Dave Bruhn as created a Mine Warfare Hall of Valor at his website to honor the recipients of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Navy & Marine Corps Medals for heroism (and also Prisoner of War Medals) from World War II through the present.
It is Dave's hope that this action will help to preserve the collective legacy of these past and present members of the Mine Warfare Community.
|Name||Nbr||Builder||Keel Laid||Launch Date||Commis -sioned||Decomm -issioned||Additional Information|
|Conflict||426||Fulton Shipyard, Antioch, Calif.||8/13/51||12/16/52||3/23/54||6/9/72||Scrapped by Al Kidman, Wilmington, CA $32,501. Removal date: 1/22/74 from San Diego under tow of Beverly Gene to L.A., Calif|
|Venture||496||Broward Marine||1/11/55||11/27/56||2/3/58||8/2/71||Custody of Venture accepted upon arrival INACTSHIPFAC NORVA 01-NOV-71. Berthed Pier "A", South, Southgate Annex, 1-May-78, Scrap Sale, C.B. Herter Jr., Airports Rd., Hopewell, VA. $27,019|
|Adroit||509||Frank L. Sample||11/18/54||8/20/55||3/4/57||12/12/91||18-Aug-94, Scrapped 5/95, Wilmington Resources, Inc.,Wilmington, N.C. $44,950 PiggyBack Minesweepers, Desert Storm|
|U.S. Ship Activity|
|1951||18|| || || |
|1952||21||8|| || |
|1958|| || ||4||1 Grounded|
|1966|| || || ||1 Fire|
|1970|| || || ||14|
|1971|| || || ||9|
|1972|| || || ||12|
|1973|| || || ||1 Sunk|
|1977|| || || ||2|
|1982|| || || ||4|
|1989|| || || ||1|
|1990|| || || ||5|
|1991|| || || ||5|
|1992|| || || ||4|
|1993|| || || ||2|
|1994|| || || ||4|
|Combined U.S. & foreign Ship Activity|
|1951||18||1|| || |
|1952||31||9|| || |
|1958|| || ||4||1|
|1959||1||1|| || |
|1960|| || ||1|| |
|1966|| || ||2||3|
|1970|| || ||1?||15|
|1971|| || ||3||10|
|1972|| || ||1||13|
|1973|| || || ||2|
|1974|| || ||1?||1|
|1976|| || || ||2|
|1977|| || || ||2|
|1979|| || || ||2?|
|1982|| || || ||8?|
|1985|| || || ||1|
|1988|| || || ||6|
|1989|| || || ||2|
|1990|| || || ||5|
|1991|| || || ||5|
|1992|| || || ||4|
|1993|| || || ||5|
|1994|| || || ||4|
|1995|| || ||4 (Tiawan)|| |
|1996|| || || ||1?|
|1997|| || || ||1?|
|1998|| || || ||1|
|1999|| || || ||3|
Two Ships have been found in Private Hands, USS ADVANCE (MSO-510), and USS LUCID (MSO-458).
MSO'S IN PRIVATE HANDS
Two Ocean Minesweepers ran aground and were lost.
Four experienced fires, only one was rebuilt, the others were scrapped.
As you descend the ladder into the Hold, and walk past the moored mine in the on-board Museum, look past the Engine from the San Pablo (From the movie 'Sand Pebbles') and there in all its 'snipe' glory is an actual Packard V-12 diesel engine, as used as the main propulsion and Minesweep generator engines on most MSOs. The engine is intact, and identified by a small sign.
If you, or any other former 'sweep sailors are in the Southern California area, you should pay the Lane Victory a visit. She is a fully-functional ship which gets underway three times in the summer on fund-raising cruises to Catalina.
Courtesy of Denis King - USS Dynamic MSO 432.
The Lucid is now located at the Stockton Historical Maritime Museum with a gala ribbon cutting ceremony on
March 15, 2012.
The Stockton Historical Maritime Museum in conjunction with a local crafts-emphasizing charter school aim to raise the $1.5 million necessary and provide the thousands of man hours necessary to fully restore the ship.
Mike Warren, Don Cole and the Board of Directors of the Lucid Foundation Need your help. The USS Lucid Museum is now a work in progress. They can use your Help with Labor, Memorabilia or Monetary support. Click on the link for more information.
Pictures from Peterson Buliders
Richard DeRosset's painting of the battle between the Endurance and a VC Trawler
"Sea Battle off the Cua Co Chien River Mouth (off the Mekong River Delta) November 21, 1970. In the spirit of John Paul Jones, iron men in a small wooden ship engage in a fierce sea battle with a better-armed larger steel ship and, through great courage and skill and with God's speed, they were victorious with no casualties."
Richard DeRosset's "Sea Battle off the Cua Co Chien River Mouth" depicts the heroic sea battle in 1970 between the USS Endurance (MSO 435) and a larger, faster and more heavily armed Viet Cong steel-hulled vessel. A copy of it will be used for the dust jacket of Cdr. David Bruhn's forth coming book "Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy's Ocean Minesweepers, 1953-1994" Persons interested in obtaining a reproduction of the painting may contact the artist at the below address for details:
1914 El Prado Ave
Lemon Grove, CA 91945-3921Richard DeRosset is a maritime and aviation historian and is one of the nation's foremost marine and aviation artists. Mr. DeRosset has been named the official artist for the San Diego Maritime Museum. He was also selected to paint murals for the President George Bush Memorial Gallery. The official U.S. Coast Guard artist; Mr. DeRosset spends hours of intensive research from his studio near the seaport city of San Diego, California, into the preliminary background and detail of each of his works. All of which results in paintings of sensitive coloration and unmatched accuracy of execution.
A copy of the painting "Hidden Death at Wonsan" by Richard DeRosset will be used as the cover art for David Bruhn's forthcoming book "Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy's Coastal & Motor Minesweepers, 1941-1953"
Although it may appear unusual for an image of two steel-hulled minesweepers to be displayed at a wooden-hulled ocean minesweeper site, the loss of Pirate and Pledge along with ROK YMS-516 and Japanese minesweeper No. 14 at Wansan was the impetus for the Navy to construct the post-Korean War mine force. These two ships are a part of the heritage of the subsequent ocean, coastal and inshore minesweeper sailors.
Possessing insufficient minesweepers to protect U.S. harbors and bays as the threat of war in Europe spread, in the winter of 1939-40 the Navy began purchasing fishing vessels and modifying them to combat mines. One of them, Condor (AMc-14), first sighted the Japanese Type-A midget submarine that destroyer Ward (DD-139) sank on December 7, 1941 with the first shots fired by American forces during World War II. She would be one of six coastal minesweepers to receive a battle star. From boat- and shipyards across America came the largest production run of any World War II warship, 561 scrappy little 136-foot wooden-hulled vessels characterized by Arnold Lott in Most Dangerous Sea as "belligerent-looking yachts wearing grey paint." Although their designers envisioned that they would operate primarily in the vicinity of yards or bases, the YMSs (too numerous to be given names) would see action in every theater of war, earning almost 700 battle stars, 21 Presidential Unit Citations, and 15 Navy Unit Commendations. YMSs were present in the North African campaign, in Sicily, at Anzio, Salerno, and elsewhere in Italy, and swept ahead of invasion forces at Normandy and in Southern France. In the Pacific, they operated in the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Solomons, Treasury Island, Gilbert Islands, New Britain, Admiralty Islands, Guam, Palau, Leyte, Luzon, Manila Bay, Iwo Jima, Southern Philippines, Okinawa, and Borneo.
Following the war, they cleared mines from the East China Sea, Yangtze River approaches, and throughout Japanese waters, and their activities gave rise to the proud slogan of the mine force: "Where the Fleet Goes, We've Been." During the Korean War, a mere 16 auxiliary motor minesweepers (former YMSs) performed the bulk of mine clearance, often while inside the range of enemy coastal artillery, necessary for larger naval vessels to close the coast to support operations ashore. Garnering collectively 124 battle stars, 7 Presidential Unit Citations, and 7 Navy Unit Commendations, the men aboard these ships were then, and remain to date, the most highly decorated crews of minesweepers in the history of the U.S Navy.
Peacetime accidents over the past sixty years have resulted in hundreds of naval vessels being lost or stricken from active service. This book aims to explain why and how these accidents have occurred, being categorized by their primary cause, and covers some of the lessons that have been learned.
The account of the fire on USS Stalwart is contained on pages 79-82 of my book, which also contains details of other MSO tragedies.
Wooden Ships and Iron Men
David D. Bruhn Home Page
From 1953 to 1994, sixty-five U.S. Navy ocean minesweepers (MSOs) swept mines; searched the seafloor for downed aircraft, sunken ships, and lost munitions; “showed the flag” throughout the world, even sailing up the Congo and Mekong Rivers, calling at dozens of the world's seaports; and carried out patrols and special tasks off strife-torn or hostile countries. Some participated in the 1962 nuclear test program in the Pacific and in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. Others, as part of a U.S. armada of military and civilian research ships at Palomares, located a nuclear bomb lost on the seafloor off Spain as a result of a midair collision between two U.S. Air Force aircraft. Iron men in wooden ships were with the Fleet in hotspots around the world, including Lebanon and the Quemoy-Matsu islands of Taiwan in 1958; the Dominican Republic in 1961 and 1965; and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Haiti in 1962. During the Vietnam War, minesweepers participated in Operation MARKET TIME to prevent the infiltration of North Vietnamese soldiers and munitions into South Vietnam. Leader received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in Operation SEA LORDS; Endurance engaged in close gun action with and helped destroy an enemy armed trawler in a sea battle; and MSOs cleared mines in Haiphong Harbor, which aided in the negotiations in progress for the return of U.S. prisoners of war. During the twilight of their service in the late 1980s and early 1990s, aging sweeps cleared Iranian- and Iraqi-laid mines in the Persian Gulf.
Praise for Wooden Ships and Iron MenWooden Ships and Iron Men is a fitting tribute to the ocean minesweepers and Sailors who crewed them during a critical time in the U.S. Navy’s modern history. While enduring all the hardships common to life at sea in small vessels, these men contributed significantly to the Navy’s successful operations, from 1953 to 1994, in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, off the coast of Vietnam, and in the volatile Persian Gulf. This work is a must read.
We are truly impressed with the depth of your research on an important, but often overlooked, aspect of the U.S. Navy's Cold War and post–Cold War operations. I plan to spread the word on this important work to my colleagues here at the Center, who I'm sure will find it a useful resource in their own work. As Project Director of our forthcoming Cold War Gallery [for the National Museum of the United States Navy], I can say that it will be at my elbow as I work to develop the exhibition.
Edward J. Marolda
Naval Historical Center
Bruhn’s history of the Ocean Minesweeper will delight all those who
served in and worked with these fine wooden ships. It will also provide
much interesting detail on their employment to anyone concerned with the
U.S. Navy’s mine countermeasures efforts between the Korean War and
DESERT STORM. Bruhn reviews many
of the ongoing issues and competing priorities that have crippled this
important warfare area. Wooden Ships and Iron Men is a real walk
down memory lane for a former MSO Commanding Officer and Mine Group
Commander. Worth the read!|
Captain David J. Grieve, USN (Ret.)
Commander U.S. Mine Countermeasures Force 1990–1991
Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM (“Persian Gulf War”)
|Reading Dave Bruhn’s important book on mine warfare, I was
delighted to return to sea on an MSO without the usual seasickness
caused by its endless corkscrewing and the nausea induced by stack gas
blowing into the bridge on a following wind. I could actually walk a
deck without leaving heel prints three feet up a bulkhead! Thank you,
David, for returning me to the days of my youth and callow
Mike Goss, Former Lt., USN
Stephen Haywood Brown
As the Vietnam War continued with no end in sight, America sought to pressure Hanoi into signing the Paris Peace Accord and releasing all American prisoners of war. But Hanoi continued to stall until May 1972 when exhausted carrier pilots sealed North Vietnam’s harbors with advanced mines. Days later Ensign Samuel Vincent Wallace reports aboard USS Vengeance conducting anti-infiltration patrols along the Vietnamese coast. On New Year’s Day 1973, the ship sails with her unsophisticated gadgets on a secret mission to Haiphong to sweep the port in exchange for Hanoi releasing American POWs. Based on actual events in which the author played a major role, ’Sweeps tells how iron men manning wooden ships bring home 591 POWs.
I felt a strange alacrity; you know that energy you get when you engage in implicit skill
along with the ability and vigor to become aggressive enough and agile in your own right
to affray with sufficient force having no esteem for that gallant yet illusive leader that
you have shown loyalty and fidelity too; along with that pledge that became vital to the
stalwart sagacity that allowed you to fortify your fearless exploit and not just become an
observer and pluck any valor out of that direct conflict without a bold yet massive bulwark
to enhance your firm and persistent venture with that constant dash of endurance that has
allowed you to excel as a notable guide without a prime rival to keep you on the pinnacle
of lucid thoughts as your friends become impervious to the prestige that you seem to inflict
on those around you with a somewhat dynamic, if not exultant advance towards that adroit
goal with the assurance that you can avenge that dominant but nimble salute that you give
with that sturdy handshake as you swerve and pivot to dodge that grim reaper that will
embattle your conquest to the acme of your success as you struggle through the metal
detector of life.
These ships bravely went before the fleet in peacetime and war, in operations such as the Cuban Missile blockade, Vietnam, Operation "Ernest Will" (the escort of the re-flagged Kuwaiti oil tankers), and even in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Many lives were saved by the actions of these minesweepers. We were the first in, sweeping the watery mine fields so others could come after us.
These were not large ships that received great attention. We quietly went about the business of saving lives under what were considered harsh conditions. We had none of the luxuries of the larger Navy vessels.
The well deserved motto for these great ships was "Where the Fleet Goes, We've Been" and for the men that served on them "Wooden Ships, Iron Men".
It was a terribly long walk down that very short pier
I asked myself many times did I really want to be here
But that old wooden ship that was painted haze gray
Was my ticket to the world and I could get away
Get away from myself and the trials of my days
We would go out to sea and that old ship would raise
She would buck and sway and slam us back down
In that foamy green brine she'd bounce all around
It was hard times at best but she always got us there
You'd think that that you couldn't even like it or care
But you did in spite of the miserable days and the nights
That the old ship took away from you in small little bites
You prayed and you prayed to get off that trash heap
And you asked yourself why you loved that old sweep
It was hard to admit, what you really went through
Not just for the ship, but for the rest of the crew
Had all that I owned, everything that was mine
Stuck in a big canvas bag, strapped over my shoulder
I spent my time there and was feeling much older
Time had passed by much faster than I thought
I was proud of my service and what I was taught
Did I really want to leave her and just get out of here
It was a terribly long walk down that very short pier
She's still afloat today with her leaks and bad wood
Waiting with six others to be saved as we should
We can't afford to forget, with a different course to steer
It will be a terribly long walk down a very short pier
So do what you can and be proud of your ship
And join with our group for a very long trip
A trip for believers and not for the weak hearted
It's going to take from us all, so now let's get started
Author Unknown ......
The Chain Locker
President John Adams, 1798
2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verse 14.
God Bless you and have a Merry Christmas
Angela (Murphy) Hunt
Copyright © Dick Lewis.
All rights reserved.