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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Ruff

 

A common Eurasian sandpiper.

 

II

 

(YMS - 327: displacement 320; length 136’0”; beam 24’6”; draft 10’; complement 32; armament 1 3”, 2 20mm., 2 .50 caliber machine guns, 2 depth charge tracks, 2 depth charge projectors; class YMS-135)

 

The second Ruff was laid down as YMS-327 on 2 June 1942 by the Ballard Marine Railway Co., Inc., Seattle, Wash.; launched 5 December 1942; and commissioned 19 April 1943, Lt. Robert S. Marshall, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown off San Diego, Ruff [sic; YMS-327]steamed for Pearl Harbor where she arrived 30 September. On 14 October she departed in convoy for Eniwetok, proceeding on via Guam and Ulithi where she arrived 6 November. [Transcriber’s note: Eniwetok was landed on 17 February 1944; Guam was recovered in August 1944 and Ulithi sized on 23 September 1944; The log for YMS-327 is incorrect; YMS-327 can’t have had a year’s operation at Ulithi in November 1944.]

 

Leaving Ulithi 12 November 1944 after a year's operations there, Ruff [sic; YMS-327] proceeded to Hollandia and Manus Island. While awaiting orders to sail for minesweeping operations off Leyte Gulf, YMS-327 struck a reef which bent her port screw. She had to be placed in drydock in AFD-8, but on 23 December 1944 was able to sail with Task Unit 77.6.1 for Leyte Gulf where she arrived a week later. Getting underway that same day for Lingayen Gulf, YMS-327 and her task group underwent an air attack. All the minesweepers' guns fired back at the attacking enemy aircraft.

 

The following day the Japanese launched another air attack against the task group and one suicide plane passed above YMS-327 and hit a tanker to starboard. Japanese planes again made their appearance on January 4th and 5th. On 6 January 1945, seven other YMSs and 10 DMSs entered Lingayen Gulf with YMS-327 and the ships immediately commenced sweeping the area. The air was a hornet's nest of Japanese planes and the YMS-327's guns were continually firing. The ships swept the area daily during continuous air attacks until 12 January 1945, the day before she got underway for Leyte Gulf. Steaming for Guadalcanal 30 January, YMS-327 arrived there 14 February. Towed to Manus for repairs, she then steamed to Ulithi and on to Okinawa.

 

From 24 March 1945 until 2 April, YMS-327 operated within hailing distance of the Okinawa invasion beaches sweeping for possible mines. Then she was employed on patrol duty in the various anchorages against possible Japanese suicide-boat attacks. On 4 May while on their way to a sweeping operation, YMS-327 and several other wooden minesweepers were attacked by a "Val" which YMS-327 splashed near Gayety (AM-239). YMS-327 was then attacked by a "Baka" suicide rocket plane dropped from an overhead "Betty." The "Baka," under fire from 20mm. and machineguns passed within 20 feet of the minesweeper's bridge when the tail assembly fell and the "Baka" splashed in a crescendo of flame, smoke, and water about 200 feet from Gayety. During this action YMS-327 was hit by some 40mm. shells fired at the "Baka", by Gayety and Hopkins (DMS-13). The port 20mm. mount was hit, blowing the three men overboard, killing one and injuring one. One 40mm. shell passed through the bulkhead near the galley and exploded in the galley injuring the cook, and a third shell passed through the wooden hull about 2 feet above the waterline and exploded in the main engine room without injuring anyone.

 

Following repairs at Kerama Retto, YMS-327 was placed on patrol duty 7 May near the various anchorages to lay a smokescreen in the event of air attacks. On 25 and 26 June YMS-327 was present at the invasion of Kuma Shima where she swept the approaches to the beaches.

 

Departing Kerama Retto 4 July with a minesweeping task force, YMS-327 worked as a dan buoy planting ship in the extensive operations in the East China Sea. The force destroyed 263 mines by the end of the operation on 15 July 1945.

 

Following a run to Leyte Gulf in August, YMS-327 left Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 8 September with 11 other YMSs and Gwin (DM-33) to sweep the Japanese minefields in the Wakayama area until 24 September. Then she anchored in Osaka Wan, Japan. From 7 to 28 October, YMS-327 operated in the Wakanura-Kii area [sic; Wakanoura-Kii], Honshu. Underway for Wakayama Wan on 19 December 1945, YMS-327 participated in the minesweeping operations off Kobe, Honshu, until 10 January 1946 when she was ordered to return to the United States.

 

YMS-327 touched at Ulithi, Saipan, Guam, and Pearl Harbor before arriving at San Diego, Calif., on 1 February 1946. Proceeding via the Panama Canal to Green Cove Springs, Fla., YMS-327 decomissioned [sic; decommissioned] 20 August 1946 and was placed in the Green Cove Springs Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On 1 September 1947, she was named Ruff and classified AMS-54. During the following 2½ years she was moved to various ports on the east coast.

 

Taken out of the reserve fleet early in 1951, Ruff recommissioned 10 March 1951. From that date until mid-1955, she operated along the Atlantic coast from Salem, Mass., to Key West, Fla., and made two cruises outside the United States to Havana and Nassau. She was redesignated MSC(O)-54 on 7 February 1955. In September she again visited Havana, and in April 1956 visited Halifax, Nova Scotia. February 1957 was spent operating in the Caribbean.

 

The following summer the homeport of Ruff was shifted to Panama City, Fla., where new minesweeping gear was evaluated for the U.S. Naval Mine Defense Laboratory. On 28 October 1957, Ruff got underway for the Pacific, transiting the Panama Carnal and arrived Seattle 5 December. Berthed at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center at Lake Union, her commissioning pennant was hauled down 13 December 1957 and the ship was placed in a decommissioned in service, in reserve status.

 

Ruff was placed in service and she was assigned as Naval Reserve training ship attached to the 13th Naval District 30 October 1959, and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center, Everett, Wash. She had a regular Navy nucleus crew of eight petty officers and one officer-in-charge assigned for maintenance, logistics, continuity, and instruction of the assigned reserve crews. In 1965 Ruff completed underway training at Long Beach, Calif. In 1966 Ruff completed refresher training at San Diego in July and visited Ensenada, Mexico. In 1967 she visited Vancouver, British Columbia, and in 1968 completed refresher training in San Diego.

 

After being replaced as an NRT ship by two MSIs, Ruff decommissioned and was struck from the Navy list 14 November 1969, the last ship of her class to leave the Navy. She was subsequently sold on 23 November 1970.

 

Ruff earned six battle stars for World War II service.


21 October 2005