USS Saunter (AM-295)

Last updated
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
NameUSS Saunter
Builder Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Company
Laid down23 November 1942
Launched20 February 1943
Commissioned22 January 1944
Decommissioned27 October 1945
Stricken13 November 1945
FateTransferred to the Maritime Commission, 24 April 1946
General characteristics
Class and type Admirable-class minesweeper
Displacement650 tons
Length184 ft 6 in (56.24 m)
Beam33 ft (10 m)
Draft9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Propulsion
Speed14.8 knots (27.4 km/h)
Complement104
Armament
Service record
Part of: US Pacific Fleet (1944-1945)
Operations: Philippines campaign (1944–45)
Awards: 3 Battle stars

USS Saunter (AM-295) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was built to clear minefields in offshore waters.

Contents

Saunter was laid down on 23 November 1942 by Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Washington, launched on 20 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Merle Black, and commissioned on 22 January 1944, Lt. Comdr. James R. Keefer in command.

World War II Pacific Theatre operations

After shakedown, Saunter sailed from San Francisco, California, on 1 April 1944 for Hawaii, and commenced three months of convoy duty between Pearl Harbor, Majuro, Midway Island, and Kwajalein. Between 6 and 15 August, she swept an old United States minefield in the French Frigate Shoals, northwest of Oahu. She arrived at Manus in mid-September and reported to the 7th Fleet for the Leyte invasion.

Searching for survivors

On 20 October, she joined her division, Mine Division 34, off the Leyte beaches for a four-day minesweep of the main transport channel, and then anchored with the transports to provide antiaircraft support. Between 27 and 31 October, she helped search for survivors at the scene of the Battle off Samar, where Rear Admiral Sprague's escort carriers had withstood the attack of a superior Japanese force. For the next month, she carried out local patrols and sweeps in the vicinity of Leyte.

Supporting Philippine Islands Invasion

Saunter participated with her Division in most of the subsequent landings in the Philippines. She carried out pre-invasion sweeps at Ormoc Bay on 6 December; Mindoro Island on 14 December; Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945; and Zambales and Subic Bay from 29 through 31 January. During and after the initial troop landings, she helped extend the mineswept areas and provided antisubmarine and antiaircraft protection for the transports anchored off the beaches.

Under attack by kamikaze aircraft

Few mines were encountered, but kamikaze resistance was intense, and, on 7 December, Saunter tried unsuccessfully to control fires aboard one kamikaze victim, USS Ward (APD-16). During the Mindoro operation, Saunter briefly went aground on a reef, damaging a propeller.

Straddled by Japanese battery fire

On 13 February Saunter and her division began pre-invasion sweeps in Manila Bay in preparation for the landings at Mariveles and Corregidor. While sweeping off Corregidor on the 14th, the minesweepers came within 5,000 yards of the island and were repeatedly straddled by Japanese fire before supporting ships silenced the enemy's guns. Saunter continued sweeping in Manila Bay through 19 February, and her division earned a Navy Unit Commendation for the period from 14 to 18 February.

Struck by a mine and nearly sunk

On 26 February, Saunter returned to Manila Bay to assist in harbor clearance sweeps. Shortly after noon, she struck a mine which blew a large hole in her bottom. Damage control parties contained the flooding, and the ship was towed back to Subic Bay.

A party of officers and men from the USS DYSON DD-572 went aboard the SAUNTER and helped to save her.

Stateside evaluation and decommissioning

She remained there until towed back to the United States, arriving at San Francisco, California, on 15 August. Saunter was decommissioned on 27 October 1945, struck from the Navy list on 13 November 1945, and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 24 April 1946. Her ultimate fate is not known.

Awards

Saunter received three battle stars for her World War II service.

Related Research Articles

USS <i>Chandler</i> (DD-206)

USS Chandler (DD-206/DMS-9/AG-108) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was the only ship named for William Eaton Chandler, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1882 to 1886.

USS <i>Newcomb</i> (DD-586)

USS Newcomb (DD-586) was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the only ship named for Commodore Frank H. Newcomb of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, Congressional Gold Medal recipient from the Spanish–American War.

USS <i>Hamilton</i> (DD-141)

The second USS Hamilton (DD–141) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy following World War I, later reclassified DMS-18 for service in World War II.

USS <i>Hogan</i>

USS Hogan (DD-178/DMS-6) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II.

USS <i>Hopkins</i> (DD-249)

USS Hopkins (DD-249/DMS-13) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the third ship named USS Hopkins and the third named for Esek Hopkins.

USS <i>Twiggs</i> (DD-591)

USS Twiggs (DD-591), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Marine Major Levi Twiggs (1793–1847).

USS <i>Wickes</i> (DD-578)

USS Wickes (DD-578), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Captain Lambert Wickes (1735–1777), who served in the Continental Navy.

Invasion of Lingayen Gulf

The Invasion of Lingayen Gulf, 6–9 January 1945, was an Allied amphibious operation in the Philippines during World War II. In the early morning of 6 January 1945, a large Allied force commanded by Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf began approaching the shores of Lingayen from Lingayen Gulf, on the island of Luzon, the largest and Northernmost island in the Philippine archipelago island chain. U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships began bombarding suspected Japanese positions along the coast of Lingayen from their position in Lingayen Gulf for three days. On "S-Day", 9 January, the U.S. 6th Army landed on a roughly 25 mi (40 km) beachhead at the base of the Gulf between the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian.

"Destroyer minesweeper" was a designation given by the United States Navy to a series of destroyers that were converted into high-speed ocean-going minesweepers for service during World War II. The hull classification symbol for this type of ship was "DMS." Forty-two ships were so converted, beginning with USS Dorsey (DD-117), converted to DMS-1 in late 1940, and ending with USS Earle (DD-635), converted to DMS-42 in mid-1945. The type is now obsolete, its function having been taken over by purpose-built ships, designated as "minesweeper (high-speed)" with the hull classification symbol MMD.

USS <i>Shelter</i> (AM-301) Admirable-class minesweeper of the United States Navy

USS Shelter (AM-301) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. After service in the Pacific during World War II, Shelter was decommissioned in June 1946 and placed in reserve. In January 1964, she was transferred to South Vietnam for service in the Republic of Vietnam Navy as RVNS Chi Linh (HQ-11). She remained in South Vietnamese service until the collapse of that country in 1975. Chi Linh was one of several ships that fled from South Vietnam to the Philippines. She was then commissioned into the Philippine Navy in April 1976 as RPS Datu Tupas (PS-18), named after a chieftain of Cebu. The ship's fate is not reported in secondary sources.

USS <i>Triumph</i> (AM-323)

USS Triumph (AM-323) was a World War II Auk-class minesweeper of the United States Navy.

USS <i>Velocity</i> (AM-128)

USS Velocity (AM-128) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing. She was the second warship to bear the name.

USS <i>Requisite</i> (AM-109)

USS Requisite (AM-109) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

USS Sage (AM-111) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing naval mines.

USS Tumult (AM-127) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

USS <i>Salute</i> (AM-294)

USS Salute (AM-294), was a U.S. Navy oceangoing minesweeper, laid down on 11 November 1942 by Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Washington; launched on 6 February 1943; sponsored by Miss Patricia Lindgren; and commissioned on 4 December 1943, Lt. R. H. Nelson in command.

USS Scout (AM-296) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II; she was the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. She was awarded 5 battle stars for service in the Pacific during World War II. She was decommissioned in February 1947 and placed in reserve. Although she did not see service in the war zone, Scout was recommissioned in May 1951 during the Korean War and remained in commission until March 1954, when she was placed in reserve again. While she remained in reserve, Scout was reclassified as MSF-296 in February 1955 but never reactivated. In October 1962, she was sold to the Mexican Navy and renamed ARM DM-09. Although she is reported out of service, her ultimate fate is not reported in secondary sources.

USS Scrimmage (AM-297) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was built to clear minefields in offshore waters. She served in the Pacific Ocean and, because of her valiant efforts in combat, her crew returned home with six battle stars.

USS Scuffle (AM-298) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and five battle stars for service in the Pacific during World War II. She was decommissioned in June 1946 and placed in reserve. While remaining in reserve, Scuffle was reclassified as MSF-298 in February 1955, but never reactivated. In October 1962, she was sold to the Mexican Navy and renamed ARM DM-05. In 1994, she was renamed ARM General Felipe Xicoténcatl (C53). She was sunk as an artificial reef and dive attraction off of Cozumel in 1999, and was stricken from the rolls of the Mexican Navy in 2000.

USS Sentry (AM-299) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Pacific Ocean and was awarded six battle stars, a Navy Unit Commendation, and a Presidential Unit Citation. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve in 1946. In August 1962, the former Sentry was transferred to South Vietnam as RVNS Ky Hoa (HQ-09) in the Republic of Vietnam Navy. Her fate after 1962 is unreported in secondary sources.

References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .