(AM-136: dp. 650; l. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 14.8 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3", 4 40mm.; cl. Admirable)
Admirable (AM-136) was laid down on 8 April 1942 at Tampa, Fla., by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc.; launched on 18 October 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Ann Pillsbury Fehr, daughter of Comdr. Horace W. Pillsbury; and commissioned on 20 April 1943, Lt. Comdr. A. M. White, USNR, in command.
The minesweeper departed Tampa on 23 April and conducted shakedown training in the Gulf of Mexico before heading for Hampton Roads, Va., on 23 June. Admirable operated out of the amphibious base at Little Creek for five months of training in antisubmarine warfare (ASW), mine-laying, and minesweeping techniques. After upkeep and outfitting, she departed Norfolk on 28 November in company with Luzon (ARG-2) for duty in the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal on 8 December, the minesweeper continued on to San Diego where she moored on 18 December. In January 1944, following tests at the West Coast Sound School, she received orders to proceed independently to Adak Island, Alaska. During the voyage, Admirable encountered heavy seas which damaged her sonar gear. Following her arrival in Kuluk Bay, Adak, on 6 February, she was drydocked for repairs.
On 13 February, Admirable was assigned to Task Group (TG) 91.2. She operated out of Adak, escorting merchant and troop ships to such ports as Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Amchitka, Kiska, Cold Bay, and Attu. On four occasions during her 18-month tour in the Aleutians, Admirable went alongside Black Hawk (AD-9) in Adak for brief availabilities to repair damages caused by the cold weather; heavy seas; and the violent, gusting winds known as "williwaws."
In July, the minesweeper began to clear the minefield in Chiniak Bay off Kodiak Island. She was the lead ship of a group— composed of Augury (AM-149), Agile (AMC-111), Affray (AMC-112), and YMS-285—which, on 2 August, began a sweep of the channel to St. Paul's Harbor. The minesweepers then established patrols outside the harbor to await the arrival of President Roosevelt on board Baltimore (CA-68). The President had left San Diego on 14 July, steamed to Pearl Harbor to meet with General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz to discuss plans for the invasion of the Philippines, and stopped at Kodiak on 7 August. Baltimore pulled out of St. Paul's Harbor the same day, and the President continued his journey back to the United States on board Cummings (DD-365). Admirable resumed escort duty and continued that work into March 1945.
On 14 March, the minesweeper's commanding officer was designated officer in tactical command of eight ships and all aircraft participating in a combined air-surface attack on a fictitious submarine in Kuluk Bay. The minesweeper then returned to her escort duties until May, when she stopped in Dutch Harbor for repairs preparatory to transfer under the lend-lease program. Because of the continual beating of the heavy seas, 12 feet of the forward end of each of her bilge keels as well as her sonar gear were replaced.
Admiral B. D. Popov of the Soviet Navy inspected the ship on 30 May and accepted her for transfer to his country. On 18 June, a Russian crew reported on board to train for one month in gunnery, engineering, and minesweeping procedures. Admirable was decommissioned and transferred to the Russian Navy on 18 July. She served in the Soviet Navy as T-521. The Soviets never returned her to the United States Navy. Reclassified MSF-136 on 7 February 1955, she was carried on the United States Navy list until her name was struck on 1 January 1983.
Admirable (AM-136) underway in 1944. Note the ship's "main battery" forward, a 3-inch dual purpose gun, with a "hedgehog" mount immediately aft. (80-G-411693)