USS VIGOR (MSO-473)
second Vigor (AM-473) was laid down on 16 June 1952 at Manitowoc, Wis., by the Burger Boat Co.; launched on 23 June 1953; sponsored by Mrs.
Charles C. Kerwin; and commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard on 8 November 1954, Lt. Walter W.
Schwartz in command.
After brief duty at
Boston, the minesweeper moved to Key
West for shakedown training early in 1955. During the cruise, she was redesignated MSO-473 on 7 February. Minesweeper refresher training at
Charleston, S.C., followed, and Vigor
then began a tour of duty with
the Naval Ordnance Laboratory at Port Everglades, Fla. Later that year, Vigor became a training ship,
first for the Underwater Object Locator School at Key West and then for the Naval Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Va.
Early in 1956, she again headed south to participate in the annual Caribbean
"Springboard." During her cruise to the West Indies, Vigor made port calls at San Juan,
Puerto Rico; and Fredricksted, St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands. Following her return to Charleston and operations
out of that port, she got underway on 1 May for her first deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. During that cruise, she visited Harwich, England; Ostend,
Belgium; and Lisbon, Portugal, as
well as touching at the usual 6th Fleet ports of call along the Mediterranean
coast. She concluded that cruise at Charleston on 6 October and resumed
operations from that base.
Vigor continued that duty until the latter part of 1957,
when she was reassigned to the Naval Mine Defense
Laboratory at Panama City, Fla. From that new home port, the minesweeper operated with Mine Division 85 participating
in various experimental projects conducted by the laboratory. For the
next 14 years, she remained based at Panama
City conducting operations for both the Mine Warfare Laboratory and with the Operational Test and Evaluation Force. During her assignment there, she also deployed to the Mediterranean five more times, operating with the 6th
Fleet for six months at a time. Each
time she returned to Panama City, she
resumed normal duty which was broken
periodically by overhauls at various locations.
On New Year's Day 1971,
the ship's base was changed back to
Charleston. She left Panama City on the 18th and arrived in Charleston on the 27th. After 15 months of duty with the Mine Force, Vigor was
decommissioned at Charleston on 4
April 1972. Simultaneously, her name
was struck from the Navy list; and she was transferred to the government of Spain. As of the beginning of 1980, she remained an active unit of
the Spanish Navy, serving under the
name Guadiana (M 44).
[Note: The above USS VIGOR (MSO-473) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS VIGOR (MSO-473), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]