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Swerve I (AM-121)

(AM-121: dp. 890; l. 221'2"; b. 32'2"; dr. 10'9"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 105; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Auk)

The first Swerve (AM-121) was laid down on 27 May 1942 by the John H. Mathis Co., Camden, N.J.; launched on 25 February 1943; sponsored by Miss E. C. Draemel; and commissioned on 23 January 1944, Lt. A. Morthland, USNR, in command.

Swerve held sea trials from 1 to 14 February and sailed for Little Creek on the 15th to begin her shakedown cruise. Most of March was spent in a post-shakedown availability and in training.

On 29 March, as a member of Mine Division 18, she sailed to Charleston, S.C. Swerve stood out of Charleston on 7 April as an escort for CK-2 en route to Bermuda. The convoy arrived there on the 18th and, on 8 May, sailed to the Azores. Swerve called at Gibraltar and proceeded to Naples, Italy.

The minesweeper sailed for Palermo, Sicily, on 20 May and arrived there the next day. She made a voyage to Bizerte and returned to Naples. The ship sailed for Anzio on 4 June, and arrived off the beach the next day.

Swerve remained off Anzio from 5 to 18 June. The ship was under enemy air attacks on the 5th and 9th but was not damaged. On the 19th, she sailed to Malta, via Naples, for degaussing. Training exercises were held off Salerno from 22 June to 4 July. The next day, the minesweeper sailed for Anzio again.

Swerve was sweeping mines off Anzio on 9 July when, at 1300 hours, she struck a mine. There was an underwater explosion under her port quarter; and, three minutes later, she had a 10° list to port. The order was given to abandon ship at 1307 hours; and, one minute later, the port rail was under water. The ship continued turning slowly and sinking by the stern. Fifteen minutes after hitting the mine, Swerve's bow was up with the stern resting on the bottom. An hour later the ship sank from sight.

Swerve was struck from the Navy list on 22 August 1944.

Swerve received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Fri Sep 25 01:16:37 EDT 2015