USS AVENGE (MSO-423)
The second Avenge (AM23) was laid down on 1
August 1951 at Stamford, Conn., by the Luders Marine Construction
Co.; launched on 15 March 1953; sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Luders, Jr.; and
commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 13 May 1954, Lt. Waymon Taylor in
After completing shakedown training, the minesweeper
sailed on 6 August for her home port, Charleston, S.C., and
8 August. She conducted local operations until entering the
Charleston Naval Shipyard on 14 January 1955 for conversion. During
this period, her designation was changed to MSO-423, before she resumed her
activities in April and began preparations
On 6 September, Avenge sailed for the
Mediterranean. Her ports of call during that deployment with the 6th
Fleet included Gibraltar; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, Cannes, and Toulon, France; Monaco;
Valletta, Malta; Naples, Italy; and Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands. The
ship left Gibraltar on 17 January 1956 and arrived back in Charleston on
the 31st. Following leave and upkeep, the ship sailed on 9 April for the coast
of Nova Scotia and participated in minesweeping operations off Halifax
before getting underway on 14 May to return to her home port.
The vessel operated for two months in the Charleston
area, then left on 16 July to return to Canadian waters. She spent two months
assisting in survey and beach clearance operations in connection
with DEW line radar sites. The ship left St. Johns, Newfoundland,
on 4 September, and arrived back in Charleston on 11 September.
Avenge returned to Argentia,
Newfoundland, on 15 January 1957, took part in cold weather minesweeping
operations, and then got underway for New York on 30 January. She touched
at Charleston on
7 February and held local operations through 29
August. On that day, the minesweeper sailed for the Mediterranean. After
reaching Gibraltar, she visited Valletta, Malta;
Suda Bay, Crete; Kos Island, Greece; Gaeta and Naples, Italy; and Izmir,
Turkey. While deployed with the 6th Fleet, she conducted joint exercises
with the Italian Navy at Gaeta. She also
held combined operations with the British Navy at Malta in January 1958. After five months in the
Mediterranean, Avenge returned
to Charleston on 13 February.
In late March, the ship took part in amphibious
exercises at Onslow Beach, N.C., and in mine exercises at Little
Creek, Va. Avenge
Charleston on 11 January 1959, bound for Savannah,
Ga., where she arrived on the 12th and entered the shipyard of the Savannah Machine and Foundry Co.
for overhaul. The minesweeper returned to Charleston on 14 March for refresher training. During May and June, she took
part in a mine test in the Charleston area before sailing once more on 24 July for
While on duty with the 6th Fleet, Avenge took part
in numerous exercises. The largest came in Octoter at La Spezia, Italy, when she joined units
of the French, Greek, Turkish, Belgian, and
Italian navies in Exercise "Gauge." She returned to Charleston on 11 February 1960.
The ship departed Charleston on 23 May to participate in
Operation "Springboard," in the Caribbean. In July, she
carried out an assignment off Cape Canaveral, Fla., and then
proceeded to her
home port for overhaul.
Avenge headed back to the Caribbean in
January 1961 for amphibious exercises which lasted well into February. After returning
home, she made an unscheduled deployment to the Caribbean in April in
response to a political crisis in the Dominican Republic and did not
get back to Charleston until August. Thereafter, type training and minesweeping
exercises off the South Carolina coast kept her busy through the end of 1961.
In January 1962, Avenge operated from Panama
City, Fla., providing services for the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory
and reported back to her home port in February. Following an overhaul,
she returned to Panama City in August. Intensive minesweeping training
exercises in company with Mine Division 82 occupied her time in October
Early in January 1963, the ship embarked upon another
Mediterranean tour during which she took part in several combined exercises
and visited ports in Italy, Sardinia, and France. Avenge participated in
NATO Exercise "Fair Game" before returning to Charleston
on 5 June. Following leave and upkeep, she proceeded to Panama City to
work with the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory. The minesweeper reported back to
Charleston on 20 November and began
preparations for a deployment to the Caribbean.
In February 1964, the vessel began a two-month cruise to
the Caribbean, working put of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She arrived back in
Charleston in April for leave and upkeep and then entered the naval shipyard at
Charleston in May for repairs which were followed by refresher training and
local operations. In late December, Avenge got underway for the
Guantanamo Bay; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; and Bonaire,
Netherlands Antilles. The end of 1964 found Avenge anchored
at Frederiksted, Saint Croix, in the American Virgin Islands.
During January and February 1965, Avenge operated
out of Guantanamo Bay before arriving back at Charleston in March and resuming
a full schedule of training exercises and operations. In August, she
was part of the Gemini V recovery force off Cape Kennedy, Fla. In early
December, the minesweeper took part in an amphibious exercise off Vieques,
Puerto Rico, before returning to her home port for the Christmas
In February 1966, the ship was part of the recovery force
off Cape Kennedy during tests of the Apollo rocket and returned to Charleston
in March and conducted local operations through June. She
sailed to Savannah once more in early July for another period
of overhaul, and she left the shipyard in September for refresher
training in the Norfolk area.
The vessel returned to Panama City on 14 January 1967
and helped to test minesweeping gear being developed for use by helicopters.
She visited the cities of Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville, Fla., in
February and arrived back at Charleston on 28 February. After a
brief tender availability, Avenge provided services to the Mine Warfare School at
Charleston before sailing for Newport, R.I.,
on 2 May to conduct refresher training.
Following a brief visit to Boston, Mass., on 20 May, she arrived in Charleston on 26 May.
The minesweeper entered Detyens Shipyard, Wando, S.C., on 17
July for alterations. Upon the completion of the modifications
and repairs, she prepared for deployment and sailed on 16 August for the Mediterranean.
After suffering extensive damage en route, Avenge
reached Rota, Spain, on 2 September and remained there for repairs until sailing on 25 September for Izmir, Turkey, where she rejoined her division.
She participated in exercises off
Dikili, Turkey, with British and Turkish ships from 16 through 25 October. Avenge moved to Naples in early November for a tender availability and then
visited La Spezia, Italy; Ajaccio and Lovo Santo, Corsica; and Toulon, France, before
closing the year at Naples undergoing upkeep.
An amphibious exercise took place at Porto Scudo,
Sardinia, on 3 January 1968, 10 days before Avenge began her journey home on
13 January. She reached Charleston on 3 February and entered a leave and upkeep
status. The minesweeper got underway on 15 April to take part in mine tests and
returned to port on 26 May for a standdown
period in preparation for her forthcoming
Avenge was taken in tow on 26 August
for the voyage to Baltimore, Md., where she entered the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's
Key Highway Shipyard on 30 August. The yardwork continued into 1969. On 27
September, she was drydocked at Bethlehem's Fort McHenry
Shipyard in Baltimore. A fire of unknown origin broke out on 6
October and caused extensive damage to the midships section of the vessel. A
subsequent survey found that it would not be economically feasible to restore the
vessel, and Avenge was decommissioned on 31 January 1970. Her name
was struck from the Navy list on 1 February 1970.
[Note: The above USS AVENGE (MSO-423) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS AVENGE (MSO-423), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]