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Scout

 

A person or vessel who explores or reconnoiters. The first and second Scouts retained former names.

 

III

 

(AM-296: dp. 795; l. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'; s. 15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3", 2 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 dct., 2 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.) ; cl. Admirable)

 

The third Scout (AM-296) was laid down on 8 February 1943 by Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Wash.; launched on 2 May 1943; sponsored by Miss Mary Lou Lillehei; and commissioned on 3 March 1944, Lt. E. G. Anderson, Jr., in command.

 

After shakedown, Scout sailed from San Francisco on 15 May 1944 for Hawaii. Between June and September 1944, she escorted convoys between Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Funafuti, and Tulagi, before reporting to the 7th Fleet at Manus on 6 October for the Leyte invasion. From 17 to 19 October, she carried out a pre-invasion sweep off Leyte; and, on the 20th, she joined Mine Division 34 in a four-day sweep of the main transport channel. She then anchored with the transports to provide antiaircraft support. Between 27 and 31 October, Scout helped search for survivors at the scene of the Battle off Samar, where Rear Admiral Sprague's escort carriers had withstood the attack of a superior Japanese force. For the next month, she carried out local patrols and sweeps in the vicinity of Leyte.

 

Scout participated, with her division, in most of the subsequent landings in the Philippines. She carried out pre-invasion sweeps at Ormoc Bay on 6 December, Mindoro Island on 14 December, Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945, and Zambales and Subic Bay between 29 and 31 January. During and after the initial troop landings, she helped extend the mineswept areas and provided antisubmarine and antiaircraft protection to the transports anchored off the beaches. Few mines were encountered, but kamikaze resistance was intense; and, on 7 December, Scout rescued survivors of one "Divine Wind" victim, USS Ward (APD-16).

 

On 13 February, Scout and her division began pre-invasion sweeps in Manila Bay in preparation for the landings at Mariveles and Corregidor. While sweeping off Corregidor on the 14th, the minesweepers came within 5,000 yards of the island and were repeatedly straddled by Japanese fire before supporting ships silenced the enemy's guns. Scout continued sweeping in Manila Bay through 19 February, and her division earned a Navy Unit Commendation for the operation.

 

During the next one and one-half months, Scout carried out various local sweeps in support of mop-up operations in the Philippines, the most notable being a pre-assault sweep for the landings at Legaspi, Luzon, on 1 April. This was followed by a three-day exploratory sweep in the San Bernardino Strait, after which the ship returned to Subic Bay for a badly needed overhaul. She rejoined her division on 3 May; and, on 9 May, arrived at Morotai to prepare for operations in the Netherlands East Indies.

 

Between 7 and 18 June, Scout supported the landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo; and between 22 June and 8 July, she helped clear the way for the assault at Balikpapan. During both operations, the minesweepers came under fire from shore batteries and one ship, Salute, was sunk by a mine on 8 June. Scout's task unit won a Presidential Unit Citation for its service off Borneo between 15 June and 1 July.

 

After repairs at Subic Bay, Scout sailed for home, arriving at Seattle on 11 September 1945. She reported to Orange, Tex., on 2 April 1946; was placed in reserve, in commission there on 10 May; and placed in reserve, out of commission on 26 February 1947.

 

Due to the need for minecraft during the Korean War, Scout was recommissioned on 11 May 1951, Lt. Comdr. Samuel E. Clark in command. After refresher training at Little Creek, Va., 9 July to 6 August 1951, she remained on the Atlantic coast and, for two years, operated between her home port of Charleston, S.C., the Mine School at Yorktown, Va., and local operating areas. Then ordered inactivated, she arrived at Orange, Tex., on 31 October 1953 and was decommissioned on 1 March 1954. Struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1962, she was transferred to the government of Mexico on 1 October 1962.

 

Scout received 5 battle stars for her World War II.