Category Archives: Mine Division 33

Mine Division – 33 – Homeported in Sasebo, Japan 1958 – 1966

Since the Korean War when the Boat Division of COMinRon Three was formed in Sasebo, Japan in 1950 this Division started with two 40′ motor launches from the USS Boxer, and a fourteen 36′ LCVP’s delivered to the Chinnampo sweep by the USS … Continue reading

Posted in CoMinRon 3, Epping Forest Boat Division, Korean War, LCVP, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', minesweeping, Size 5 Oropesa, USS Epping Forest, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Life in Base Town Sasebo

As you can tell from the title, this article was a chapter from a book written by a Japanese author Tetsuo Maeda, and translated into English, by a Japanese speaker. The book is titled The Hidden Army: The Untold Story … Continue reading

Posted in CoMinRon 3, Epping Forest Boat Division, Korean War, LCVP, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE, minesweeping, MSB-1, USS Epping Forest | Leave a comment

Little Sweeps Clear Way For Big Ships – All Hands Magazine – November 1952

Little Sweeps Clear Way For Big Ships W.J Miller QMC USN, a writer for the USN All Hands Magazine wrote a nice 6 page story on the AMS minesweepers (136″) and the CoMinRon 3 Boat Division sweepers (36′) - Which were later … Continue reading

Posted in CoMinRon 3, Korean War, LCVP, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', minesweeping, MSB-1, Russian Made Mines, Size 5 Oropesa, USN EOD, USS Cabildo LSD-16, USS Epping Forest | 1 Comment

Mine Division 111 Sasebo, Japan taken February 26, 1955

CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE – Again to enlarge More The Sasebo, Japan based mine sweeping boat division began as the COMinRon-3 Boat Division sometime following the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950. In early 1951 it was commissioned … Continue reading

Posted in Boeing Gas Turbine, CoMinRon 3, Creighton Franklin "Red" Donldson, Korean War, LCVP, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', minesweeping, USN EOD, USS Cabildo LSD-16, USS Epping Forest, William Christian "Duffy" Hushion | Leave a comment

36′ Mine Sweeping Launch Taiwan Feb 1964

The photo below shows an MSL from Mine Division 33 during Operation Back Pack off Taiwan in February 1964. I was assigned as the second SN on MSL-14 and took this picture with my Brownie Hawkeye from the Stern Deck … Continue reading

Posted in Boeing Gas Turbine, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', minesweeping, Operation Back Pack, Semaphore, Taiwan, USS Epping Forest | 1 Comment

IRON MEN IN WOODEN BOATS

Iron Men In Wooden Boats the “History of Small Boat Minesweeping” was something I wanted to document for posterity, so that my shipmates would not be relegated to the “dustbin of history”. In planning my book I have not found … Continue reading

Posted in Boeing Gas Turbine, CoMinRon 3, Creighton Franklin "Red" Donldson, Cua Viet River, Der Tiger der Fjorde, Epping Forest Boat Division, Frank Talarico, Korean War, KpLt Hans Bartels, Kriegsmarine, LCVP, Long Tao Shipping Channel, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', Minenraummutterschiffe, Minensuchboot M1, minesweeping, MSB-1, Nha Be, Norway WWII, Operation Back Pack, OPNAV NOTICE 1650, Russian Made Mines, Saigon Port Complex, Semaphore, SVN, Taiwan, U-Boat, Unit Awards, USMC Base Dong Ha, USN EOD, USS Cabildo LSD-16, USS Catskill MCS-1, USS Epping Forest, Vietnam, William Christian "Duffy" Hushion | 2 Comments

Russian Built Mines in Vietnam Rivers

Vietnam saw few “traditional” minefields due to the strength of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, and North Vietnam’s lack of a Navy. The Viet Cong acquired one Korean War vintage MKB moored mine (1,200lb) and set it afloat In December 1966 in … Continue reading

Posted in Cua Viet River, Epping Forest Boat Division, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', Russian Made Mines, USMC Base Dong Ha, USN EOD, USS Epping Forest, Vietnam | 2 Comments

Epping Forest Unit Awards and Campaign Medals

Attached is information from OPNAV NOTICE 1650 Master List Of Unit Awards And Campaign Medals on the USS Epping Forest MCS-7. As 60′s and 70′s sailors know, the former LSD-4 was transferred from the Amphibious Forces to Mine Flotilla One in 1962, and homeported … Continue reading

Posted in Mine Division 33, OPNAV NOTICE 1650, Unit Awards, USS Catskill MCS-1, USS Epping Forest | Leave a comment

MSL Video 1959

MSL Video 1959 View MSL video here produced by the USN in 1959. this is one of a series of four videos produced by the Navy covering 36′ Mine Sweeping Launches for assault minesweeping in Rivers, 57′ Mine Sweeping Boats … Continue reading

Posted in Boeing Gas Turbine, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', USS Epping Forest, Vietnam | 2 Comments

Mine Sweeping Launches (MSL) in action 1950′s and 1960′s

Here are some photos of the U.S. Navy’s Mine Sweeping Launches (MSL) both at the Boeing Factory in the mid-Fifties being outfitted in a Seattle shipyard, and later underway in Sasebo and the Phillipines.

The first photo shows the 36′ MSL being tested following installation of Boeing Gas Turbine engines 502-10C and outfitted with all its gear at the Seattle shipyard in the mid-late 1950′s. Note the hull numbers have not been painted on the bow and stern yet. The photo below is a close up of the Boeing 502-10C main propulsion engine:

Sometime around 1958 twenty MSL’s were delivered to MINPAC Long Beach, CA for acceptance and eventually trans-shipped to Sasebo, Japan Mine Division 33.

Mine Division 33 was preceded by Mine Division 111 in Sasebo, Japan. Mine Division 111 in Sasebo, Japan was created on the date the Korean War ended in August 1953. Prior to the desgination as Mine Division 111 on that date, the division was designated as Mine Sweeping Boat Division ONE in Sasebo, Japan. In 1950 and into 1951 the boat division was born as COMINRON THREE Boat Division and operated in the early months of the Korean War under that designation. Originally, two 40′ Motor Launches shanghied from the U.S.S. Boxer, and fourteen LCVP’s delivered by the U.S.S. Catamount made up the complement of mine sweeping boats for most of the Korean War. 50′ motor launches that were highly modified by the Ship Repair Depot in Sasebo (decks and pilot houses added) in search of the ideal mine sweeping boat specifications, started arriving in 1953. These were designated as Mine Sweeping Motor Launch (MSML) and the hull designations were abbreviated MS.

This was edicted by the Navy brass, since BUSHIPS designed an entirely new craft 57′, in the early 1950′s designated as MSB’s and could not leave the Korean War boats, some of which actually swept as many as  84 mines in combat, with the combat earned designation of Mine Sweeping Boats! Stay tuned for the BUSHIPS debacle that was the 57′ MSB, which failed it primary mission as a Harbor and Channel Minesweeper, and failed the logistics of being carried to war on mine sweeping mother ships.

The MSL’s were delivered to Sasebo, Japan and were transported around SE Asia on LSD’s primarily, as they had been transported throughout the Korean War. Actually, early in the Korean War an LST had been modified as COMINRON THREE flagship, and carried the two motor launches and fourteen LCVP’s, but it was determined winching these in open seas up to the tank deck in the LST’s was too difficult, and next to impossible in stormy seas. So, they gravitated to using LSD’s, and hoisting them aboard with their cranes, placing the MSL’s on prefabricated wheeled skids in the well deck. The MSL’s lacked the flat bottoms of LCVP’s, and did not have skegs to protect their propellers, and therefore could not be turnbucled down directly on the well deck like the LCVP’s and motor launches were transported. BUSHPS made the same mistake with the 57′ MSB design a curved bottom.

MSL’s on wheeled skids in the well deck of U.S.S. Epping Forest. The Epping Forest, LSD-4 in Korea, re-designated MCS-7 in 1961 when she was transferred to MINPAC as Mine Countermeasures Support ship = MCS. The same mine sweeping mother ship duties that approximately17 LSD’s performed in Korea.

MSL-13 being hoisted aboard U.S.S. Epping Forest in Vietnam 1967

MSL’s maneuvering in harbor circa 1965 Sasebo or Subic Bay.

Posted in Boeing Gas Turbine, Mine Division 33, Mine Sweeping Launches 36', USS Epping Forest | 1 Comment