USS Devastator (AM-318)


USS Devastator (AM-318)

USS "Devastator" (AM-318) was an "Auk"-class minesweeper acquired by the U.S. Navy for the dangerous task of removing naval mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

Construction history

"Devastator" was launched 19 April 1943 by General Engineering and Dry Dock Co., Alameda, California; sponsored by Mrs. D. A. Shaw; and commissioned 12 January 1944, Lieutenant Commander R. C. Gloss, USNR, in command.

World War II service

"Devastator" – the first ship in the U.S. Navy to bear that name -- was an auxiliary ship of the United States Navy. She served as an escort vessel during the latter half of the Second World War, and later saw service in the Korean War.

"Devastator" arrived at Pearl Harbor 30 March 1944 as escort for a convoy. The next day she began convoy escort duty in Majuro and Kwajalein, which continued until 30 July. During 3 to 17 August she swept off French Frigate Shoals, and after one voyage to Eniwetok from 4 to 25 September, served at Pearl Harbor on training duty for the remainder of the year.

Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations

"Devastator" sailed from Pearl Harbor 27 January 1945 as escort for transports bound for the Battle of Iwo Jima. She participated in preinvasion minesweeping for 3 days before the invasion landings of 19 February, then escorted damaged vessels to Saipan, returning to Iwo Jima 1 March to patrol off the island until 7 March.

On 19 March 1945 "Devastator" got underway from Ulithi for preinvasion minesweeping at Okinawa. She patrolled during and after the invasion and in the heavy suicide attacks of 6 April downed a Japanese plane about 50 yards off her port quarter. On 4 July she cleared Okinawa for minesweeping operations in conjunction with the U.S. 3rd Fleet raids on the Japanese mainland. She sailed from Okinawa 15 July for Seattle, Washington arriving 12 August for overhaul.

"Devastator" remained on the U.S. West Coast for operations except for two extended periods at Pearl Harbor for experiments in hull design development. She was placed out of commission 30 January 1947.

Korean War-related service

Recommissioned 26 February 1952 "Devastator" served in the Far East from 8 July 1952 to 5 February 1953 and again from 5 October 1953 to 2 June 1954 carrying out dangerous sweeps in Korean waters. She then operated on the U.S. west coast until again placed out of commission in reserve 15 April 1955. She was reclassified MSF-318, 7 February 1955.

Decommissioning and disposal

"Devastator" was decommissioned 15 April 1955. She was sold to Mexico in 1973 as "Sabastian Lerdo de Tejada" (C-74).

Awards and honors

"Devastator" received three battle stars for World War II service and two battle stars for Korean War service.

References

*
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/11/02318.htm NavSource Online: Devastator (MSF 318)]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-d/am318.htm USS Devastator (AM-318, later MSF-318), 1944-1973]

See also

* U.S. Navy
* World War II
* Korean War

External links

* [http://www.mine-sweepers.com/devastator4.htm The Mine Sweeper USS Devastator AM-318 Scrapbook]
* [http://www.koreanwar.org/html/units/navy/uss_devastator.htm USS DEVASTATOR (AM-318) - US Navy - Korean War Project]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/AM/AM-318_Devastator.html Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945 AM-318 USS Devastator]
* [http://www.multied.com/navy/Minelayer/Ardent.html Devastator (AM-318), and Defense (AM317]
*


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