A general word classification.
(AM-126: displacement 890; length 221'2"; beam 32'2"; draft 10'9"; speed 18.1 knots; complement 102; armament 2 3-inch, 4 20-millimeter, 2 depth charge tracks, 4 depth charge projectors; class Auk)
Token (AM-126) was laid down on 21 July 1941 at Chickasaw, Ala., by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 28 March 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Charles Hunt Ross; and commissioned on 31 December 1942, Lt. Cmdr. William H. Harrison, USNR, in command.
After shakedown cruises off the Florida coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, the new minesweeper steamed from Miami on 2 April 1943; transited the Panama Canal; and arrived at San Francisco, Calif., on 1 May. Following training and escort duty in western coastal waters, she departed San Francisco on 28 August for the New Hebrides. From October until the following June, Token escorted convoys between Espíritu Santo and Guadalcanal, in the Solomons. Late in June, she proceeded via Florida Island to Sydney, Australia. A severe vibration developed en route, however, and the replacement of bent and damaged propeller blades prolonged Token’s stay in Sydney, not sailing from that Australian port until 30 July 1944 to proceed to the Solomons, where she spent the month of August conducting exercises and undergoing additional repairs.
In September 1944, Token engaged in minesweeping in the Palau and Ulithi groups before proceeding to Manus where the Seventh Fleet was concentrating for the invasion of Leyte. On 17 October, while conducting minesweeping operations en route to Leyte, Token was caught in a typhoon which caused her some minor damage. Following two days of sweeping in Leyte Gulf, Token anchored in the south transport area off Leyte on 24 October. The next day, Token scored several hits on an enemy aircraft and rescued a downed flier from Sangamon (CVE-26). Heavy air activity continued until Token got underway for the Admiralties arriving at Manus on 5 November.
Token steamed from Manus on 14 November 1944 and proceeded via Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, and San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, where she underwent major overhaul. On 13 April 1945, Token departed the west coast for Pearl Harbor where she resumed escort duty.
Arriving off Okinawa on 20 May 1945, at a time of mass kamikaze attacks, Token experienced her first of many days of enemy air activity. While performing screening activities on the 28th, Token rescued and captured two survivors from a splashed Japanese plane. After repairs at Kerama Retto in June, she swept waters off Okinawa, in the East China Sea, and in Tokyo Bay, where she was present when Japanese representatives signed the instrument of surrender on board the battleship Missouri (BB-63).
In the following months, Token continued sweeps of formerly contested waters off the Pescadores and China before steaming, via Sasebo, Kyushu, and Pearl Harbor, to Charleston, S.C. She then operated off the east coast until finally berthing in June 1947 at Orange, Texas, where she was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, and placed out of commission on 6 January 1948.
Recommissioned on 12 April 1951, Token participated in training exercises off Charleston in company with Mine Squadron 8, Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet. Departing from Charleston in August, Token headed for the Mediterranean and touched at Gibraltar, Istanbul, Naples, and Seville before returning to Charleston on 7 February 1953. She operated off the Atlantic and gulf coasts before being inactivated and decommissioned again on 16 April 1954.
Token was reclassified a steel-hulled fleet minesweeper on 7 February 1955 and redesignated MSF-126. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 December 1966.
Token received five battle stars for her World War II service, for her participation in the capture and occupation of the southern Palau Islands (6 September-14 October 1944), the Leyte Landings (12 October-20 December 1944), the capture and occupation of Okinawa Gunto (20 May-30 June 1945), Third Fleet operations against Japan (5-31 July 1945), and for minesweeping operations in the Pacific (14-17 August 1945, 28 August-3 September 1945, 10-15 September 1945, 27 October-7 November 1945, and 29 November-19 December 1945).
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
1 July 2020