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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Kite

 

A small or medium bird of the hawk family.

 

II

 

(YMS-374: dp. 270; l. 136'; b. 25'; dr. 8'; s. 15 k.; cpl. 32 ; a. 1 3", 2 20mm.; 3 dcp., 2 dct)

 

YMS-374 was launched 17 February 1944 by Weaver Shipyards, Orange, Tex.; and commissioned 31 May 1944, Lt. (j.g.) Robert A. Harris in command.

 

After shakedown out of Little Creek, Va., and mine-sweeping operations in Massachusetts Bay, YMS-374 cleared Boston 30 September and steamed toward the Pacific war zone. The minesweeper arrived Pearl Harbor 18 November; and, following formation sweeping maneuvers, sailed 22 January 1945 escorting LST Flotilla 21 to Saipan.

 

As the struggle on the "road to Japan" was intensified, the minesweeper prepared for conquest of Iwo Jima. Arriving off the volcanic island 17 February, she cleared lanes for landings scheduled 2 days later. Following the invasion YMS-374 made antisubmarine patrols, escorted support ships, and laid smoke screens before retiring to the Philippines and arriving Leyte 8 March.

 

The minesweeper steamed into Saipan 28 March and for nearly 5 months she operated in the Marianas on ASW patrols, convoy escort, submarine training exercises, and plane guard duty for crews of downed B-29 bombers. After the fighting stopped YMS-374 sailed for Kakyo To Island on the southwestern coast of Korea to clear approaches to Jinsen for the landing of occupation troops. She swept Korean waters until she sailed 7 September for minesweeping operations in the Nagasaki-Sasebo area.

 

YMS-374 departed Japan 29 December and arrived on the West Coast in January 1946.

 

After a year of operations out of California she was re-classified AMS-22 on 18 February 1947 and assigned the name Kite. She decommissioned that same day and was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

 

Kite recommissioned 9 May 1949, Lt. (j.g.) Nicholas Grkovic in command. After repairs in San Diego and Long Beach, she sailed for Pearl Harbor 25 July and cleared Hawaii 26 September for operations in the Western Pacific out of Japan. Soon after Communist aggressors invaded South Korea, Kite sailed 13 July 1950 for Pusan to aid in the effort to contain the Communist drive. Operating in the Pusan area through most of the summer, Kite sailed 12 September to clear waters approaching Inchon. The American amphibious assault which followed there was among the most successful operations of the war and began a great Allied land offensive. During October, as the drive into North Korea gathered momentum, the minesweeper arrived Wonsan to open the mined harbor to Allied supply ships and then retired to Yoko-suka for repairs.

 

Kite returned to the conflict zone 5 January 1951, and for the rest of the conflict she continued mine clearing operations along the Korean coast. Her services allowed Allied supply and fire support ships to complete their missions through heavily mined waters. After the Korean truce 27 June 1953, Kite remained in the Far East continuing minesweeping operations out of Korea and Japan.

 

Kite was reclassifled MSC(O)-22 on 7 February 1955. She was transferred to the South Korean Navy 6 January 1956 and renamed Kim Po (MSC(O)-520).

 

Kite received 2 battle stars for World War II service and 10 stars for Korean service.