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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Skill

 

The ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance.

 

(AM-115: dp. 890; l. 221'2"; b. 32'0", dr. 10'9"; s. 18.1 k. (tl.); cpl. 105; a. 1 3", 2 40 mm.; cl. Auk)

 

The first Skill (AM-115) was laid down on 28 November 1941 by American Shipbuilding Co. of Cleveland, Ohio; launched on 22 June 1942; and placed in service on 17 November 1942, Lt. Comdr. E. J. Kevern, USNR, in command.

 

After a brief shakedown cruise, Skill was ordered to the Mediterranean Sea where she swept mines and performed other mine-warfare countermeasures along the North African coast before the invasion there. After the initial invasion at Salerno, Italy, she was assigned patrol and convoy duty in that area. She returned to the area from escort duty on 25 September 1943 and was assigned a patrol station. At 1140, not long after she had taken station, her forward magazine exploded. This was probably due to a submarine's torpedo because a survivor, whose station was on the bridge, later reported having seen a wake of undetermined origin paralleling the ship at a distance of about 150 yards.

 

Skill was blown in half and the forward section capsized. The after half caught fire, and the flames moved aft until that section exploded and sank at about 1200. Ten minutes later, the capsized bow slipped beneath the waves. Of her 103 officers and men, none of the officers and only 32 of the men survived. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 11 October 1943.

 

Skill (AM-115) was awarded one battle star for World War II service.