USS Murrelet (AM-372)


Photo by Hal Barker












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Entry: 89286
Subject: BRONZE STAR MEDAL & COMBAT V

Thomas E. (T.E.) Moore wrote on July 7, 2014


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Other

Comments: The Bronze Star Medal & Combat V, was awarded to QM2 John C. Beaugard, USN, USS
Murrelet-AM-372, for heroism in the ship's Armed Whaleboat Crew, 31, May, 1952.---
Back-ground; On the night of 17, Feb. 1952, minesweeper USS Murrelet (AM-372) was
steaming independently on blockade, and anti-mining patrol, between Hungnam and Cha-ho,
North Korea. Near Songdo Gap, radar contact in the direction of the beach was made at a
range of 10,000 yards. Murrelet changed course to close the range, and to get between the
target and the beach, in order to prevent escape. At a range of 400 yards, Murrelet
illuminated the target with her 12-inch signal searchlight, and the light disclosed a large two-
mast sampan, with all sails set. Murrelet fired one 20-mm burst through the rigging, severing
and dropping both sails of the sampan. Murrelet came alongside, threw over two grappling
hooks, and secured the junk. Six North Koreans surrendered, and the sampan was taken to
the ROK Navy. Admiral George C. Dyer, had put out an aggressive dispatch, about armed
whaleboats, to capture, instead of sinking enemy sampans. So the Murrelet's skipper, LCDR.
John W. O'Neil went to work, they procured walkie-talkies, built a radar reflector screen for
the whaleboat, and then fooed a whaleboat crew. The crew was; Lt(jg) W.F. Gillen,USNR,
Ens. Suh In Byuk, ROK Navy, BM1 Frank H. Kennon Jr., TN-Brown, SN-Clupe, SN-French,
QM2-Beaugard, RD3-Sherer, and FN-Chance. The whaleboat worked ok, 3 to 4 miles from
the ship. If the sampan was detected in swept water, the capture would be effected by the
ship. If in unswept water, the armed whaleboat would go into the water. With the radar
reflector in the whaleboat, the ship could vector it to any contact very effectively. This plan
worked , the whaleboat vectored out on six contacts, and captured six sampans, and 26
enemy prisoners. On 31, May,1952, the armed whaleboat vectored about 3.5 miles into
Hongwon Roads, to a double contact. The sampan occupants put their hands in the air,
and surrendered. Suddenly a North Korean threw a hand grenade into the after compartment
of the whaleboat. The explosion killed the whaleboat coxswain BM1 Frank H. Kennon Jr(1919-1952), and wounded TN-Brown, and SN-Norman E. Clupe(who died), (1933-1952),
and blew a three-foot hole in the whaleboat's port quarter. The crew members opened fire,
and killed the occupants of both sampans. Lt.(jg) Gillen ordered the hole plugged with life-
jackets, and the crew bailed continuously with their helmets. It took the whaleboat 25 minutes
to return to the ship. The Murrelet then ran at top speed to Wonsan, for medical attention
for the wounded.

Keywords: Bronze Star Medal & Combat V --- 31, May 1952 --- USS Murrelet-AM-372 ---Korean War ---
QM2 John C. Beaugard, USN --- Skipper, LCDR. John W. O'Neil, USN --- Armed Whaleboat
Crew ---Rear Admiral George C. Dyer ---BM1 Frank H. Kennon Jr.USN, SN Norman E.
Clupe,USN, KIA. ---



Entry: 70806
Subject: AM 372 COMMISSIONING SPRING OF 1945

Edward Powley wrote on July 5, 2009

Email Update Needed



City and State: CHESTER IL

Unit: USS MURELETTE AM 372

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: Spring of 1945 to summer of 1946

Keywords:



Entry: 46380
Subject: DON MCDERMOTT

Don McDermott wrote on October 20, 2004

Email Update Needed



City and State:

Unit: USS MURRELET AM-372

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments:

Keywords:



Entry: 30524
Subject: LOOKING FOR TROYCE 'JOE' WYATT

Ruth Rumery wrote on December 19, 2002

Email Update Needed



City and State: CARSON CA

Unit: USS MURRELET

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Looking for personal friends of husband John, who served from 1951 to July 1954

Keywords:



Entry: 28087
Subject: CONCERNED SWAB JOCKEY

Samie Davis wrote on September 6, 2002


City and State: DELHI LA

Unit: MINE PACK ??

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: Would be intyerested in tyhe reunion in Denver

Keywords: Magoo!! 3"50 sightsetter. minesweeper supreme







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