(AM-378: displacement 1,250 (full load); length 221-1-; beam 32-2-; draft 10-9-; speed 18 knots; complement 117; armament 1 3-, 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks, 4 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog-type); class Auk)
A small European singing bird related to the Redbreast.
Redstart (AM-378) was laid down 14 June 1944 by Savannah Machine & Foundry Co., Savannah, Ga.; sponsored by Mrs. F. S. Dorsey; and commissioned 4 April 1945, Lt. Comdr. George W. Phillips, USNR, in command.
Following shakedown off Virginia and Maryland, she departed Little Creek 27 July, transited the Panama Canal, and was at Long Beach when the war ended. She steamed for Japan via Pearl Harbor, Saipan, and Okinawa, arriving Wakanura Wan, Honshu, Japan, 30 September 1945. She then swept mines in Nagoya Bay until striking "a large underwater object", which damaged her port shaft and required her to put into drydock at Sasebo.
Redstart arrived at Tsushima on 27 December to sweep a field of Japanese, shallow laid, moored, contact mines. On 29 December Minivet (AM-371) struck a mine and began to sink. Redstart called away her Fire and Rescue Party in the ship's boat and released all of her liferafts. She then picked up 20 survivors from Minivet.
For the remainder of her tour of duty in Japan, Redstart laid buoys and acted as pointer and observer for operations by Japanese minesweepers at Getto Retto, Miyako, and Kikai Shima, retiring either to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, or Sasebo, Japan, between operations.
On 16 April 1946 Redstart was underway for the United States. Arriving San Pedro, Calif., 14 May, she decommissioned at Long Beach 26 November. Shortly thereafter she was towed to San Diego and berthed with other units of the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
On 1 December 1950, Redstart recommissioned. Following shakedown off California, she steamed again for the Far East 26 February 1951. Arriving at the Wonsan operating area, where shore bombardment was in progress, Redstart began minesweeping operations. On 15 May she engaged three unidentified surface contacts and on the 17th came under fire from shore batteries on Kalma-Gak and Umi Do. Her subsequent minesweeping operations covered the coast south to the 38th parallel. She also made blockade and patrol runs to Songjin, escorted large ships and blasted a pillbox on Hodo Pando Peninsula.
Following a tender availability in Japan, she returned to Korea to bring her minesweeping total there up to 51. Several times she exchanged fire with shore batteries at Wonsan. From 9 to 12 August, with air and fire support, she swept mines under the barrels of Red guns, scoring numerous hits on the enemy gun emplacements. Redstart continued operations in the Korean area until early February of 1952 when she steamed for Long Beach, Calif.
Redstart operated off the California coast for most of 1952, participating during the fall in "Phibex I", full-scale amphibious maneuvers held off Oceanside, Calif. On 1 December she departed Long Beach for a 7-month deployment to the Far East. Most of this time was spent on minesweeping operations off the Korean coast, though by then there were few mines left. She brought her minesweeping total to 81, a record for the Korean war. Redstart returned to Long Beach 3 July 1953 for overhaul and to resume local operations.
On 16 January 1954 Redstart was underway for the Far East again. Though the Korean war was over, she patrolled south of the 38th parallel in Korea, also operating elsewhere in the Orient. Returning to Long Beach 19 August, the ship resumed local operations off the California coast. On 4 January 1955 she steamed for Alaskan waters and cold weather operations, returning to Long Beach a month later. On 1 March 1955 Redstart was redesignated MSF-378.
The fleet minesweeper again steamed for the Far East 8 October 1955, arriving Sasebo Ko 11 November. This deployment included training with Chinese Nationalist minesweepers and mock atomic games at Iwo Jima. Steaming for Long Beach 15 March 1956, she then reported for inactivation at Astoria, Oreg., 16 November 1956 and decommissioned 15 March 1957. She was struck from the Navy list 1 April 1965 and transferred to Nationalist China where she serves as an escort patrol vessel. [Transcriber's note: Actually transferred on 25 July 1963, she served as Wu Sheng in Taiwanese Navy service.]
Redstart earned one battle star for World War II service and five battle stars for Korean conflict service.
23 September 2005