Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Brant II (YMS-113)

(YMS-113: dp. 270; l. 136'0"; b. 24'6"; dr. 10'; s. 15 k.; cpl. 32; a. 1 40 mm.; cl. YMS-1)


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.


YMS-113 was laid down at San Diego, Calif., by the San Diego Marine Construction Co.; launched on 13 February 1942; sponsored by Miss Virginia Sue Blakely; and commissioned on 12 June 1942, Ens. Alfred Lee, USNR, in command.

On 18 June, the motor minesweeper moved north to Los Angeles, Calif., where she completed her trials and loaded supplies. She stood out of Los Angeles on 26 June and shaped a course for Hawaii in company with Brazos (AO-41), Chestnut (AN-11), and a number of other minesweepers. She and her sailing mates arrived in Pearl Harbor on 7 July, but remained at Oahu only two days before putting to sea again in company with Brazos, YMS-97, and YMS-117. This group arrived at Pago Pago, Samoa, on 22 July; but YMS-113 returned to sea a week later, bound for the Fiji Islands. She entered port at Suva on 2 August and served in the Fijis for the next 13 months. Her primary missions were mine clearance and escort duty between the islands of the group. She also carried passengers to and from the various islands of the cluster, served as a pilot boat, and conducted antisubmarine patrols.

On 27 Auqust 1943, YMS-113 departed Tautoka and shaped a course for New Caledonia. The minesweeper arrived in Noumea three days later and began a nine-month tour of duty clearing mines and patrolling against Japanese submarines. She sailed from Noumea on 25 August 1944 and entered Auckland, New Zealand, on the 28th. Her crew enjoyed liberty at that port until 15 June when the warship headed back to Noumea. YMS-113 resumed her duties at Noumea on 28 June and continued them until moving to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides early in November for her first overhaul. This repair period ended on 6 December, and the warship returned to her duties at Noumea.

On 4 June 1945, the motor minesweeper got underway from New Caledonia and set a course for Hawaii. After stops at Funafuti, Canton, and Palmyra Islands, she arrived in Pearl Harbor on 22 June. Upon her completion of voyage repairs, she began a 10-month tour of duty in the Hawaiian Islands broken only by a round-trip voyage to San Pedro, Calif., in November and December of 1945. The ship put to sea from Pearl Harbor on 23 April 1946 and stopped at San Francisco and San Diego before transiting the Panama Canal and steaming via Charleston, S.C., to New York where she arrived on 1 July. She remained there until the 17th when she got underway for Canadian waters. She stopped at Quebec on 23 July but soon continued on up the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario and thence farther into the Great Lakes. She arrived at Detroit, Mich., on 28 July and was decommissioned there on 7 August 1946. She was turned over to the Naval Reserve establishment there to be used as a training vessel. On 1 December 1946, she was placed in service. YMS-113 was named Brant (AMS-43) on 1 September 1947. At the end of 1949, Brant moved to Orange, Tex., where she was inactivated on 10 February 1950.

The minesweeper remained with the reserve fleet for a little more than a year. She was recommissioned on 12 February 1951, Lt. Edward A. Brown, USNR, in command, and, on 5 March, reported to the Commander, Mine Force, Atlantic Pleet, at Charleston. Brant operated out of Charleston until near the end of 1951. At that time, she moved north to Yorktown, Va., to become a school ship at the Mine Warfare School. That assignment occupied her until 25 November 1952 when she sailed for Charleston. Her stay there, however, proved brief. On 5 January 1953, she got underway for Panama City, Fla., and, five days later, reported for duty at the Mine Countermeasures Station. For the next four months, she participated in the development of new minesweeping techniques and equipment.

On 11 May, the minesweeper departed Panama City and headed back to Charleston where she entered the naval shipyard on 1 June for her regular overhaul. She completed repairs on 3 August and departed Charleston on the 12th for degaussing. Following that, she conducted refresher training out of Charleston and Key West. She returned to Charleston for normal operations until 30 November. At that time, she headed back to Key West for a period in drydock. The end of 1953 saw her back at Charleston. On 4 January 1954, Brant stood out of Charleston for Yorktown, Va. She reached her destination on the 27th and began her second tour of training duty at the Mine Warfare School. That assignment, broken only by periodic availabilities and participation in an Atlantic Fleet exercise in October and November of 1954, occupied the remainder of her active career. On 7 February 1955, she was redesignated MSCO-43. On 19 August 1955, Brant exited Chesapeake Bay on her way to Green Cove Springs, Fla. The minesweeper arrived at Green Cove Springs on 22 August and began preparations for inactivation. Brant was decommissioned on 23 October 1955 and was berthed with the Green Cove Springs Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1959.

Raymond A. Mann
13 December 2005

Published: Fri Jun 26 10:33:54 EDT 2015