, and her hulk was sold by the War Shipping Administration on 31 December 1946.