(MSC-195: dp. 320; l. 144'0"; b. 28'0"; dr. 9'0"; s. 14.0 k.; a. 2 20mm.; cl. Bluebird)
A species of long-billed wading birds found in Florida, the West Indies, and Central America.
The second Limpkin (MSC-195) was laid down 17 April 1953 by Breward Marine, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; launched 22 May 1954; sponsored by Mrs. Edward Applegate; and commissioned 10 April 1955, Lt. T. E. Vines in command.
After reporting to Mine Division 45 at Charleston, S.C., 15 April 1955, the new coastal minesweeper proceeded to Narragansett Bay, R.I., for shakedown. Returning to Charleston 19 June. Limpkin trained with the Fleet Sonar School, Key West, Fla., 20 July to 3 August, then returned home for operations off South Carolina and a post shakedown overhaul.
Transferred to Mine Division 41 on New Year's Day, during 1956 Limpkin worked with the Mine Evaluation Depot Key West, Fla.; spent a grueling month undergoing refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and participated in a minesweeping exercise with the Atlantic Fleet.
Shifting home port to Yorktown, Va., site of the Navy Mine Warfare School, in January 1957, for the next 2 years the ship trained Navy men in the dangers and intricacies of minesweeping operations.
Changing her home port to Little Creek, Va., 1 January 1959, Limpkin operated with the amphibious forces of the Atlantic Fleet and tested experimental minesweeping gear in the Chesapeake Bay. The ship departed Little Creek 29 September 1960 for the NATO exercise "Sweepclear" off Nova Scotia. Calling briefly at Boston, Limpkin arrived Halifax 6 October and operated with Canadian minesweeps until 19 October.
Returning to Little Creek 26 October, the ship soon deployed to the Caribbean, visiting Cristobal, Panama, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the 3-month cruise and participating in LANTPHIBEX 1-61. For the remainder of 1961, she patrolled Chesapeake Bay, evaluating new equipment and training recruits.
Following another LANTPHIBEX in the Caribbean during early 1962, Limpkin returned to Nova Scotia in October 1962 for a joint operation "Sweepclear" with Canadian Mine Squadron l. In 1963, plus operating in the Chesapeake Bay, the ship gained more invaluable training with the Canadians, as "Sweepclear" shifted to Mayport, Fla., thus providing familiarity with the breadth and unity of American-Canadian defense for the eastern coast of North America.
Limpkin continued this pattern of service, perfecting the dangerous art of mine warfare in operations along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean until late 1968. On 26 September 1968 she decommissioned and was placed in service as a Naval Reserve training ship, based at Perth Amboy, N.J. She continues to give reservists first hand training into 1969.