Excel- MSO 439 - History

Excel- MSO 439 - History

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Excel II

(MSO-439: dp. 620, 1. 172', b. 36', dr. 10', s. 16 k.
cpl. 74; a. 1 40 mm.; cl. Agile)

The second Excel (AM-439) was launched 26 September 1953 by Higgins Corp., New Orleans, La. sponsored by Mrs. T. G. W. Settle, wife of the Commandant, 6th Naval District; reclassified MSo-439 on 7 February 1955; and commissioned 24 February 1955, Lieutenant R. Sipe in command.

Excel arrived at Long Beach, her home port, 4 June 1955, and began operating along the west coast in training and exercises. In 1956 and again in 1969, she served in the Far East with the 7th Fleet, visiting Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan and exercising with ships of friendly navies. Through 1960 she continued to sail out of Long Beach for operations and cruises along the west coast.

File:USS Excel (MSO-439) underway off San Diego, California (USA), on 14 December 1985 (6409696).jpg

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Sorry for the inconvenience that happens to you.

According to your description, I have tested on my side and I can reproduce the same situation. It is not feasible to use the STOCKHISTORY function to get S&P 500 Index data while you can use the Stock Data Types (Data> Stocks) to get the related data. According to this reference and another reference, the stock argument in STOCKHISTORY doesn’t mention it includes the index data type while the Excel data type (Data> Stocks) does mention. I would like to suggest you send feedback to Microsoft (click File> Feedback).

Excel Versioning - delete and/or disable in specific files

I am happy with the existence of versioning in Excel as, with the automatic save, it allowed me to recover work (or revert) at a later stage.

However, in most cases I do not want to show those versions (or all of them) to a third party. How can I delete part or all the versions in a file.

On the same note, there are some specific files that I do not any version to exist. Is there a way to disable versioning altogether in specific files?

Report abuse

Thanks for posting in our forum.

For the function of version history for a Word document or Excel workbook, it is only available to use when the file is saved in OneDrive or SharePoint. For your reference: View previous versions of Office files (microsoft.com)

Hence, if you want to disable this function for some specific files, kindly save them to a local position on your PC and they will no longer have the function of version history. Also, all the files created in local position will not have this function automatically as they are not connected to OneDrive or SharePoint before.

For the first concern, an easier workaround for you is to save the final edition of a document as a copy(which is a good way to prevent some kind of data leaks) and then send out this local file to others or a third party as normal.

Hope above suggestions could meet your scenario, but please feel free to post back if you need further help.

USS Excel (MSO-439)

Aggressive Class Minesweeper

Displacement 775 tons
Length 172 ft
Beam 35ft
Draft 12ft
Speed 14 kts
Complement 8 Officers, 70 Enlisted
Propulsion, four Packard ID1700 diesel engines Two shafts, two controllable pitch propellers.
Laid down February 9, 1953 as AM-439 at the Higgins Corp., New Orleans, LA
Launched, September 25, 1953
Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper (non-magnetic), MSO-439, February 7, 1955
Commissioned USS Excel (MSO-439) February 24, 1955
Decommissioned, September 30, 1992
Stricken March 28, 1994
Laid up in the Reserve Fleet Sold for scrap to Crowley Marine in January 2000.

Hands down, USS Excel was the best ship I ever served in.

Excel was a reserve ship. Although her home port was officially listed as Treasure Island, CA, the ship was actually berthed at the Naval Supply Center, Oakland CA. Because of her small size, when we were in home port, the crew was billeted in our own wing of the bachelors quarters on Treasure Island.

I was the only QM aboard and cross trained other crew members to stand navigation watches. These guys were fantastic - taking on navigation duties in addition to their regular duties. The signalman (SM2) and I shared berthing in the IFF room just behind the bridge. It was like having our own private state room. The only draw back was that it was also too close to the bridge. Often I was called to the bridge wearing nothing but my skivvies and flip-flops to solve some sort of Nav problem.

Once, to make room for the visiting Commodore , a Junior Officer was moved out of Officer Country and was temporarily billeted with us . The JO was bluntly informed that in this case he was the junior personnel. This was was our berthing and I was the senior man, entitled to the senior (middle) bunk, the SM2 was second in seniority and he claimed the upper birth. The officer was obliged to take the junior bottom bunk. (He didn't like it, but he had no say in the matter.)

The thing that frustrated me most was the lack of storage room. The SM2 and I had a lot of charts stored under our mattresses because there was no where else to store them.

The Excel went through RefTra (Refresher Training) and MRCI (Mine Readiness Certification Inspection) in San Diego and sailed though with flying colors. It was the first in a long time that a Minesweeper passed both inspections the first time through.

While aboard USS Durham I developed a procedure for navigation in amphibious operations and I adapted it to Mine Field navigation. For my innovation I was awarded my first Navy /Marine Corps Achievement Medal from Mine Group 1.

Every summer Excel and other Reserve ships set out for a summer cruise. We went from San Francisco to Hawaii to Adak AK to Seattle and back to the Bay area, dropping off and picking up reserves every two weeks as they performed their annual AcDuTra.

Nov 1985 Excel went into overhaul at Lake Union Dry dock, Seattle, WA

Feb 1986 I was relieved by my good friend QM1 Rick Burris and I was transferred to NavSta Puget Sound.


The U.S. Navy has a long history of mine sweeping, having lost the first modem ships to those infernal torpedoes in the Civil War. As a byproduct of Mr. Roosevelt’s Great North Sea Mine Barrage of the Great War, the Navy commissioned their first class of minesweepers, the Lapwing or “Old Bird” type vessels which lingered into WWII, followed by 1930s-era 147-foot three-ship Hawk-class and the much larger 220-foot Raven and Auk-classes early in the first days of that second great international hate.

Then came the 123-ship Admirable (AM-136)-class of 180-foot/950-ton vessels built during WWII– many of which remained in hard service through Korea before being passed on to allied nations.

With the lessons learned from that conflict, in which the Koreans used literally thousands of Soviet, Chinese and leftover Japanese mines up and down the coastline, a class of MSO (Mine Sweeper Ocean), sweepers was placed on order during that police action, with class leader USS Agressive (MSO-422) laid down at Luders Marine in Stamford, Connecticut 25 May 1951 and commissioned just weeks after the cease fire in 1953

At some 867-tons (fl) and 172-foot overall, they were roughly the same size as the steel-hulled minesweepers Admirable-class ships they were replacing, but they had a bunch of new tricks up their sleeve including using laminated wood construction with bronze and stainless steel fittings and to minimize their magnetic signature.

The main propulsion plant consisted of four Packard 1D1700 non magnetic diesel engines driving twin controllable pitch propellers (CRP). This was one of the earliest CRP installations in the navy.

They were also fitted with a UQS-1 mine-locating sonar, an important next step in minehunting.

UQS-1 mine-locating sonar panel currently at the Museum of Man in the Sea in Panama City. Photo by Chris Eger

Thus equipped, they could sweep moored mines with Oropesa (“O” Type) gear, magnetic mines with a Magnetic “Tail” supplied by three 2500 ampere mine sweeping generators, and acoustic mines by using Mk4(V) and A Mk6 (B) acoustic hammers.

Their armament, when compared to the Admirable-class steel hulls they replaced, was much lighter, consisting of a single Bofors 40mm/60 gun forward and two .50 cals. It should be pointed out the WWII sweepers carried a 3″/50, 4x Bofors, 6x20mm Oerlikons, Hedgehog ASW mortars plus depth charge racks and projectors on a hull roughly the same size.

USS Lucid as commissioned, she is the only MSO still afloat in the Western hemisphere. Note her 40mm gun.

Some 53 hulls were completed by 1958 by a host of small domestic yards for the U.S. Navy (Luders, Bellingham, Higgins, etc) that specialized in wooden vessels, and often had created PT-boats and sub-chasers during WWII. In addition to this, 15 were built for France, four for Portugal, six for Belgium, two for Norway, one of Uruguay, four for Italy, and six for Holland. The design was truly an international best-seller and in some cases the last hurrah for several of these small yards.

In U.S. service, they were quickly put to work everywhere from the Med to the South China Sea, performing general yeoman tasks for the fleet itself, participating in mine exercises and running sweeping ops in areas that still had the occasional WWII-era contact mine bobbing around. In addition, they helped with missile and torpedo tests, harbor defense exercises, acoustic ranging experiments, noise reduction experiments, located downed aircraft, performed special operations in 1962 during the nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, were instrumental in the Palomares hydrogen bombs incident, performed midshipman training cruises to the Caribbean, made repairs to cables and helped in the recovering of boilerplate and capsules for the Mercury and Gemini NASA programs.

Their shallow draft (10-feet in seawater) made them ideal for getting around littorals as well as going to some out of the way locales that rarely see Naval vessels. USS Leader (MSO-490) and USS Excel (MSO 439) became the first U.S. warships ever to visit the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh when they completed the 180-mile transit up the Mekong River on 27 August 1961, a feat not repeated until 2007. USS Vital (MSO-474) ascended the Mississippi River in May 1967 to participate in the Cotton Carnival at Memphis, Tennessee.

USS Gallant (MSO-489) was used in 1966 for the filming of the Elvis Presley film, Easy Come, Easy Go.

Vietnam is where the class really shined, arriving early to the conflict, taking part in the party, and then sticking around for the clean up afterward.

As early as 1962, USS Fortify (MSO-446) was deployed off the coast of South Vietnam with her minesweeping gear removed and an electronic countermeasures “box” was installed on the fantail. The ship was involved in monitoring and intercepting Viet Cong radio transmissions, vectoring RVN gunboats to interdict large junks coming down the coast from the North that were suspected of furnishing arms and ammunition to cadres in the south. This led to some near-misses with NVA torpedo boats even before the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Many of the class participated in Operation Market Time (11 March 1965 to December 1972) in an effort to stop the flow of supplies from North Vietnam into the south by sea. According to Navy reports, “The Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” was very successful, but received little credit. Eventually all the supply routes at sea became non-existent, which forced the North Vietnamese to use the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

USS LEADER (MSO-490) Caption: Is seen from a Saigon based SP-2H Neptune aircraft while on a Market Time patrol during the later 1960s. The plane and ship are exchanging information on coastal traffic in the area. Description: Catalog #: NH 92011

As part of this effort, the shallow water craft boarded and searched South Vietnamese fishing junks for smuggled weapons and other contraband (during USS Loyalty‘s first patrol alone, her crew boarded 348 junks, detained two and arrested 14 enemy smugglers), served as mother ships for replenishing the needs of “Swift” boats, provided gunfire support to U.S. forces ashore, (on 22 and 23 March 1966 the USS Implict alone fired nearly 700 rounds of 40mm ammunition supporting small South Vietnamese naval craft under fire from enemy shore batteries), gave special operations support to the American Advisory units and performed hydrographic surveys on shoreline depths.

After the war, it was the Aggressive-class MSOs who were tasked with Operation End Sweep–removing mines and airdropped Mark 36 Destructors laid by the U.S. in Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam and other waterways.

End Sweep’s line in action

In all some 10 MSO’s were part of Seventh Fleet’s Mine Countermeasures Force (Task Force 78), led by Rear Adm. Brian McCauley, during this six-month operation in the first half of 1973.

At the height of their involvement in Vietnam, the Navy started a mid-life extension and modernization process for roughly half of their MSOs. Running at $1.5 million per ship, the old Packard engines were removed and replaced with new aluminum block Waukesha diesels. The first generation mine sonar was swapped out for the new SQQ-14. As additional space on the foc’sle was needed for installation of the SQQ-14 cabling, the WWII-era 40mm Bofors bow gun was replaced with a mount for a twin 20 mm Mk 68. New sweep gear to include a pair of PAP-104 cable-guided undersea tools were added as was accommodation for clearance divers and two zodiacs powered by 40hp outboards.

Just 19 were updated to the new standard, and the MSO fleet began to severely contract.

Several took some hard knocks, especially when it came to fires.

USS Avenge (MSO-423) was gutted by a fire while drydocked at Bethlehem’s Fort McHenry Shipyard in Baltimore in 1969 and stricken the next year after a survey found her too far gone. An earlier flash fire on USS Exultant (MSO-441) while underway in 1960 claimed five lives though the ship herself was saved. USS Force (MSO-445) was not so lucky when on 24 April 1973 she lost off Guam after when a fuel leak was ignited by the No.1 Engine turbocharger and spread rapidly throughout the ship. USS Stalwart (MSO-493) capsized and sank as a result of fire at San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 25, 1966. USS Enhance (MSO-437), USS Direct (MSO-430) and USS Director (MSO-429) likewise suffered serious fires but were saved.

USS Prestige (MSO-465) ran aground and was stranded in the Naruto Straits, Inland Sea, Japan on 23 Aug 1958 and was abandoned as a total loss. Similarly, USS Sagacity (MSO-469) in March 1970, grounded at the entrance to Charleston harbor, causing extensive damage to her rudders, shafts, screws, keel, and hull, leading her to be stricken that October.

The Royal Navy diesel submarine HMS Rorqual bumped into the USS Endurance (MSO-435) while docking at River Point pier in Subic Bay, Philippines in 1969 while USS Forrestal (CVA-59) collided with the USS Pinnacle (MSO-462) at Norfolk in 1959. In all cases, the damage was slight.

USS Valor (MSO-472), just 15 years old, was found to be “beyond economical repair” in a survey in 1970 and scrapped.

By the end of Vietnam, the MSOs retained were converted to U.S. Naval Reserve Training (NRT) tasking classified as Naval Reserve Force (NRF) ships, used for training their complements of reserve crews one weekend a month two-weeks during the summer. This changed the crews from 7 officers, 70 enlisted (77 total) when on active duty, to 5 officers, 52 enlisted plus 25 reserve while a NRF vessel.

USS Energy (MSO-436) and Firm (MSO-444) were transferred to the Philippines, while USS Pivot (MSO-463), Dynamic, Persistent and Vigor went to Spain. Others, unmodernized, were sold for scrap.

By the 1980s, the European war scenario relied on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to participate substantially in mine warfare operations, and U.S. mine hunters continued to decline until just the 19 modernized 1950s MSOs, built for Korea and validated in Vietnam, remained in the NRF.

A bow view of the ocean minesweeper USS FORTIFY (MSO 446) underway, 6/8/1982. National Archives Photo.

A starboard view of the ocean minesweeper USS ILLUSIVE (MSO 448) underway, 8/13/1984. National Archives Photo.

During this period they often spent much time at the Mine Countermeasures Station at Panama City, Florida where they tested the first versions of the AN/WLD-1 (V) unmanned Minehunting systems, developed to scour the water for bottom and moored mines.

A few NRF MSOs were activated to assist in the Persian Gulf in 1987-88 during the tanker escort period (Operation Earnest Will) that involved Iranian sea mines, typically old Russian M08 contact types, swept.

Three sweepers: USS Fearless (MSO-442), USS Illusive (MSO-448), and USS Inflict (MSO-456), were towed 9,000 miles by the salvage ship USS Grapple (ARS-53) from Little Creek, Virginia, to the Persian Gulf.

While conducting minesweeping operations in the northern Persian Gulf, Inflict discovered and destroyed the first of 10 underwater contact mines deployed in a field across the main shipping channel.

Crewmen handle a minesweeping float on the stern of the ocean minesweeper USS INFLICIT (MSO 456), 4/27/1988. National Archives Photo

Then came the affair with Saddam in 1990.

Four minesweepers, USS Leader (MSO-490), USS Impervious (MSO-449), USS Adroit (MSO-509) and the brand new USS Avenger (MCM-1), were loaded aboard the Dutch heavy lift ship Super Servant 3 on 19 August 1990 at Norfolk and offloaded 5 October 1990 in the middle east.

Impervious, foreground, and Adroit (MSO 509) sit aboard the Dutch heavy lift ship Super Servant 4 as its deck is submerged to permit minesweepers to be unloaded. Photo by PHAN Christopher L. Ryan

You may not remember now, but Desert Storm at sea was a mine war, with USS Tripoli and USS Princeton (CG 59) rocked by exploding mines. Saddam sewed more than a 1,000 of his deadly easter eggs across the northern Gulf and it was the job of the sweepers, along with allied boats and helicopters and some 20 different EOD clearance teams, to clear the way for a possible D-Day style amphibious invasion by the Marines as well as hacking a path through the danger zone for battleships to approach for NGFS.

And with the victory in the desert, the MSOs were paid off, replaced nominally by a new class of (since disposed of) Osprey-class MHCs and the rest of the Avengers.

Between 1989-1994 the last of the MSOs were decommissioned and stricken with the healthiest four units transferred to the Republic of China Navy (Taiwan) in 1994-95: USS Conquest (MSO-488), USS Gallant (MSO-489), USS Pledge (MSO-492), and USS Implicit (MSO-455) as ROCS Yung Tzu (MSO-1307), ROCS Yung Ku (MSO-1308), ROCS Yung Teh (MSO-1309), ROCS Yung Yang (MSO-1306), respectively, are still in service.

Six were held on red lead row until as late as 2002, when they were scrapped despite the pleas from veterans’ groups to preserve one, with the MARAD claiming it was policy not to donate wooden ships due to the cost and magnitude of the maintenance required for upkeep.

In all, some 50,000 sailors served at one time or another on these wooden ships and are very well organized in The Navy MSO Association.

Finally, the MSO sailors were came across the old USS Lucid (MSO-458) which had been sold as scrap for $40,250 back in 1976 and had been used as a houseboat ever since.

Donated, the ship has become part of the Stockton Historical Maritime Museum since 2011 and is open to the public.

She is the only MSO preserved in the West.

In Holland, HNLMS Mercuur (A856), after her decommissioning in 1987, was preserved as a museum ship, first in Amsterdam, later in Scheveningen. She will be towed to the city of Vlissingen at some point this winter, and re-open as a museum ship in Vlissingen’s Perry dock around March 2017.

In all, the class served 40 years in a myriad of tasks and a few are still around and kicking.

Not bad for some forgotten old wooden boats.

The ocean minesweeper USS INFLICIT (MSO 456) heads towards the Persian Gulf to support US Navy escort operations, 9/1/1987

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Product Description

USS Excel MSO 439

"Personalized" Canvas Ship Print

(Not just a photo or poster but a work of art!)

Every sailor loved his ship. It was his life. Where he had tremendous responsibility and lived with his closest shipmates. As one gets older his appreciation for the ship and the Navy experience gets stronger. A personalized print shows ownership, accomplishment and an emotion that never goes away. It helps to show your pride even if a loved one is no longer with you. Every time you walk by the print you will feel the person or the Navy experience in your heart (guaranteed).

The image is portrayed on the waters of the ocean or bay with a display of her crest if available. The ships name is printed on the bottom of the print. What a great canvas print to commemorate yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her.

The printed picture is exactly as you see it. The canvas size is 8"x10" ready for framing as it is or you can add an additional matte of your own choosing. If you would like a larger picture size (11"x 14") on a 13" X 19" canvas simply purchase this print then prior to payment purchase additional services located in the store category (Home) to the left of this page. This option is an additional $12.00. The prints are made to order. They look awesome when matted and framed.

We PERSONALIZE the print with "Name, Rank and/or Years Served" or anything else you would like it to state (NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE). It is placed just above the ships photo. After purchasing the print simply email us or indicate in the notes section of your payment what you would like printed on it. A couple of Suggestions :

United States Navy Sailor
Proudly Served Sept 1963 - Sept 1967

My Son or Daughter is presently serving in the United States Navy
Their NAME and RANK

This would make a nice gift and a great addition to any historic military collection. Would be fantastic for decorating the home or office wall.

The watermark "Great Naval Images" will NOT be on your print.

This photo is printed on Archival-Safe Acid-Free canvas using a high resolution printer and should last many years.

Because of its unique natural woven texture canvas offers a special and distinctive look that can only be captured on canvas. The canvas print does not need glass thereby enhancing the appearance of your print, eliminating glare and reducing your overall cost.

We guarantee you will not be disappointed with this item or your money back. In addition, We will replace the canvas print unconditionally for FREE if you damage your print. You would only be charged a nominal fee plus shipping and handling.

Excel- MSO 439 - History

- Timeline-Summer 1982- Vicinity of Cape Flattery, Washington, U.S. coast. Soviet AGI-believed to be the hydrographic vessel Gavril Sarychev. upon arrival , begins suspicious activity, crew seen dropping many listening devices in the water-anticipating arrival of new U.S.secret weapon,
the first Trident Ballistic Nuclear submarine, USS Ohio-due to begin sea trials via straights of Juan de Fuca- impending.

The Cape Flattery Incident part one


That was the headline in the Port Angles news paper during the late summer of 1982.
One of the largest "battles" of the cold war involving the bulk of the west coast Minesweeper fleet, was underway right off the coast of Washington state!
It started when the USS Ohio began sea trials to test the equipment and systems, via the Strait of Juan De Fuca, and Cape Flattery. There was a fly in the ointment, though. A well known Soviet AGI, CCB 468, the hydro-graphic vessel Gavril Sarychev. It is well known that the Soviet navy would routinely deploy transponders in order to aquire an acoustic signatures of our subs.
It was pretty important for the Ohio to have a "clean getaway, the problem was that the AGI was operating in international waters.
This was happening at the height of the Cold War, something young people today will really not be able to understand at all. The world was sitting on the brink of an all out nuclear holocaust.

this was akin to today's global warming , only much much worse because it wasn't a theory, with half the nation in total belief-completely hoodwinked by a political weapon, and half not convinced at all. no, back then the fact remained that the Soviet Union had many thousands of missiles aimed at American cities, and we had many many more than that aimed at them.
Then came the Trident ballistic missile boat USS Ohio.
A wild card.
The largest submarine in the world, carrying 24 Trident I and Trident II ballistic missiles, capable of MIRV, which means each missile can hit several different targets at the same time, like a giant nuclear shotgun. A weapon designed to truly strike fear in the hearts of our enemies.
As detailed in the his book, Wooden ships and iron men by David Bruhn,
the USS Pluck joined the MSO fleet on station late in the summer. Engine trouble had kept us stuck in San Fransisco for a time, and we eventually arrived to provide relief for others which had been on station since mid summer. Cdr Bruhn's excellent book has a much more detailed story about the overall incident, but this is my own memory from my own point of view.

That first night, the Captain ordered the anchor dropped very near the Soviet vessel already at anchorage and was rumored to have told the OOD "if you can hit their hull with a penny, wake me up". This photo was taken by Petty Officer Jeff Jakubic. Note, the Soviet vessel appears to have turned right in front of us, in a very aggressive manner. Thanks to the the expert abilities of our officers and crew, we were able to avoid a ghastly collision at sea. copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982 )

Thus began "THE GAME" as we eventually called it. At any hour, there would be a General Quarters, (this is not a drill) and we would weigh anchor because "Ivan" was weighing anchor, and we would take off and try to keep up. This was no fun for the engineering department, because the captain was giving orders sure to blow head gaskets, and blow gaskets we did.

This modern Russian TV show shows the Ohio in 1982 (I used this because I could not find American footage of her during that era, although it seems as if they have no shortage of it).

Until then, the summer was spent chasing , if you want to call it that, this AGI, and trying to keep them off balance to give the Ohio a clean chance at unfettered access to the open sea without letting the soviets get a good acoustic signature. We witnessed so many strange things that there are too many to list, and besides this blog post would start to look like a tall tale. Copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982)

There was the morning that a small prop plane showed up and poured red paint down on the Soviet ship. Word was that they were very unhappy about that, but we had no control over it. Then we awoke in the morning and their entire ship had been freshly painted overnight down to her waterline. She was a rusty, multicolored mess at sunset splattered with red paint, and had a fresh paint job in the morning when the sun came up!
Copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982)
Some said that we should do a line transfer with them , playboy magazines for their vodka. They looked gaunt and pale, and we wondered if any of them might defect. If you are under 30, that means to escape. You would have to look it up or rent "Moscow on the Hudson" starring Robin Williams. Doc Burke (HM1) suggested that we sabotage them by sending them a box of my cherry turnovers, which would "explode " all over them. He used to call them " frags" for this reason. That idea came as a result of a humanitarian mission to send turnovers to another minesweeper crew. After weeks at sea, the USS Excel MSO 439 suffered a freezer malfunction and our C.O. requested that we bake an extra 100 fruit turnovers so we could send them over on the Zodiac because their crew had run out of ice cream, and had run out of ingredients for cake. Copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982)

Still seething from the paint attack, the Soviet AGI suffered another humiliation, when the Royal Canadian air force Voodoo interceptor jets buzzed their ship close enough that it looked as if the mysterious gadgets high on the mast would be shaved right off. So Captain Ivanovich (his real name according to the Port Angeles news paper) radioed to what he called his "bigger brothers" and the soviets brought in their subs.
This was all related to us through the 'grape vine'. In those days, the signalmen were flashing Morse code between ships, with the signal lights nearly 24/7. This included the Soviets as well. There was a rumor that often the Russian would begin the day by asking our C.O. what kind of game he would like to play today. Copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982)
Copyright Jeff Jakubic (C1982)
We were involved in "mine sweeping drills" using a "magtail" which outputs over ONE ZILLION kilowatts into the water. , it was such a shame that our mine sweeping training may have damaged some soviet electronic listening devices.

Right around that time, a soviet sub got tangled up in the nets of an American fishing boat, and dragged it backwards. News of this spread like wildfire through the fishing community and all the bars in Port Angeles,Washington. The US Command finally upped the ante and sent in the USS Marvin Shields FF 1066. We were pumped up as well as freaked out because we wondered when and which crazy event would lead to an international incident or worse. We were playing chicken with a steel hulled ship powered by gas turbine engines and twice our size. At most times, they tried to make sure that there were at least two minesweepers on the Soviet ship at all times, but there were many times when one sweep was busy doing "mine hunting" or "Mine sweeping" training, which might have accidentally "damaged" some Soviet acoustic transponders. There was plenty of pulling in front another and stopping. Add dropping the anchor to that and you are playing "crazy Ivan" for real! Ocean going minesweepers have variable pitch propellers, and as a result are highly maneuverable, but this AGI was even more maneuverable. She supposedly had a bow thruster, which is a sideways fan shaped prop to give super maneuverability, especially when docking, or playing chicken with a minesweeper or two. After the Marvin Shields came on scene, the playing field was a bit leveled because she could smoke the AGI on a bad day, and I do mean in many more ways than one. But in sheer speed, a fast frigate is just that- FAST. The Gavril Sarychev could not outrun the Marvin Shields. Not ever. I have many fond memories of smoking cigarettes, and hunkering down between the helm console and the pilot house bulkhead in the middle of the night watching this thing go down, shooting the shit with my buddies. Sometimes I would sneak up to the 0-4 and watch through the big eyes, ( a gigantic set of binoculars) but only when I wouldn't be noticed- and after checking with radio to make sure it was safe. I wanted to have children some day. ) I was supposed to sleep during the day, but I didn't really get a lot of sleep that summer. I was the night baker, as we had three cooks at the time. Jerry Weeks and Tom Delosantos were doing the five and two watch captain in port and 12 on and 12 off at sea, and I baked and did the "midrats" (the meal served before the 0000 watch came on every night. 0000 is midnight. When my dough was rising down in the gally, I was up in the wheel house watching the cold war unfold. I had a front row seat to the closest we ever came as a Navy to engaging the Soviet Union's Navy. This was ironic, since the USS Pluck had been re-designated as a Naval Reserve Fleet ship after service in Vietnam during Operation Market Time. Reserve fleet ships in the days before 911 didn't usually see much action, but here she was along side of all the other Pacific fleet minesweepers and the frigate Marvin Shields taking on the biggest bully in the sea lanes. Gavril Sarychev can be found in many US Navy yearbooks and the incident surounding the downing of Korean flight 007, a Korean Air Lines civilian airliner that was shot down by Soviet interceptors on 1 September 1983 over the sea of Japan. Gavril Sarychev allegedly interfered with an international effort to recover the black box from that airliner.
Next: The cape Flattery incident part two- Liberty in Port Angeles and Esquimalt,engine room fire, Generators go offline, the captain requests I play Reveille on the fiddle. tune in.

Watch the video: USS EXCEL MSO-439 Minesweeper