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Rhea

 

A non-flying bird, a member of the ostrich family, found in South America.

 

II

 

(YMS - 299: displacement 380 (full load); length 136; beam 246; draft 10; speed 13 knots; complement 29; armament 1 40mm., 2 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks, 2 depth charge projectors; class YMS-135)

 

The second Rhea was laid down as YMS-299 by William F. Stone & Sons Co., Oakland, Calif., 5 June 1942; launched 14 November 1942; and commissioned 7 April 1943, Lt. E. H. Gentry in command.

 

Following shakedown, YMS-299, a wooden hulled minesweeper, sailed west to Hawaii where she operated under Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier, until December 1943. Then proceeding further across the Pacific, she steamed to Makin where, on 20 December, she was damaged while sweeping the approaches to Butaritari. Ordered first to Tarawa, then to Funafuti for repairs, she returned to Makin toward the end of February. In April she shifted to Kwajalein, thence to Majuro in May. Through the summer, she conducted ASW patrols and provided escort services in the Marshalls and, in early October, returned to the Gilberts en route to Pearl Harbor and an overhaul.

 

Heading west again in late February 1945, YMS-299 arrived off Okinawa 1 April. An element of TU 52.7.2 she remained in the area until July, sweeping the approaches to the Hagushi beaches, to the Kerama Retto anchorage, and to Buckner Bay. Then sailing south, she performed sweeping and patrol operations in the Philippines. In September she departed Tacloban, arriving off Okinawa on the 5th. She then commenced sweeping operations in the East China Sea, amongst the Ryukyus and off the southern Japanese home islands. In November she shifted her base to Sasebo and in early February 1946 to Pusan, Korea. Returning to Japan at midmonth, she got underway for Saipan on the 24th and from there continued eastward and arrived at San Francisco 15 April.

 

YMS-299 remained at San Francisco until 27 May 1946 when she got underway for the east coast and Naval Reserve training duty with the 4th Naval District. Arriving at Philadelphia 24 July she was converted to a training ship and on 6 March 1947 was placed in service in reserve. On 2 April she shifted to Camden, N.J. to take up her training duties. Named Rhea and reclassified AMS-52, 1 September 1947, she trained naval reservists of the 4th Naval District until ordered recommissioned 15 November 1950. Extensive overhaul followed and Rhea was again equipped as a minesweeper.

 

Detached from the 4th Naval District in June 1952, Rhea headed south to her new homeport, Charleston, S.C. Assigned in turn to MinDivs 44, 45, and 46, she conducted local exercises off the southeastern seaboard and participated in training operations in the Caribbean until she was assigned schoolship duties for the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Va., in January 1955. Reclassified MSC(O)-52 in February, she continued schoolship duties until April 1956, then resumed operations out of Charleston. In late October 1957 Rhea departed Charleston and steamed north to New London.

 

Arriving on the 31st, she was placed in reserve 1 November and decommissioned 23 December. She remained in the Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy list 1 November 1959 and sold to the Ships, Engines & Equipment Co. in June 1960.

 

YMS-299 earned three battle stars during World War II.



25 September 2005