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Valor I (AMc-108)


A general word classification.


(AMc-108: displacement 195 (estimated); length 98'5"; beam 23'6"; draft 10'6" (mean) ; speed 10 knots; complement 17; armament 4 .50-caliber machine guns; class Accentor)

The first Valor (AMc-108) was laid down on 27 May 1941 at Rockland, Maine, by the Snow Shipyards, Inc.; launched on 8 November 1941; and co-sponsored by Misses Jane and Noreen Brannan.

Valor (AMc-108)
Caption: Seen from off her starboard bow, Valor runs her trials off Rockland, Maine, with a “bone in teeth,” photographed by Sidney L. Cullen of Rockland, 27 February 1942, less than one month before she was placed in service. She carries no armament at this point, and is painted in No.5 Navy Gray, with the red/white/blue/black Mine Force insignia and her identification number in white, shadowed in black. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS 33728, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Branch, College Park, Md.)

Placed in service on 24 March 1942 at the Boston [Mass.] Navy Yard, Ens. Benjamin J. Wilson, D-V(S), USNR, officer in charge, Valor appears to have operated in the waters of the First Naval District, primarily out of Boston, throughout her brief career. She also served for some time out of the Woods Hole Section Base. By the end of June 1944, she was attached to the Northern Group, Eastern Sea Frontier.

A little less that half-way through the first watch on 29 June 1944, Valor was patrolling the southern approaches to the Cape Cod Canal, alert to the possible presence of enemy intruders on this highly traveled coastal route. About 2148, as she steamed north of Cuttyhunk Island in Buzzard’s Bay, Valor was struck by the escort vessel Richard W. Suesens (DE-342) (Lt. Cmdr. Milford McQuilkin, D-V(G), USNR, commanding). Within three minutes of the collision, Valor sank in the shallow waters off Mishaum Point at the western entrance of Buzzard’s Bay, taking two officers and five men down with her.

Richard W. Suesens rescued Lt. (j.g.) Malcolm D. Ware, DE-V(G), USNR, Valor’s commanding officer, and six of his men: Cox. A. A. Solomon, Sea1c B. S. Carter, F1c H. H. Upton, Sea2c J. Johnson, MM2c R. H. Blake, and StM2c T. C. Hunter. Dropping anchor, the escort vessel treated all for shock and exposure. Although five other ships joined in the search that continued until sunrise, the seven remaining men on board Valor were never found. The following day [30 June], Richard W. Suesens stood in to the Naval Operating Base at Newport and, in accordance with orders of the Commander Eastern Sea Frontier, put the survivors ashore. Salvage operations began the day after the collision.

Valor (AMc-108)
Caption: Close-up view of the catastrophic damage inflicted by Richard W. Suesens on 29 June 1944 is visible in this photo of Valor’s starboard bow. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS 69314, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Branch, College Park, Md.)

Valor (AMc-108)
Caption: While workmen sort through the jumble of wreckage on board, onlookers, who include at least two young boys, watch, perhaps contemplating the human toll of the tragedy. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS 69316, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Branch, College Park, Md.)

On 14 October 1944, Valor was stricken from the Naval Register. In January 1945, her hulk was sold to the Newport Ship Yard, Inc.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

23 August 2022

Published: Wed Aug 24 09:37:49 EDT 2022