Naval History and Heritage Command

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Dextrous II (MCM-13)


Historic ship name; meaning skillful or expert. This is the second ship to bear this name. The first (AM-341) was launched on 17 June 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala., and commissioned on 8 September 1943. She received five battle stars for World War II service and five for Korean War service.


(MCM-12 displacement 1,287 (light), 1,400 (full); length 224'; beam 39'; draft 13'; speed 13.5 knots; complement 84; armament 2 M2HB .50 caliber machine guns; 2 M60 machine guns, 7.62 millimeter machine guns, and 2 Mk19 grenade launchers; class Avenger)

The second Dextrous (MCM-13) was laid down on 11 March 1991 at Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., by Peterson Builders; launched on 20 June 1992 sponsored by Mrs. Jacqueline E. Schafer, the first Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment; and commissioned on 9 July 1994, Lt. Cmdr. Robert I. McGrath Jr., in command.

Dextrous- Coat of Arms


The Shield is dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and reflect high ideals, excellence and the sea, the MCM-13's theater of operations. The broad arrow is red for courage and valor and war service while alluding to the ship's skillful capability to make a path to clear sea-lanes of enemy mines. The white fimbriation around the broad arrow simulates a second arrow reflecting that there have been two ships of the same name.


The crest has a triangle that represents strong support and suggests the integral part Dextrous will serve in support of the fleet. The red Torii gate denotes service in the Korean War. The heraldic fountain, indicating clear water, symbolizes service by the prior Dextrous as a minesweeper. The wreath of laurel and palm implies honor and victory and service in World War II in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.


"NEMO NOS ANTECEDIT" --"No One Goes Before Us"

Dextrous- conducting exercises-24Jun2002-020624-N-5329L-002
Crewmembers from Dextrous steady the Klein 5000 side-scan sonar. The Klein 5000 uses multi-beam side-scan sonar to survey the ocean floor to search for manmade objects. Dextrous was deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch, 24 June 2002. (Photographers Mate 2nd Class Eric Lippmann, U.S. Navy Photograph 020624-N-5329L-002, Photos).
Dextrous- off Umm Qasr-28Mar-2003-030328-N-5362A-012
Dextrous patrols the waters during mineclearing operations in the Klawr Abd Allah waterway. Coalition Naval forces cleared the waterway of mines and rogue vessels to make way for the arrival of humanitarian relief shipments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 28 March 2003. (Photographers Mate 1st Class Arlo K. Abrahamson, U.S. Navy Photograph 030328-N-5362A-012, Photos).
Dextrous- with Raven in the Arabian Gulf-040614-N-5319A-006
The Osprey-class Mine Countermeasure Ship Raven (MHC-61), left, cruises alongside Dextrous while conducting training for U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen deployed in the Arabian Gulf for a two week summer training cruise, 14 June 2004. Raven and Dextrous were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Photographer's Mate 1st Class Brien Aho U.S. Navy Photograph 040614-N-5319A-006, Photos).

At approximately 2220 on 22 July 2004, aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CV-67) collided with a dhow in the Arabian Gulf, resulting in the sinking of the latter. Dextrous joined British multi-role hydrographic and oceanographic survey vessel Echo (H.87) in the effort to locate the dhow. Although a debris field has been located, no survivors or remains were found.

Dextrous- with Harpers Ferry-24Dec2004-041224-N-4772B-277
Dextrous conducts replenishment at sea in the Persian Gulf with the dock landing ship Harpers Ferry (LSD-49), 24 December 2004. Harpers Ferry is the Afloat Forward Staging Base to the nearby oil platforms and support ships, providing security and logistics support. (Journalist 2nd Class Brian P. Biller, U.S. Navy Photograph 041224-N-4772B-277, Photos).

From May to July 2005 Dextrous conducted a four-month maintenance period in Bahrain overhauling major equipment, to include repairing a rudder, replacing wood from the bow of the mine hunter, repainting the ship and cleaning the hull. On 18 August  Dextrous got underway from the Mina Salman pier to conduct sea trials to test all the newly-installed or recently improved systems over a three day period.

On 1 September 2006, after a two-month maintenance overhaul, Dextrous joined her sister ship Ardent (MCM-12) in getting underway from the Mina Salman pier in Bahrain. This deployment was undertaken to test newly-installed equipment and recently improved systems while conducting maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.

On 6 November 2013, Capt. Richard Hayes, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 52, relieved Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Wemett, the commanding officer of Dextrous, due to a loss of confidence in Wemett's ability to command. The relief occurred after an investigation revealed deficiencies in operational preparedness, situational awareness, and tactical proficiency. Wemett was reassigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Lt. Cmdr. Chavius Lewis, the former commanding officer, was named as interim commanding officer of Dextrous.

Detailed history pending.

Christopher B. Havern Sr.

16 November 2015

Published: Fri Feb 19 10:01:20 EST 2016