A Salute to the


Courtesy of John Ordean and Tom Lawson

Jane's Fighting Ships 1960

Ocean Going Minesweeper

"Where the Fleet Goes, We've Been!"

Builder Burger Boat Co.
Manitowoc, Wis.
Keel Laid June 16, 1952
Launched June 23, 1953
Commissioned November 8, 1954
De-commissioned April 4, 1972
Transferred to the government of Spain April 4, l972

US Flag
Ship's History
(From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships)

The Vigor (AM-473) was laid down on l6 June l952 at Manitowoc, Wis., by the Burger Boat Co.; launched on 23 June 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Charles C. Kerwin; and commissioned at Boston Naval Shipyard on 8 November 1954, Lt. Walter W Schwartz in command.

After brief duty an Boston, the minesweeper moved to Key West for shakedown training early in 1955. During the cruise, she was redesignated MSO-473 on 7 February 1955. Minesweeper refresher training at Charleston, SC, followed, and Vigor then began a tour of duty with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory at Port Everglades, Fla. Later that year, Vigor became a training ship, first for the Underwater Object Locator School at Key West and then for the Naval Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, VA. Early in 1956, she again headed south to participate in the annual Caribbean exercise, Operation "Springboard".

During her cruise to the West Indies, Vigor made port calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Fredricksted, St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands. Following her return to Charleston and operations out of that port, she got underway on 1 May 1956 for her first deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. During that cruise, she visited Harwich, England; Ostend, Belgium; and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as touching at the usual 6th Fleet ports of call along the Mediterranean coast. She concluded that cruise at Charleston on 6 October 1956 and resumed operations from that base.

Vigor continued that duty until the latter part of 1957, when she was reassigned to the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory and Panama City, Fla. From that new homeport, the minesweeper operated with Mine Division 81 participating in various experimental projects conducted by the laboratory. For the next l4 years, she remained based at Panama City conducting operations for both the Mine Warfare Laboratory and with the Operational Test and Evaluation Force. During her assignment there, she also deployed to the Mediterranean five more times, operating with the 6th Fleet for six months at a time. Each time she returned to Panama City, she resumed normal duty, which was broken periodically by overhauls in various locations. On New Year's Day 1971, the ship's base was changed back to Charleston. She left Panama City on the 18th and arrived in Charleston on the 27th. After l4 months of duty with the Mine Force, Vigor was decommissioned at Charleston on 4 April 1972. Simultaneously, her name was struck from the Navy list; and she was transferred to the government of Spain. As of the beginning of 1980, she remained an active unit of the Spanish Navy, serving under the name Guadiana (M 44).



Date Assumed Command.... Name

11-08-54.... Walter W. SCHWARTZ
09-07-55.... Bruce B. DUNNING
07-16-57.... Joe L. PECORE
1959 .... Donald H. CAMPBELL
12-19-60.... Lon C. THOMAS
06-30-62.... George K. DERBY
01-07-65.... Edgar L. KILBORN
11-07-66.... Theodore L. SHOPE
08-16-68.... William D. PATRICK
11-27-70.... Thomas J. LYNCH to 04-04-72 (decommissioning)


Courtesy of Thomas Maher

Counter Started 11/29/2010