USS Spear (AM-322)

Last updated
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Name: HMS Errant (BAM-22)
Builder: Associated Shipbuilders, Seattle, Washington
Laid down: 28 October 1942
Renamed: USS Spear (AM-322), 23 January 1943
Launched: 25 February 1943
Commissioned: 31 December 1943
Decommissioned: 1 August 1946
Reclassified: MSF-322, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 July 1972
Honors and
awards:
4 battle stars (World War II)
Fate: Sold to Mexico, 19 September 1972
History
Flag of Mexico.svgMexico
Name: ARM Ignacio de la Llave (C76)
Namesake: Ignacio de la Llave
Acquired: 19 September 1972
Reclassified: G08 [1]
Reclassified: P107, 1993 [1]
Decommissioned: retired from service by 2004 [1]
Fate: unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: Auk-classminesweeper
Displacement: 890 long tons (904 t)
Length: 221 ft 3 in (67.44 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draft: 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 100 officers and enlisted
Armament:

USS Spear (AM-322) 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.

<i>Auk</i>-class minesweeper 1942 class of minesweepers of the United States Navy

The Auk class were Allied minesweepers serving with the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. In total, there were 95 Auks built.

Minesweeper Vessel for removing naval mines

A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to engage in minesweeping. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, waterways are kept clear for safe shipping.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Contents

Spear was laid down as HMS Errant (BAM-22) on 28 October 1942 by Associated Shipbuilders, Seattle, Washington; renamed USS Spear and reclassified AM-322 on 23 January 1943; launched on 25 February 1943; sponsored by Miss Lois Wilcox; and commissioned on 31 December 1943, Lt. A. M. Savage, USNR, in command.

World War II Pacific operations

Following outfitting at Seattle, Washington, and shakedown off the California coast. Spear joined a convoy on 25 March 1944 and sailed from San Francisco as an escort. Five days later, she was ordered to proceed independently to Hawaii. The minesweeper conducted training exercises there until 3 May when she was assigned escort duty for convoys carrying troops and supplies to advance bases in the Marshall Islands at Majuro, Eniwetok, and Kwajalein.

A sea trial is the testing phase of a watercraft. It is also referred to as a "shakedown cruise" by many naval personnel. It is usually the last phase of construction and takes place on open water, and it can last from a few hours to many days.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Convoy group of vehicles traveling together for mutual support and protection

A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support. It may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas. Arriving at the scene of a major emergency with a well-ordered unit and intact command structure can be another motivation.

Supporting the Guam assault

On 17 July, the minesweeper was attached to a convoy of LST's and preceded to a rendezvous point just south of Guam for the impending amphibious assault on that island. The minesweeper was then assigned patrol duties in the transport screen off Orote Point. On 28 July, Spear had to maneuver to avoid enemy shellfire from the beach. During the remainder of the campaign, she escorted oilers on their nightly retirement from the assault area and conducted antisubmarine searches. She then returned to Pearl Harbor and resumed escort trips to advance bases.

Landing Ship, Tank military designation for naval vessels

Landing Ship, Tank (LST), or tank landing ship, is the naval designation for ships first developed during World War II (1939-1945)to support amphibious operations by carrying tanks, vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto shore with no docks or piers. This enabled amphibious assaults on almost any beach. The bow of the LST had a large door that would open with a ramp for unloading the vehicles. The LST had a special flat keel that allowed the ship to be beached and stay upright. The twin propellers and rudders had protection from grounding. The LSTs served across the globe during World War II including in the Pacific War and in the European theatre.

Guam Island territory of the United States of America

Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the easternmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia and Philippines and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.

Pearl Harbor harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.

Okinawa campaign

Spear conducted antisubmarine patrols off Ulithi during the first three weeks of December 1944; escorted a convoy to Hollandia; and then resumed her ASW duties off Ulithi until mid-March 1945. On the 19th, she sortied with Task Group (TG) 52.14, Minesweeper Group 1 of the Amphibious Support Force, for the Okinawa assault. On the night of 26 March, Spear rescued several downed fliers. During the campaign, the minesweeper protected anchorages from enemy submarines and swept enemy mines. In 82 days of uninterrupted operations off Okinawa, Spear was under almost daily aerial attack, logging 202 attacks by enemy planes in April.

Ulithi island

Ulithi is an atoll in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, about 191 km (103 nmi) east of Yap. It consists of 40 islets totalling 4.5 km2 (1.7 sq mi), surrounding a lagoon about 36 km (22 mi) long and up to 24 km (15 mi) wide—at 548 km2 (212 sq mi) one of the largest in the world. It is administered by the state of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Ulithi's population was 773 in 2000. There are four inhabited islands on Ulithi Atoll. They are Falalop, Asor (Yasor), Mogmog (Mwagmwog), and Fedarai (Fedraey). Falalop is the most accessible with an air strip, a small resort hotel, gas dealership, store and one of three public high schools in Yap state. Mogmog is the seat of the high chief of Ulithi Atoll though each island has its own chief. Other important islands are Losiap, Sorlen (Sohl'oay), and Potangeras (Potoangroas).

Jayapura City in Western New Guinea, Indonesia

Jayapura is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of Papua. It is situated on the island of New Guinea, on Yos Sudarso Bay. It covers an area of 935.92 km2 (361.36 sq mi), and borders Jayapura Regency to the west, Keerom Regency to the south, the nation of Papua New Guinea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the north. It had a population of 256,705 at the 2010 Census; the latest official estimate is 315,872.

Anti-submarine warfare Branch of naval warfare

Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track, and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines.

Spear steamed to Guam in June for tender availability and, six weeks later, was back at Okinawa when hostilities with Japan ended.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

End-of-war operations

Following the return of peace, she joined in mine-sweeping operations in the East China Sea; helped to clear the approach to and the mouth of the Yangtze River; swept mines off Chefoo, China; and participated in further sweeping operations off Jinsen, Korea, before returning to Shanghai and joining the Yangtze River Patrol Force. On 17 November, she got underway for Sasebo, Japan. Spear departed Japanese waters on 29 November 1945 en route to the United States, via Pearl Harbor.

Decommissioning

Upon returning to San Diego, California, Spear was decommissioned and, in August 1946, was placed "in reserve, out of commission", with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 7 February 1955, the minesweeper's designation was changed to MSF-322. She was struck from the Navy List on 1 July 1972 and sold to the government of Mexico on 19 September.

Awards

Spear received four battle stars for her World War II service.

Mexican Navy service

On 19 September 1972, the former Spear was sold to the Mexican Navy which renamed her ARM Ignacio de la Llave (C76). Her pennant number was later changed to G08, and changed again in 1993 to P107. Ignacio de la Llave had been retired from service by 2004. [1]

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 472. ISBN   978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC   140283156.

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References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .The entry can be found here.