(AM-268: dp. 625; l 184-6-; b. 33-; dr. 9-9-; s. 15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3-, 4 40mm.; cl. Admirable)
The central part around which other parts grow, develop, or are grouped.
Nucleus (AM-268), built by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala., was launched 26 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. V. Ludwig; and commissioned 11 February 1944, Lt. D. H. Elliot in command.
Following shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, Nucleus served briefly as an escort vessel to the Caribbean and on 20 April sailed to Boston. From Boston she escorted a convoy to Argentia, arriving 6 May. After another escort run between Boston and Newfoundland, she took up meteorological information collection duties. Between 10 and 24 June a platform deck for launching radiosonde gear and balloons was added to her silhouette increasing her effectiveness as she plied the waters of the North Atlantic in the role of weather reporter. Relieved by Penetrate (AM-271), 7 October, Nucleus returned to Boston, thence steamed to Norfolk, arriving 25 November.
During December she swept mines and conducted ASW patrols off the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. In January, 1945, she conducted another Caribbean escort run, and on 2 February departed Norfolk, escorting Tetonkaha (AOG-41) to Navassa Island. Detached 8 February, the minesweeper continued on to Panama for further routing on to Cold Bay, Alaska. Arriving at the latter port 3 April, Nucleus conducted local exercises and trained personnel of the Navy of the USSR until 20 May. She then decommissioned and was transferred, under Lend Lease, to the USSR. On 7 February 1955, she was redesignated MSF-268. As of 1970, she had been neither returned nor purchased by the USSR.