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USS Pirate; War Diary

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From: Commanding Officer, USS PIRATE (AM 275)
To:     Chief of Naval Operations

Subj: War Diary for the USS PIRATE (AM 275) for the period of 14 August 1950 to 12 October 1950; submission of

Ref:  (a) ComNavFE disp. 170612Z of July 1950
        (b) CNO ltr ser 1197P34, dtd 3 August 1950

Encl: (1) Original and one (1) copy of subject War Diary.
        (2) CO USS PIRATE ltr AM275/A16 CEM/rem Serial 01A-50, dtd 19 Oct 1950

1. In accordance with references (a) and (b), enclosures (1) and (2) are forwarded herewith.

2. The War Diary of the USS PIRATE (AM275) has been reconstructed from the memory of the Commanding and Executive Officers due to the loss of all records, but the Navigator's bearing book, upon the occasion of the loss of the vessel at Wonsan, Korea on 12 October 1950. The subject War Diary may not be accurate in all respects as to times for the reasons stated above.


U. S. S. PIRATE (AM275)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California

1. Task Organization
           Task Force 95
           Task Group 95.6
           Task Element 95.62

Mine Division 32
       U. S. S. PIRATE (AM275) F [flagship]
       U. S. S. INCREDIBLE (AM249)
       U. S. S. PLEDGE (AM277)
       U. S. S. MAINSTAY (AM261) (not commissioned)

2. During the period of this report operations were in accordance with various directives and dispatches of the following commands:

Commander Mine Division 32, Commander Mine Squadron 3, and Commander Tack Force 95.

3. All time KING until 091400Z September; ITEM time thereafter.

4. Narrative:

0900, 14 August to 0800 28 August 1950
Position: Drydock No. 6, Yokosuka, Japan.

PIRATE placed in commission by Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, Rear Admiral H. H. Mc Iean, USN, and Lieutenant Cornelius E. Mc Mullen, 88622, USN, assumed command in accordance with Bureau of Naval Personnel dispatch 121925Z July 1950. The vessel reported to Commander Service Force, Pacific Fleet for administration and Underway Training Element, Yokosuka, Japan for training and shakedown. Training was continued until 28 September and the shakedown of the vessel was delayed awaiting arrival of engineering and quartermaster personnel.

0800, 28 August to 1300 3 September 1950
Position: Tokyo Bay Operating Area.

PIRATE engaged in shakedown. Various drills and exercises as scheduled by Commander Underway Training Element, Yokosuka, Honshu, Japan. Shakedown completed satisfactorily on 3 September 1950 and vessel reported for operational control to Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO.

1300, 3 September to 1100 7 September 1950
Position: Enroute Yokosuka, Honshu, Japan to Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan.

0800 4 September 1950 Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO broke his flag in the PIRATE vice INCREDIBLE. 1800 4 September 1950 Underway in accordance with dispatch orders Commander Mine Squadron THREE and Commander Naval Forces FAR EAST in company with INCREDIBLE for Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan. PIRATE guide with Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO embarked, INCREDIBLE on station 1000 yards astern. Emergency drills, gunnery, and training exercises conducted enroute.

1100, 7 September to 1400 8 September 1950
Position: Buoy X-5, Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan.

Moored at Buoy X-5 Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan. The vessel was assigned limited availability by Commander Services Division THIRTY-ONE for voyage repairs.

1400, 8 September to 1800 9 September 1950
Position: Enroute Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan to Pusan, Korea.

Underway pursuant to verbal orders Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO, embarked on the vessel for Pusan, Korea in company with OSPREY (AMS28). Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO OTC, OSPREY guide, PIRATE on station 1000 yards astern. The formation was darkened from sunset until dawn. 0700 9 September 1950 Entered harbor at Pusan, Korea and moored at Pier 1. 1800 9 September 1950 underway in accordance with verbal orders Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO for patrol duties.

1800, 9 September to 2000 19 September 1950
Position: Pusan, Korea Operating Area.

PIRATE with Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO embarked conducted daily routine moored and influence minesweeping of the entrance channel during daylight hours. Conducted sonar patrol and identification of in-bound traffic when not engaged in minesweeping. Provided logistic support to AMS'S on 9, 10, and 11 September. Results of minesweeping entire period negative. INCREDIBLE relieved PIRATE at 1600 19 September 1950 and assumed all her duties. 2000 19 September 1950 Underway for Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan in accordance with orders of Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO for main engine repairs.

2000 19 September to 1000 20 September 1950
Position: Enroute Pusan, Korea to Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan.

Proceeding independently from Pusan, Korea to Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan in accordance with orders of Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO embarked on the vessel.

1000 20 September to 0400 6 October 1950
Position: Item Basin Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan.
1200 yards bearing 180-T from Kogo Saki Lt., Sasebo, Japan.
Sasebo Operating Area.

1000 20 September 1950 Moored alongside KERMIT ROOSEVELT (ARG17). 1730 20 September 1950 Underway to assume duties of Harbor Entrance Control Vessel, radar, and sonar guard. Reported for duty to CTF 95 and reassigned to Commander Service Division THIRTY- ONE, assigned limited availability to affect repairs to main engines. Supervised the daily operations of the Japanese Minesweeping Group in accordance with orders of Commander Mine Squadron THREE. 1800 22 September 1950 Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO departed Sasebo via transport enroute to Pusan, Korea. 0500 26 September 1950 Underway in accordance with Commander Service Division THIRTY-ONE classified dispatch orders conducting sonar search of swept channels for drifting mines. 1830 26 September 1950 Completed sonar search of swept channels results negative, anchored on station. 1400 29 September 1950 Underway in accordance with Commander Service Division THIRTY-ONE orders and moored alongside KERMIT ROOSEVELT to complete main engine repairs.

0400 6 October to 1830 10 October 1950
Position: Enroute from Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan to rendevous point 38-45N, 128-30E and Chosan Ko Area

0400 6 October 1950 PIRATE underway in accordance with verbal and classified dispatch orders of CTG 95.6 for rendezvous with CTG 95.2 in the WORCESTER (CL144) at 38-45N and 128-30E. 0900 7 October 1950 PIRATE joined up and received orders to commence sweep of Chosan Ko for moored and influence mines. 1300 7 October 1950 Commenced moored sweep of Chosan Ko from the 100 fathom curve Lat. 38-47-12N Long. 128-23-48E due west to Point Able Lat. 38-47-12N Long. 128-16-00E to a width of 1200 yards to the south. CTF 95.26 Commanding Officer of the PIRATE, DD assigned for fire support, and helicopter for ahead search. 1400 Helicopter reported a line of mines bearing 300-T from Chogadai Tan Line clear of proposed channel. 1830 7 October 1950 Retrieved moored gear. 2000 on station 1000 yards astern of DD. 0600 8 October 1950 continued moored sweep. 1830 Completed 100% moored clearance sweep to a depth of 60 feet and 50% exploratory influence from 100 fathom curve to Point Able negative results. 0600 9 October 1950 Commenced moored sweep first four miles of a twenty mile channel from Point Able to Point King Lat 39-00-00N Long. 127-56-00E on bearing line 309-T from Point Able. 1200 9 October 1950 Joined up with DOYLE (DMS 34) CTF 95.26 passed to Commanding Officer DOYLE. 1300 9 October 1950 Commenced moored sweep Point Able to Point King, Oboe type sweep, PIRATE with port gear streamed and guide, DOYLE protected on station on PIRATE's port float. 1830 9 October 1950 Completed pass to Point How, retrieved gear and retired due to approaching darkness. 2000 9 October 1950 DOYLE with PIRATE in company proceeded to rendezvous point off Wonsan, Korea. 0900 10 October 1950 PIRATE released by CTF 95.26. 1000 10 October 1950 Reported to CTG 95.6 for duty. Port engine inoperative, remained outside 100 fathom curve until 1830 10 October 1950; proceeded to anchorage in company with KERMIT ROOSEVELT.

2000 10 October 1950 to 0915 12 October 1950
Position: Wonsan, Korea Operating Area.

2000 10 October 1950 Anchored Wonsan, Korea Operating Area. 0900 11 October 1950 Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO in the PIRATE. 1531 11 October 1950 Underway in accordance with verbal orders of Commander Mine Division THIRTY-TWO (CTF 95.62), embarked in the vessel; Commander Mine Squadron THREE (CTG 95.6) classified Op-Order 4- 50, and Commander Seventh Fleet classified Op-Order 7-50. About 1600 11 October 1950 Entered unswept waters PIRATE guide in Oboe type sweep. Port echelon in a formation consisting of the following vessels: PIRATE (AM275), PLEDGE (AM277), INCREDIBLE (AM249) and danning vessels: RED HEAD (AMS34) on station on PIRATE's starboard float and KITE (AMS28) on station on INCREDIBLE's port float. 1659 11 October 1950 PIRATE swept five moored contact mines. 1713 Formation turned and retired in swept waters, retrieved gear, and anchored in the approaches to Wonsan Harbor, Korea.

0915 12 October 1950 to 1209 12 October 1950
Wonsan, Korea

The events surrounding the mining and loss of the PIRATE are continued in the Commanding Officer's report of the loss to the Secretary of the Navy and is forwarded herewith as Enclosure (B).

Source: War Diary for the USS Pirate written by C. E.McMullen, 12 November 1950, cover letter and enclosure (1), Ships History Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC.

AM -- minesweeper
ComNavFE -- Commander Naval Forces, Far East
CinCPacFlt -- Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet
ComServPac -- Commander Service Force, Pacific Fleet
ComMinRon -- Commander Mine Squadron
ComMinDiv -- Commander Mine Division
AMS -- motor minesweeper
ARG -- internal combustion engine repair ship
CTF -- Commander Task Force
CTG -- Commander Task Group
CL -- light cruiser
DD -- destroyer
DMS -- high-speed minesweeper; or destroyer minesweeper
Op-Order -- Operational Order

10 April 2001