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Fancy (AM-234)

1944-1945

(AM-234: displacement 945 (at limiting draft); length 184'6"; beam 33'0"; draft 9'9" (limiting); speed 15 knots; complement 104; armament 1 3-inch, 2 40 millimeter [Army], 6 20 millimeter, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog), 2 depth charge tracks, 2 depth charge projectors; class Admirable)

Fancy (AM-234) was laid down on 12 May 1944 at Seattle, Wash., by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co.; launched on 4 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Skeel, wife of the vice-president of the building yard; and commissioned on 13 December 1944, Lt. Frank D. Abbott commanding.

After fitting out at her builders’ yard (14-22 December 1944), Fancy reported to the Senior Member Minesweeping Trial Board for Indoctrination and Trials, Deperming, Magnetic Ranging, and loaded her commissioning allowances of ammunition and depth charges (22-31 December). After that period, the ship reported herself ready for shakedown “with all essential spares stowed on board” on 31 December, and awaited further orders.

On New Year’s Day 1945, Fancy compensated her magnetic compasses in the waters of Puget Sound, as well as swung ship, then ran the measured mile for her speed curve. The departure inspection of the vessel having been successfully completed on 2 January, the new ship sailed for San Pedro, Calif., at 1430 that afternoon. A little over two and a half hours later, however, she hit a sunken log, the encounter leaving the ship with slight vibration on the port shaft.

Fancy then conducted her shakedown training out of the Small Craft Training Center, Terminal Island, San Pedro (7-13 January 1945) before receiving a voice radio message from the Harbor Control Entrance Post at San Pedro directing her to proceed to the northeast corner of operating area KK7 “to investigate [a] possible submarine contact.” She searched areas KK2 and JJ26 (1456-1825), then PP2, then returned to JJ26. Securing from the submarine search late in the forenoon watch on 14 January, she resumed her shakedown training the following day. Completing those evolutions on the 19th, Fancy got underway at 2100 on that day, setting course for Santa Barbara, Calif., to receive instruction in minesweeping.

Reaching her destination the next morning, Fancy underwent minesweeping training at Santa Barbara (21-25 January 1945) before she set course to return to Santa Barbara to continue her shakedown  (26-29 January). Receiving her final inspection by the Shakedown Department (29 January), she sailed for San Diego, Calif., later that same day, arriving the next morning (30 January). Fancy then carried out anti-submarine warfare training out of the West Coast Sound School at San Diego (31 January-5 February), upon completion of which she sailed for San Pedro, where she underwent a post-shakedown availability (7-14 February).

Underway for the Territory of Hawaii on 15 February 1945, Fancy rendezvoused with the steamship Philippa the following afternoon, receiving orders relayed by that vessel designating the minesweeper as Task Unit (TU) 16.1.1, escorting convoy SP-38T. She reached Pearl Harbor without incident on 24 February, then spent the remainder of the month receiving an availability. Upon conclusion of that period of work, she conducted underway training (2-7 March).

Underway for the West Coast on 7 March 1945, the minesweeper accompanied her sister ship Rampart (AM-282) (in which the officer in tactical command – OTC -- rode), and the motor minesweepers YMS-38 and YMS-237 as they set course for Seattle, Wash., as TU 18.2.8. The passage proved largely uneventful, with the exception of a heavy sea washing the ship’s starboard life net overboard on 17 March. Standing into the Straits of Juan de Fuca at noon on 19 March, Fancy reached Seattle six hours later.

Fancy spent the remainder of March 1945 and through April, preparing for her transfer from the to the Soviet Union under Lend Lease in Project Hula. Proceeding via Kodiak, Alaska, the ship proceeded to the turnover port, Cold Bay, Alaska where, ultimately, she was decommissioned on 20 May 1945.  Fancy was designated as a tralshik [minesweeper] and received the identification number T-[for tralshik] 272.

Reclassified MSF-234 on 7 February 1955, Fancy remained in Russian possession until scrapped in 1960.

Commanding Officer                          Date Assumed Command

Lt. Frank D. Abbott                                         13 December 1944

Robert J. Cressman and Elaine Lewis

28 March 2016

Published: Mon Mar 28 12:48:07 EDT 2016