USS Pirate (AMS-275)


Photo by Hal Barker








Legacy Messages - 1995-1999








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Entry: 91038
Subject: SILVER STAR MEDAL

Thomas E. (T.E.) Moore wrote on April 23, 2015


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Other

Comments: The Silver Star Medal, was awarded to Lt.(jg). Henry E. Davies, Jr., USN, 0-478746, for
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, in enemy action as Executive Officer of the USS Pirate-
AM-275, during mine sweeping operations in densely mined areas off Wonsan, Korea, on 12,
Oct. 1950. After his ship had struck a mine, and having been ordered over the side by his
Commanding Officer, he observed crew men in the water, all of whom were either wounded or
dazed. Despite the fact that the vessel's list was increasing rapidly, and danger of her capsizing
was imminent, he towed the men clear and assisted them in reaching a life raft. Then, with
complete disregard for the enemy gunfire and his own personal safety, he boarded a passing
boat to aid in the evacuation of wounded men from a stricken sister ship.

Keywords: Korean War --- Wonsan Harbor Korea --- 12, Oct. 1950 --- USS Pirate-AM-275 ---

SHIP'S OFFICERS :

C O - Lt. Cornelius E. McMullen, USN
XO - Lt.(jg). Henry E. Davies, Jr., USN
Gunnery Officer - Lt.(jg). Roy F. Hoffman, USN
Oper. Officer - Lt.(jg). Robert E. Creque, USN
Comm. Officer - Ens. John J. Eklund, USN
Engineer Officer - Ens. Sam W. Wright, USN


SHIP'S CHIEFS :

ENC. Joseph T. Danna, USN
QMC. John B. Faulds, USN
ENC. Vivien K. Love, USN



Entry: 83772
Subject: 12,OCT. 1950--USSPIRATE-AM-275

Thomas E. (T.E.) Moore wrote on July 30, 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 forces 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 when the Korean War started. In Oct.1950,
the U.S.Navy begin 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 the USS
Kite-AM-22 on shotgun duty astern of the 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 Ung-do. The USS
Pledge maneuvering astern through the mines cut by the
USS Pirate, swept three more mines with her port gear,
then the 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 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
surface. Lt.Young called for air-support, as small
caliber enemy fire came from Rei-To island as well.
The USS Pedge expended her 3-inch ammunition,the ship
was bracketted by enemy gun fire, and it'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-DMS-35, and spoted 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 500 lb. 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 Pirate lost six crew-men. FN.Alfred
Lewis Coleman-Lucedale,MS-END1.Adrain Warren Johnson-
Mt.Sterling,KY-CS1.Earl Joseph Mocklin-New Orleans,LA-
FN.Robert John Nelson-San Francisco,CA-FN.Gerald
George Smith-Charles City,LA-EM3.John Norman Thompson-
Baltimore,MD. God bless these brave men.

Keywords: 12,Oct.1950, USS Pirate-AM-275,Korean War, Wonsan
Harbor,USS Pledge-AM-277.



Entry: 81259
Subject: DAD SERVED ON THE USS PIRATE

Nancy Rossy wrote on December 7, 2011


City and State: BERNARDSVILLE NJ

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My dad recently passed away this year. He was a
Gunner's Mate in the Navy and on the USS Pirate when
it hit the mine. He was one of the lucky ones. He
received the Purple Heart. His name was William B.
Young originally from Rockingham, NC.

Keywords: Korean War



Entry: 63543
Subject: USS PIRATE AM-275

Earl (Rick) Richard wrote on December 25, 2007


City and State: SAN DIEGO CA

Unit: USS PIRATE AM-275

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: The correct designation for the USS Pirate is AM-275. I have noticed that all the entries on this web site are referring to the Pirate as an AMS. There is a big difference.
For more history on the USS Pirate, as well as photos and news clippings, you can check out my web site at www.usspirateam275-com

Keywords: USSPirate,Minesweepers,sunkennavyships,WansonKorea, 1950



Entry: 58532
Subject: USS PIRATE

Holly Adrianne Raven Wenner (Johnson) wrote on August 16, 2006


City and State: HOUSTON TX

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My father, Adrian Warren Johnson, went down with the USS Pirate when
I was two years old--See the full entry under his name. He is officially
"MIA". Here is an exerpt from that entry about the sinking of the USS
Pirate, as told to me by his mother and his sister. These were level-
headed, no-nonsense women and they both told me the same story in
1965 or thereabouts:

". . .On 12 October 1950 His mother, Daisy Johnson, my grandmother;
and his sister, my Aunt Mabel, in the farm back in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky, both had a "vision" of the ship sinking: they said they saw it
in the blaze they had made in the fireplace against the autumn chill;--
saw men jumping from the deck as the ship was listing. As 1st
machinist's mate, however, my father, like others belowdeck, drowned
when the ship sank far too quickly.

My Grandmother and my Aunt Mable both said they saw the ship going
down;-- and then saw my father Adrian rise from the sea to the sky,
clad all in white, to be caught safe in the arms of Jesus. They knew
immediately he was dead, although it took the War Department six
weeks to get the notice to them, and to his widow in Houston, Texas.
They both told me this shortly before my grandmother died aged 84 in
Columbus, Ohio. . ."

My father [Adrian Warren Johnson] had gone all through WWII in the
Pacific as a frogman. (My cousin, who also has an entry under my
father's name, is misinformed; he was not the CPO of the USS PIrate,
but 1st machinist's mate--he was very good with machines, and
worked for International Harvester when he returned from WWII) After
some harrowing adventures in the South Pacific, he came home
unscathed to his wife in '45; and fathered me in 1948.

When he was called up from the reserves to go to Korea in August
1950, he had a premonition he wasn't going to return; so instructed
my mother how to manage affairs after he was gone.

After receiving notice of his death, my mother received in the mail a
posthumus letter from him; and the gift of a Japanese embroidered
jacket for me.

Keywords: Ships



Entry: 47762
Subject: USS PIRATE INFORMATION

Sam Wright wrote on December 28, 2004

Email Update Needed



City and State: MADISON MS

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: MY RECENTLY DECEASED FATHER, SAM WRIGHT, SERVED ON THIS SHIP DURING KOREAN CONFLICT. INTERESTED IN ANY AND ALL INFORMATION.

Keywords: MY RECENTLY DECEASED FATHER, SAM WRIGHT, SERVED ON THIS SHIP DURING KOREAN CONFLICT. INTERESTED IN ANY AND ALL INFORMATION.



Entry: 36241
Subject: GEORGE F. HARDING [DECEASED]

Michael Harding wrote on August 13, 2003


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My dad served on the USS PIRATE 275 during WWII. I have a few photos of that period if anyone is doing any research. Feel free to contact me.

Keywords:



Entry: 12521
Subject: USS PIRATE AMS 275

Joan Weatherholtz wrote on October 24, 2000


City and State: LAS VEGAS NV

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: I WAS AROUND 11 YEARS OLD WHEN WORD CAME THAT MY UNCLE WAS MISSING OR KILLED IN ACTION, I USED TO CALL HIM UNCLE RUNT. HE WAS MARRIED HAD A DAUGHTER HOLLY JOHNSON AND HIS WIFE WAS ANNE JOHNSON, THEY LIVED IN HOUSTON, TEXAS. MY FATHER TEDDY JOHNSON WAS HIS BROTHER. WE LIVED IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. MY NAME IS JONIE WEATHERHOLTZ. I
WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO MY UNCLE.

Keywords: ADRIAN WARREN JOHNSON, CHIEF PETTY OFFICER, USS
PIRATE, MISSING OR KILLED IN WONSON KOREA.



Entry: 12131
Subject: USS PIRATE AM-275 KOREAN HISTORY

Earl (Rick) Richard wrote on October 3, 2000


City and State: SAN DIEGO CA

Unit: USS PIRATE AM_275 KOREA

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: I would like my you to set up a link to my URL. This web page has numerous photos and news clippings of the actual sinking of the Pirate in Wonsan Korea on October 12 1950
http://hometown.aol.com/usspirate/history.html

Keywords: USS Pirate AM-275, Mine Squadron 32
Sunk in Wonsan Korea on October 12, 1950



Entry: 5093
Subject: SHIP'S HISTORY - KOREAN WAR SERVICE

Craig Rothhammer wrote on November 18, 1999

Email Update Needed



City and State: LA CRESCENTA CA

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

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments:


USS PIRATE (AM-275)


A buccaneer.


(AM-275: dp. 850; 1. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; cpl.; 104; a. 13"; cl. Admirable)


“Sinking within 5 minutes, Pirate had 12 sailors missing and one dead.”


The second Pirate (AM-275) was laid down 1 July 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Co., Chickasaw, Ala., launched 16 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Clara L. Oliver and commissioned 16 June 1944.


In July 1950, Pirate was with MinDiv 32, ServPac when hostilities in Korea called her back into active service.


Recommissioning 14 August 1950 at Yokosuka Japan, she departed Sasebo 8 September for duties off Pusan, Korea.


On 12 October she and Pledge were minesweeping 3 miles off the enemy-held island of Sin-Do when the ships hit mines. Sinking within 5 minutes, Pirate had 12 sailors missing and one dead.


USS Pirate received 4 battle stars for World War II service.




From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Keywords: MINESWEEPER, ADMIRABLE CLASS, MINE DIVISION 32 (MINDIV32), SERVPAC, PUSAN, USS PLEDGE (AM-277), SIN DO,







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