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Minesweeper







USS Pledge (AM-277)


Photo by Hal Barker. Copyright 1989.








10 Messages

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Entry: 83787
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
12,OCT.1950--USS PLEDGE-AM-277

T.E. MOORE wrote on August 1, 2012


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: (Per, The Sea War in Korea). At the Hague Convention
of 1907, it was agreed that all contact mines should
be moored, and so constructed as to destroy themselves
if they should break loose. This law was never signed
by the USSR, or North Korea. The excellent U.S.
Navy minesweeping force of WW-II, were literally
dissolved after WW-II. There were only three U.S.
Naval Officers in the Pacific Fleet with mine warfare
experience. In Oct.1950, in the Korean War, the U.S.
Navy began the minesweep of Wonsan,North Korea Harbor.
A 400 mile harbor with many small islands, on the east
coast of Korea. It was found that the 400 square mile
minefield contained more than 3,000 contact type, and
magnetic type mines. The sweep was to be a direct-
route to Wonsan, an amphibious landing route. On 12,
Oct.1950, Lcdr.Bruce Hyatt led a formation in his
flagship USS Pirate-AM-275, with the USS Pledge-AM-
277, and the USS Incredible-AM-249 following astern.
Laying Dan Buoys(Dan Buoys are used to mark the edge
of a swept channel) astern of the USS Pirate, was the
USS Redhead-AM-32, with USS Kite-AM-22 on shotgun duty
astern of the USS Incredible, the USS Endicott-DMS-35
steamed close astern of the sweep formation. They were
passing between Yo-do and Ung-do islands. At 1112, the
fleet entered unswept waters. Three minutes later,
things began to happen fast. Two mines, their cables
severed by the USS Pirate, popped to the surface, then
four more mines followed. The mines were 50 yards
apart, and lay on a north-south line between Yo-do and
Umg-do. The USS Pledge maneuvering astern through the
mines cut by the USS Pirate, swept three more mines
with her port gear, then USS Incredible in formation
cut a fourth mine. A helicopter pilot above radioed,
'A Cabbage Patch' of mines lay dead ahead of the
ships, and were bounded by the islands of Ung-do, Yo-
do, Mo-do, and Sin-do. Lcdr. Hyatt made the decision
to continue the course. Lcdr.Hyatt, and Lt.C.E.
McMullen, skipper of the USS Pirate considered a turn
at this critical point more dangerous, than
continuation on course. A short time later, the USS
Pirate's stern rose from the water. The explosion of a
mine directly underneath had broken USS Pirate's main
deck into two parts. It capsized in four minutes. The
USS Pledge, skipper, Lt.Richard O.Young, cut her sweep
gear, and put her motor whaleboat in the water to
rescue Pirate's survivors. Enemy shore batteries on
Sin-do opened gun fire on the sinking USS Pirate, and
her crew in the water. The USS Pledge opened up with
her single 3-inch gun, and the enemy shifted it's guns
to the USS Pledge. At this time there were at least 13
loose enemy mines on the water's surface. Lt.Young
called for air-support, as small caliber enemy gun
fire came from Rei-To island as well. The USS Pledge
expended her 3-inch ammunition. The ship was
bracketted by enemy gun fire, and the ship's position
was becoming untenable. Lt.Young ordered left full
rudder; starboard engine, ahead two-thirds. The ship
turned about 30 degrees, and at 1220 struck an enemy
mine. She was mined amidships on the starboard side
near the forward engine room. Damage was extensive.
Decks and bulkheads were ruptured from keel to the
open bridge. The hull split, and water rushed into
the rupture. A U.S.Navy mine hunting patrol plane
overhead, flown by Lcdr.Randall Boyd, XO of VP-47,
radioed the USS Endicott, and spotted gun fire for
them, while they put small boats in the water for
survivors, and fired on the enemy guns on Cho-do
island. Aircraft from the carrier USS Leyte-CV-32
arrived, with napalm, rockets, and 500lb. bombs,
and worked over the enemy. Then, the USS Incredible
radioed all their engines were dead, and they were
out of action. Altogeather, there were 92 casualties
from the two sunken U.S.Navy vessels; of these 14
were MIA, and one died after rescue.The USS Pledge
lost nine men. EN3.Brenice Cauthen-Monroe,NC-EN1.
Vern Harris Fuller-Menomonie,WI-FN.Kenneth Eugene
Galley-North Irwin,PA-RD1.Richard Thomas McCoy-
Findlay,OH-QMS1.Charles J.Moore-Needed,MA-BT1.Eugene
Thomas Murphy-Venice,CA-RD2.Martin Joseph Nowak-
Niagara Falls,NY-DC3.Marcel Albert Smith-Hoquiam,WA-
ENC.Robert William Turner-Logansport,IN. God bless
these brave men.


Keywords: Korean War, Wonsan Harbor, USS Pirate-AM-275,
12,Oct.1950, Skipper Lt.Richard O.Young,
USS Pledge-AM-277.



Entry: 58023
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
MINE SQUAD 3

GEORGE W. EIDSNESS wrote on July 9, 2006


City and State:

Unit: MINE SQUADRON THREE

Service or Relationship: NAVY VETERAN

Comments: Minesquadron Three consisted of Mine Divisin 31,AM(s) Pledge, Incredible, Mainstay; Mine Division 32, AMS(s) Chatterer,Partridge, Mocking Bird, Kite, Ospret and Redhead. At Wonsan, Pledge and Mainstay were sunk by contack mines. Minesquardron Three was the most highly decorated unit in the Korean War. Most Minewarfare people and units are now associated with the Naval Mine3warfare Association which was founded in San Antonio, Texas December 5, l982 and whicch hold annual reunions.

Keywords: Inchon Invasion, Wonsan


Entry: 55132
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
MY DAD

CURTISS LUKERS wrote on January 11, 2006


City and State: RANCHO CORDOVA CA

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments:
my father, Thomas B. Lukers served on the Pledge, during the Korean War. One day, a piece of radar equipment went out on another ship, and so he was on verbal orders from the Skipper (of the Pledge) to "go fix" said equipment..

While he was on another ship, the Pirate and the Pledge took multiple hits from shore batteries, and hit some mines... During this skirmish, as he was passing ammunition, someone yelled out, "they got the Pledge"...

i'm not sure if the ship he was on, during this skirmish was the Red Head, but i know that he was on the Red Head AFTER that. and i have letters he wrote my mom, during this time frame.

i would be very happy, to find out where i can get an actual list of all the crew, and all the survivors of the Pledge, if anyone knows where..

Thank you..

curt


Keywords: USS PLEDGE KOREAN WAR


Entry: 36372
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
USS PLEDGE 277

DOUGLAS VOSS wrote on August 19, 2003


City and State: JACKSONVILLE FL

Unit:

Service or Relationship: NAVY VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Was on the USS Pledge when it was sunk. After this time a Commander in the mine division wrote a book about the mine sweeping operations of the Korean was. In this book was a list of all survivors of the USS Pledge.
I cannot remember his name or the name of the book. Guess the " Old Timers " has me, but if any one knows this information, please advise.


Keywords:


Entry: 35000
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
LOOKING FOR CREW USS MCGINTY

MARVIN R. (RAY) GUICE wrote on June 21, 2003


City and State: PITMAN NJ

Unit: DE365 USS MCGINTY

Service or Relationship: NAVY VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Have only contacted one shipmate Reds Burns.. Iam hunting for the crew that recommissioned the ship 1950 untill 1953

Keywords: Wonsan


Entry: 34905
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
CREW IN 63 SAM FORCE MEMBER

RICK CHRISTIE SR. wrote on June 16, 2003


City and State: ALAMEDA CA

Unit: USS PLEDGE MSO-492

Service or Relationship: .........

Comments: I was a crew member of the USS Pledge MSO-492 from Dec. 1963 - Aug. 1965. I am also an Advisory Board Member of SAM Force http://www.NMSOA.org/samforce. Our goal is to purchase one of the fewe remaining MSO's and bring her back to the states and turn her into a floating museum.

Keywords:


Entry: 34033
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
IF SOMEONE KNEW MY DAD

TIM MCILVAINE wrote on May 6, 2003


City and State: CANYON COUNTRY CA

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: I want to know if anyone knew of my father
Lt.A. Lynn Mcilvaine he was one the uss pledge when it was sunk and i never got to know him


Keywords: Lt.A. lynn mcilvaine


Entry: 29273
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
FATHER: VETERAL OF WORLD WAR II: USS PLEDGE

SUSAN PILE wrote on November 4, 2002


City and State: OWENSBORO KY

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: MY DAD JUST PASSED AWAY OCTOBER 13, 2002. MY DAD USED TO TELL ME A FEW STORIES ABOUT HIS NAVY DAYS BUT REGRETFULLY, I DIDN'T ASK HIM ENOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT IT, TOO. I WAS LOOKING THROUGH A PHOTO ALBUM AND SAW HIS PICTURE WITH THE REST OF THE CREW AND THE SHIP HE WAS ON WAS CALLED USS PLEDGE. IT WAS DURING THE WWII. WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE TO ASK MY DAD MILLIONS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT NOW. IF ANYONE SERVED ON THE USS PLEDGE DURING WWII, PLEASE EMAIL ME. THANK YOU!
SUSAN


Keywords: USS PLEDGE WORLD WAR II: MY DAD WAS A NAVY VETERAN


Entry: 8860
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
U.S.S.PLEDGE AM 277

CARLETON A. (CARL) POLLOCK wrote on May 22, 2000


City and State: GRANTS PASS OR

Unit:

Service or Relationship: NAVY VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: I am a WW 11 veteran I joined the reserve and was called to active duty 8/31/1950 flew by NATS to Tokyo then by train to Sasebo.I reported aboard the PLEDGE on 9/12/1950 on 9/15/1950 we swept the Inchon area .On patrol off Inchon we captured 44 prisoners from a large sampan.
The Pledge and Pirate AM275 were deployed to Wanson and started minesweeping the outer harbor area on 10/10/ and 10/11.Early morning 10/12 we entered Wanson harbor with the Pirate off our starboard bow.About a mile in the PIRATE hit a mine then the shore batteries, plus every thing they had opened up on us .We made a hard starboard turn to get between the Pirate and enemy fire we were returning fire the minute they started firing.We had just completed our turn when we took a shell in the bridge and hit a mine at the same time. The Pirate sink in about 30 minutes.
Ships tried to rescue us but the shore batteries drove them back.The USS. Endicott DMS-35 with their UDT team and fast boats rescued us. We were in the water about 4-5 hours.One died, 6 missing and 61 survived.The wounded were transferred to the hospital ship Repose.From the Repose to Japanese transport ship Kauna Maru to Sasebo.At Sasebo we boarded the USS. Piedmont for transportion to San Diego, CA.I was discharged 12/13/1950.


Keywords: Crew member USS Pledge Wonsan 10/12/1950


Entry: 5084
USS PLEDGE (AM-277)
SHIP'S HISTORY - KOREAN WAR SERVICE

CRAIG ROTHHAMMER wrote on November 18, 1999


City and State: LA CRESCENTA CA

Unit: USS GRASP (ARS-24) USS BOLSTER (ARS-38)

Service or Relationship: NAVY VETERAN - KOREA

Comments:


USS PLEDGE (AM-277)


A binding promise or agreement.


(AM-277: dp. 945; 1. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3" 2 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 dct., 2 dcp. (hh.); cl. Admirable)


“...she too struck a mine .....After fruitless attempts to save her Pledge sank...”


Pledge (AM-277), a steel-hulled minesweeper was laid down 1 July 1943 by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala.; launched 23 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. C. A. Bender; and commissioned 29 July 1944' Lt. Thomas Knotts in command.


Granted a reduced commission 10 January 1950, she trained, and, upon the outbreak of war in Korea, she accompanied a convoy of merchantmen to Pusan Korea 11 July 1950. She continued minesweeping duties off Pusan until she reported for duty as a harbor control vessel at Sasebo, Japan, 7 August.


She departed Sasebo 12 September, and, on the 15th, she swept the area to be used for the invasion of Inchon, Korea. On patrol off Inchon 30 September she captured 44 prisoners from a large sampan.


Pledge commenced minesweeping operations off Wonsan Harbor 10 October.


She accompanied minesweeper Pirate (AM-275) to deployment off Wonsan, Korea. Pirate struck a mine. Enemy shore batteries on Sin-do directed heavy fire upon Pirate, which sank shortly thereafter, and then upon Pledge.


As Pledge attempted to maneuver, she too struck a mine and was severely damaged. After fruitless attempts to save her Pledge sank. Her survivors were picked up by Endicott (DMS-35).


USS Pledge received one battle star for World War II service and a Presidential Unit Citation for service in Korea.


From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Keywords: MINESWEEPER, ADMIRABLE CLASS, PUSAN, INCHON, WONSAN, USS PIRATE (AMS-275), SIN DO, USS ENDICOTT (DMS-35)



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USS Pledge (AM-277)