Brant I (AM-24)
A small, black-necked wild goose (Branta bernicla), that breeds in Arctic regions but is found on the coasts of Europe and eastern North America.
Brant (AM-24) was launched 30 May 1918 by Sun Shipbuilding Co., Chester, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Lois Graham; commissioned 5 September 1918, Lieutenant J. W. Stoakley in command; and reported to the Minesweeping Force, 5th Naval District, to sweep convoy courses off the coast of Virginia.
She served as a lightship off the Virginia coast in December 1918. In May 1919 she was placed under Director of Tugs, 5th Naval District, for towing and harbor operations at Norfolk.
On 17 September 1919 Brant reported to Train, Pacific Fleet, at San Diego. She remained on the west coast with the fleet until June 1941, serving as a minesweeper, target vessel, and fleet tug, except for short periodic moves to the east coast, the Caribbean, Panama Canal area, and the Hawaiian Islands on fleet concentrations and exercises.
Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Brant arrived at New York Navy Yard 1 August 1941 and commenced operations between Washington, D. C., and Solomons Island, Md., testing mines.
On 26 November 1941 Brant arrived at the Naval Operating Base, Argentia, Newfoundland, where she carried out towing operations and picket and escort duty until June 1942. Between 10 and 13 February 1942 she aided the Norwegian steamer Anderson, aground off Shots Cove, Newfoundland, and transported her crew to Argentia. On 16 February she assisted the British steamer Kitty's Brook off a shoal in Placentia Bay. Between 18 and 24 February she was on duty at Great St. Lawrence Harbor near the scene of the grounded Pollus (AKS-2) and Truxton (DD-229). On 6 May she rescued the crew from the SS Magnhild grounded on Virgin Rocks.
On 29 June 1942 she arrived at Boston for an extensive overhaul. Her designation was changed to AT 132 on 1 June 1942 and to ARS 32 on 1 September 1942. On 6 November 1942 Brant departed the United States for the Mediterranean where she remained between 25 November 1942 and 16 December 1943 conducting salvage operations. During this time she operated at various ports in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy. She also participated in the Sicilian occupation (9-15 July 1943) and the Salerno landings (9-21 September 1943).
Brant was accidentally damaged 10 August 1943, off Sicily, when inadequate recognition signals caused friendly naval forces to shell her. Extensive fires occurred, but were immediately controlled. However, 10 of her crew were killed and 20 wounded. On the same day Brant steamed to Licata, Sicily, where she landed her wounded and underwent a repair period.
Returning to the United States in January 1944, Brant underwent a yard overhaul at Norfolk and then departed for Falmouth, England, where she arrived 9 March 1944. She carried out salvage and towing operations at various ports in England and Scotland until June when she departed for the invasion of the European continent. Between 6 and 19 June 1944 she furnished logistic support to ships participating in the invasion of Normandy.
Brant continued with her salvage duties in English and French waters until June 1945 when she proceeded to Bremerhaven, Germany. Remaining at Bremerhaven until 26 July 1945, she then sailed for the United States, via Ireland. She arrived at New London, Conn., 25 August 1945 and then steamed to New York where she remained moored until 4 October. She was decommissioned 19 December 1945 at New York Navy Yard and transferred to the Maritime Commission 19 August 1946.
Brant received three battle stars for her service in World War II.
13 December 2005