IN REFERENCE TO ANTHONY CLEMENTS QUERY in the July 2011 issue of Sea Breezes, the above vessel was in US government service in the Far East during the late 1940’s repatriating Japanese POW’s. She was eventually returned to the Reserve Fleet in the USA until 1957 when the vessel became part of an experiment to deal with influence mines.
She was de-engined and fitted with four aero engines, one on either bow and one on either quarter. Her holds were filled with empty sealed steel drums. The general idea was for this ship to move slowly through port approaches and clear the channel of influence mines. I presume, in the case of detonation, the air in the sealed drums would keep the ship afloat. In 1958 the idea was shelved, the aero engines removed and the ship returned to Reserve. She was later scrapped. At least three vessels were involved in this minesweeping experiment.
Dealing with influence mines was a big part of The Cold War and became the task of Clearance Diving Teams operating from the detecting ship in low signature rubber craft. It required the divers to place a charge close to the mine to be detonated at a safer distance.
1 Cathedral Walk, Cloyne
Co Cork, Ireland
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