Destroyer minesweeper

"Destroyer minesweeper" was a designation given by the United States Navy to a series of destroyers that were converted into high-speed ocean-going minesweepers for service during World War II. The hull classification symbol for this type of ship was "DMS." Forty-two ships were so converted, beginning with USS Dorsey (DD-117), converted to DMS-1 in late 1940, and ending with USS Earle (DD-635), converted to DMS-42 in mid 1945. The type is now obsolete, its function having been taken over by purpose-built ships, designated as "minesweeper (high-speed)" with the hull classification symbol MMD.

The original ships were obsolete four-stack destroyers built during and after World War I with usable power plants; they were nicknamed "four-pipers" on account of having the four stacks. The number 4 boiler, fourth stack, and torpedo tubes were removed, depth charge racks repositioned forward from the stern and angled outboard, and the stern modified to support sweep gear: davits, winch, paravanes, and kites. Two 60-kilowatt turbo-generators replaced the three original 25-kilowatt generators to improve capability for sweeping magnetic and acoustic mines.

Conversion of the initial seventeen ships was completed in October and November of 1940, and included eight Wickes-class and nine Clemson-class destroyers. An additional Wickes-class destroyer was converted in 1941. The 24 later ships in the series were Gleaves-class destroyers built during the war.

  The fictional USS Caine, DMS 22, from Herman Wouk's novel The Caine Mutiny, is sketched within the novel itself. Although showing only two smokestacks, the sketch illustrates a flush deck and a galley deckhouse similar to the converted Wickes Class destroyer/minesweepers which actually had three smokestacks.

See also


Amenities ship

An amenities ship is a ship outfitted with recreational facilities as part of a mobile naval base. Amenities ships included movie theaters and canteens staffed by mercantile crews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service. These ships were intended to provide a place where British Pacific Fleet personnel could relax between operations.

Coastal submarine

A coastal submarine or littoral submarine is a small, maneuverable submarine with shallow draft well suited to navigation of coastal channels and harbors. Although size is not precisely defined, coastal submarines are larger than midget submarines, but smaller than sea-going submarines designed for longer patrols on the open ocean. Space limitations aboard coastal submarines restrict fuel availability for distant travel, food availability for extended patrol duration, and number of weapons carried. Within those limitations, however, coastal submarines may be able to reach areas inaccessible to larger submarines, and be more difficult to detect.

General stores issue ship

General stores issue ship is a type of ship used by the United States Navy during World War II and for some time afterwards.

The task of the general stores issue ship was to sail into non-combat, or rear, areas and disburse general stores, such as canned goods, toilet paper, office supplies, etc., to ships and stations.

Guard ship

A guard ship is a warship assigned as a stationary guard in a port or harbour, as opposed to a coastal patrol boat which serves its protective role at sea.

Mine countermeasures vessel

A mine countermeasures vessel or MCMV is a type of naval ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. The term MCMV is also applied collectively to minehunters and minesweepers.


A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines. A vessel that combines both of these roles is known as a mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV).

Ocean boarding vessel

Ocean boarding vessels (OBVs) were merchant ships taken over by the Royal Navy for the purpose of enforcing wartime blockades by intercepting and boarding foreign vessels.

Repair ship

A repair ship is a naval auxiliary ship designed to provide maintenance support to warships. Repair ships provide similar services to destroyer, submarine and seaplane tenders or depot ships, but may offer a broader range of repair capability including equipment and personnel for repair of more significant machinery failures or battle damage.

The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny is the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk. The novel grew out of Wouk's personal experiences aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Among its themes, it deals with the moral and ethical decisions made at sea by ship captains. The mutiny of the title is legalistic, not violent, and takes place during Typhoon Cobra, in December 1944. The court-martial that results provides the dramatic climax to the plot.

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is a two-act play, of the courtroom drama type, that was dramatized for the stage by Herman Wouk, which he adapted from his own novel, The Caine Mutiny.

Wouk's novel covered a long stretch of time aboard the USS Caine, a Navy destroyer minesweeper in the Pacific. It begins with Willis Keith's assignment to the Caine, chronicles the mismanagement of the ship under Philip Francis Queeg, explains how Steve Maryk relieved Queeg of command, gives an account of Maryk's court-martial, and describes the aftermath of the mutiny for all involved.

The play covers only the court-martial itself. Like jurors at a trial, the audience knows only what various witnesses tell of the events on the Caine.

USS Carmick (DD-493)

USS Carmick (DD-493/DMS-33), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Major Daniel Carmick (1772–1816), an officer in the United States Marine Corps who served during the Quasi-War with France and during the War of 1812.

Carmick was launched on 8 March 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. H. L. Merrill. The ship was commissioned 28 December 1942, Commander W. S. Whiteside in command. Later in the ship's career, she would be designated destroyer minesweeper DMS-33. After the ship decommissioned, her designation would revert to DD-493.

USS Chandler (DD-206)

USS Chandler (DD-206/DMS-9/AG-108) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was the only ship named for William Eaton Chandler, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1882 to 1886.

Chandler was launched on 19 March 1919 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company; sponsored by Mrs. L. H. Chandler; and commissioned 5 September, Lieutenant Commander F. Cogswell in command.

USS Hobson (DD-464)

USS Hobson (DD-464/DMS-26), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Richmond Pearson Hobson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Spanish–American War. He would later in his career attain the rank of rear admiral and go on to serve as a congressman from the state of Alabama.

Hobson, constructed at a cost of $5 million, was launched at the Charleston Navy Yard on 8 September 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Grizelda Hobson, widow of Rear Admiral Hobson. As the new destroyer slid down the ways, she was cheered on by spectators and whistle blasts from other vessels on the Cooper River. Hobson was commissioned on 22 January 1942, Commander R. N. McFarlane in command.In 1952, Hobson collided with the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) and sunk with the loss of 176 crew. The ships had been undertaking amphibious exercises in the Atlantic, with Wasp practicing night flying, when Hobson attempted to turn in front of the carrier and collided with Wasp. Hobson was broken in two and quickly sunk, causing the greatest loss of life on a US Navy ship since World War II.

USS Howard

USS Howard has been the name of than one United States Navy ship, and may refer to:

USS Howard (DD-179), a destroyer in commission from 1920 to 1922 and, as destroyer-minesweeper USS Howard (DMS-7), from 1940 to 1945

USS Howard (DDG-83), a guided-missile destroyer in commission since 2001See also

USS Curtis W. Howard (DE-752)

USS Jeffers (DD-621)

USS Jeffers (DD-621/DMS-27), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Commodore William N. Jeffers.

Jeffers was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey, 25 March 1942 and launched on 26 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Lucie Jeffers Lyons, great-granddaughter of Commodore Jeffers. The ship was commissioned on 5 November 1942, Lieutenant Commander W. G. McGarry in command.

USS Southard (DD-207)

USS Southard (DD-207/DMS-10) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second Navy ship named for Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard (1787–1842).

Southard was laid down on 18 August 1918 at Philadelphia by William Cramp & Sons; launched on 31 March 1919; sponsored by Miss Francesca Lewis Steward; and was commissioned on 24 September 1919, Commander Richard Willson in command.

USS Stansbury (DD-180)

USS Stansbury (DD–180) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for John Stansbury.

Stansbury was laid down on 9 December 1918 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Union Iron Works at San Francisco, launched on 16 May 1919, sponsored by Miss Mary Eleanor Trevorrow, and commissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard on 8 January 1920, Commander J. W. Lewis in command.

USS Thompson (DD-627)

USS Thompson (DD-627 (later DMS-38) was first a Gleaves-class destroyer, then became an Ellyson-class destroyer minesweeper. She was the second Navy ship named "Thompson", and the first named in honor of Robert M. Thompson.

USS Zane (DD-337)

USS Zane (DD-337/DMS-14/AG-109) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy following World War I. She was named for Randolph Zane.

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