Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval Historical Center homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Spectacle

 

(AM-305: dp. 850; l. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 14.8 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3", 4 40mm.; cl. Admirable)

 

Spectacle (AM-305) was laid down on 24 May 194S by Associated Shipbuilders, Seattle, Wash.; launched on 10 October 1943; and commissioned on 11 August 1944, Lt. G. B. Williams, USNR, in command.

 

After fitting out at Puget Sound and conducting trial runs at Seattle, Spectacle sailed on the 31st for San Pedro, Calif. Following her shakedown training, held from 5 to 24 September, she moved to the West Coast Sonar School, San Diego, for equipment testing and antisubmarine warfare training that lasted until 27 October. The ship got underway for Hawaii the next day and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 5 November.

 

The following week, Spectacle sailed in the screen of a convoy and arrived at San Francisco on 20 November. On the 27th, she and Design (AM-219) departed Seattle and headed back toward Pearl Harbor. From 9 December 1944 to 21 January 1945, the minesweeper conducted extensive minesweeping and training exercises with fleet units in Hawaiian waters.

 

On 22 January, Spectacle sortied with Task Group (TG) 51.13, Tractor Group Baker, part of the Iwo Jima assault force. After staging at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, and Saipan, Mariana Islands, the group arrived off Iwo Jima. Spectacle began sweeping mines on 16 February and remained in waters near Iwo Jima until 7 March. She swept mines; acted as an escort and patrol ship; and, on several occasions, bombarded enemy targets ashore. In 7 March, Spectacle, accompanied by Scurry (AM-304), withdrew to Ulithi for replenishment and repair.

 

Spectacle sailed from Ulithi on 19 March with TG 52.4, composed of Minesweeper Group One, for Okinawa to sweep mines from waters near that island for the forthcoming amphibious assault which was scheduled to begin on 1 April. She started minesweeping and patrol duties at Okinawa on 25 March. On 28 April, her whaleboat rescued 14 survivors from Pinkney (APH-2) which had been hit by a kamikaze. On 4 May, the minesweeper sank two small boats and set one afire with gunfire. That evening, she was strafed by an enemy plane. She sank another small boat on 13 May; and, the next evening, she sank five small suicide boats. Spectacle took patrol station near le Shima on 22 May and, early that morning, splashed a “Betty.” At 0805, a diving kamikaze crashed into the minesweeper, striking the ship under her port 40-millimeter gun tub, causing extensive damage and blowing many of her crew overboard. Her rudder jammed. She dropped anchor to avoid running over her men in the water. At 0815, LSM-135 began picking up survivors; but, 15 minutes later, the medium landing ship was also hit by a kamikaze and burst into flames. Spectacle's losses were: 11 killed outright, four who died of wounds, six wounded, and 14 missing in action. The ship was towed to le Shima by Takesta (ATF-93). Under power from her starboard engine, she proceeded on the 26th, to Kerama Retto, where she was temporarily repaired by ARD-1. She sailed for Saipan on 14 June, departed that island on the 26th, and headed via Pearl Harbor for the west coast.

 

Spectacle arrived at Seattle on 1 August and, the next day, moved to the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company's dock for battle damage repairs; but no work was begun. On 5 September, the Pacific Board of Inspection and Survey recommended that she be scrapped and sold. Between 6 September and 18 October, all of her material and equipment was removed and, on the 19th, the ship was decommissioned.

 

Spectacle was struck from the Navy list on 5 December 1945 and sold to Northwest Merchandising Service in April 1947 for scrap.

 

Spectacle received two battle stars for World War II service.