USS Peacock (MSC-198)

USS Peacock (AMS/MSC-198) was a Bluebird-class minesweeper in the United States Navy for clearing coastal minefields.

Epping Forest "mothering" coastal minesweeper Peacock (MSC-198).
History
United States
Name: Peacock
Namesake: Peacock
Builder: Harbor Boat Building Company, Terminal Island, California
Laid down: 29 January 1953
Launched: 19 June 1954
Commissioned: 16 March 1955
Reclassified: Coastal Minesweeper, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 July 1975
Identification:
Fate: sold for scrap, 1 September 1976
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Bluebird-class minesweeper
Displacement: 362 long tons (368 t)
Length: 144 ft 3 in (43.97 m)
Beam: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × screws
Speed: 13.6 kn (25.2 km/h; 15.7 mph)
Complement: 40
Armament: 2 × 20 mm (0.8 in) Oerlikon cannons anti-aircraft (AA) mounts

Construction

Peacock was laid down 29 January 1953, as AMS-198, by the Harbor Boat Building Company, Terminal Island, California; launched, 19 June 1954; sponsored by Miss B. Rechenmacher; reclassified as a coastal minesweeper, MSC-198, 7 February 1955; commissioned 16 March 1955, Lieutenant (jg) Don E. Crawley in command.[2]

Specifications

Coastal minesweeper nonmagnetic construction, wooden hull and stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze engine and hull fittings. Fitted with AN/UQS-1B sonar for mine hunting operations.

An interesting feature of Peacock was her non-magnetic construction, including all-wooden hull and stainless steel, aluminium and bronze engine and hull fittings. This unique construction rendered the ship safe from magnetic mines and was the reason for her very high initial cost of approximately $3,500.000.

Pacific Ocean operations

Upon completion of fitting out, the Peacock conducted training and minesweeping exercises along the California coast until 4 February 1956, when she departed for her first deployment to the Far East.[2]

Vietnam operations

While overseas, Peacock participated in several joint exercises with Allied navies, participated in "Operation Market Time" off Vietnam and made port calls in the Far East. She has remained overseas since her first deployment and has continued in the same pattern as her first deployment into 1970.[2]

Peacock was a coastal minesweeper capable of sweeping both moored and bottom sea mines of either contact or influence variety. The ship was the first of her class to be assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet, and was homeported in Sasebo, Japan since 1956.

Support during Lebanon and Taiwan crises

Peacock took part in the General emergency operations during the Lebanon emergency in the summer of 1958, and patrolled the Formosa Straits during the Taiwan crisis in the fall of 1958. As part of the U.S. 7th Fleet, Peacock stood ready and able at all times to do her part in maintaining the freedom of the seas.

Far East tours and operations

Since her arrival in the Far East, homeported in Sasebo, Japan, Peacock traveled to such places as Hong Kong, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea and the Ryukyu Islands, as well as numerous ports-of-call in Japan. She has regularly participated in Mine Exercises with the Navies of Japan, Korea, Nationalist China and the Republic of the Philippines. Peacock played an active role in Market Time Patrol off the coast line of Vietnam throughout the Vietnam War.

Lt. Michael A. McDevitt (later RADM) served on board as commanding officer from October 1968 to April 1971. He is the only commanding officer who remained aboard after making Lt.Cdr, which he pinned on in Subic Bay, January 1970.

Decommissioning

Peacock was the last of the Sasebo-based MSC's to depart Japan. She headed for Long Beach, California just after Christmas, 1970, for further assignment as a Reserve training ship. Peacock sailed "unaccompanied" from Sasebo to Taiwan where she laid over for New Years 1971. She then sailed to Subic Bay, PI where she hooked up with four MSO class minesweepers for the transit east. Off Johnston Island Peacock detached from the other ships and headed to Pearl Harbor on her own. Following a short stay in Pearl Harbor she departed for the last leg of the transit to her new homeport of Long Beach, CA. The total transit took 57 days.

Fate

Peacock was struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1975 and disposed of through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for scrap, 1 September 1976.[1]

Military awards and honors

Her crew was eligible for the following medals and ribbons:

See also

Notes

    Citations

    Bibliography

    Online resources

    • "Peacock III (AMS-198)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
    • "USS Peacock (MSC-198)". Navsource.org. Retrieved 18 March 2017.

    Also, 1970-1971 crew accounts

    • Photo gallery of USS Peacock (AMS/MSC-198) at NavSource Naval History


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