(AM-277: dp. 945; l. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; Cpl. 104; a. 13", 2 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 dct., 2 dcp. (hh.); cl. Admirable)
A binding promise or agreement.
Pledge (AM-277), a steel-hulled minesweeper, was laid down 1 July 1943 by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala.; launched 23 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. C. A. Bender; and commissioned 29 July 1944, Lt. Thomas Knotts in command.
After shakedown, Pledge reported to the Atlantic Fleet 30 September 1944. Following patrol off the coast of Maine until 7 November, she trained off Norfolk, Va., 9 to 29 November and at Miami, Fla., 2 December 1944 to 10 March 1945.
To prepare for Pacific duty, Pledge underwent overhaul at Philadelphia 13 March to 1 April. She then sailed via the Panama Canal and San Diego to Pearl Harbor where she arrived 7 May. Following local exercises, she departed Hawaiian waters 20 May 1945, and steamed via Eniwetok, Guam, and Saipan to Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands, where she arrived 24 June. She anchored at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 7 July and at Guam 12 August. Pledge remained at Guam conducting exercises until departure 11 January 1946.
Following arrival at Pearl Harbor 25 January, she accompanied a convoy to San Pedro, Cal. 4 to 15 February. To prepare for inactivation, she returned to Pearl Harbor 31 July, and arrived at Bremerton, Wash., 30 September. She decommissioned 6 November 1946.
Pledge reentered service 28 November 1947. Upon completion of training she steamed via Pearl Harbor to Yokosuka, Japan, where she arrived 28 March 1948. She entered reserve status 16 April. Granted a reduced commission 10 January 1950, she trained, and, upon the outbreak of war in Korea, she accompanied a convoy of merchantmen to Pusan, Korea, 11 July 1950. She continued minesweeping duties off Pusan until she reported for duty as a harbor control vessel at Sasebo, Japan, 7 August. She departed Sasebo 12 September, and, on the 15th, she swept the area to be used for the invasion of Inchon, Korea. On patrol off Inchon 30 September, she captured 44 prisoners from a large sampan.
Pledge commenced minesweeping operations off Wonsan Harbor 10 October. She accompanied minesweeper Pirate (AM-275) to deployment off Wonsan, Korea. Pirate struck a mine. Enemy shore batteries on Sin-do directed heavy fire upon Pirate, which sank shortly thereafter, and then upon Pledge. As Pledge attempted to maneuver, she too struck a mine and was severely damaged. After fruitless attempts to save her, Pledge sank. Her survivors were picked up by Endicott (DMS-35).
Pledge received one battle star for World War II service, and a Presidential Unit Citation for service in Korea.