(YMS-321: dp. 296; l. 136'; b. 24'6"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 33; a. 13")
A game bird, smaller than the domestic hen, with mottled plumage; also known as "prairie hen" and "sage cock:"
The Grouse (YMS-321) was launched 20 February 1943 by Al Larson's Boat Shop, Terminal Island, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. H. Doty; and commissioned as YMS-321 on 25 October 1943, Lt. (j.g.) Newman in command.
After shakedown and patrol out of San Diego, YMS-321 sailed for Pearl Harbor 21 April 1944, arriving 1 May. A month later she sailed for sweeping and patrol duties in the Guam-Saipan-Tinian area. YMS-321 was also pressed into service as a convoy escort in these staging areas, and on 28 November 1944 was in Tinian harbor during a Japanese air-raid. After escorting a convoy to Eniwetok, she swept the harbor at Maug Island, Marianas, 15 March 1945, and then bombarded the beach the following day. The wooden minesweeper patrolled around Iwo Jima in April 1945 and exploded two floating mines before returning to Saipan.
As the long Pacific war drew to a close, YMS-S21 returned to Pearl Harbor 15 August 1945, and from there returned to San Diego 29 August. After overhaul and operations along the West Coast, she sailed for the East Coast 5 April 1946, arriving Charleston on the 29th. YMS-321 was reclassifled AMS-15 on 25 February 1947, and named Grouse. For the next 10 years the small coastal minesweeper operated along the East Coast in a variety of capacities. Although her primary duty was training student officers and enlisted men at the Mine Warfare School, Yorktown, Va., Grouse also participated in experimental work at Countermeasures School and Mine Defense Laboratory, at Panama City, Fla. Various minesweeping exercises and regular overhauls consumed most of the rest of her time, although in 1954 and 1955 she was attached to the Hydrographic Office for Project "Vamp," a special coastal survey along the Virginia and Massachusetts shores.
On 1 March 1955 Grouse was reclassified MSC (0)-15. Sailing to Portland, Maine, 7 September 1957, she decommissioned and was placed in reserve 12 September 1957. Grouse was placed in service, in reserve, 13 November 1958, Li. (j.g.) K. G. Houghton in command, and proceeded to Portsmouth, N.H., for overhaul. Assigned to the 1st Naval District as a reserve training ship, Grouse was based at Portsmouth and used .to train reservists from the area in new minesweeping tactics. This work took her along the New England Coast as well as to Chesapeake Bay and to Charleston.
While on a training mission, Grouse went aground off Rockport, Mass., on the night of 21 September 1963. There were no injuries to the crew, but all efforts to dislodge Grouse from the rocks failed. Grouse was destroyed by explosives 28 September 1963, and her name was struck from the Navy List the same day.
Grouse (AM-398) was begun at Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich., but. her contract was terminated 12 August 1945.